Medieval ArmorOne of the earliest uses of metal protection was chain mail armor. Made up of tens of thousands of interlocking rings, it was woven by hand and formed into protective shirts, coifs and even leggings. Chain mail, or more properly "mail", dates back to antiquity; the name itself is derived from the Latin "macula" meaning "mesh of net." It is believed to have been invented by the Celts and adopted by the Romans after their warring with them. The use of mail continued until the presence of gunpowder increased in the 16th century.