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A shield boss, or umbo, is a round, convex or conical piece of material at the centre of a shield. Shield bosses are usually made of thick metal but could also be made of wood. The boss was originally designed to deflect blows from the centre of round shields, though they also provided a place to mount the shield's grip.
As time went on and heater shields with curved bodies became more popular, and enarmes superseded the bar grip, the boss became more of an ornamental piece. Often, bosses are not present on non-circular shields due to the differences in technique; with a round shield, one makes a punching motion towards an oncoming blow, while with a heater or kite shield, attacks are blocked by pivoting the shield about the body. A boss provides a significant advantage for deflecting blows when using a punching motion, but is not very effective when using a pivot to block an attack.
The production of chain mail armor requires a lot of human handiwork. We were affected by an important fact that also changed the rules in many other industries. The labor costs of European workers far exceed the labor costs in Asia, even if you take into account the transport costs from Asia! For this simple reason, in the EU there are no workshops that manufacture chain mail armor professionally - and we are working with professionals only! Hobby-producers, who occasionally work in their garages, do not fit into our business concept. We are very sorry; we cannot make for you any mail armor made-to-your measure. Some re-enactors found a solution for this situation: they buy our imported standard-sized mail shirts (sometimes oversize or several pieces), unravel them and make tailor-made mail shirts, legs and other armor parts by themselves.