Chain mail was a type of body armor made of iron circlets woven together into a cloak. The interlocking chains of iron protected the body somewhat from weapons that slashed or pounded. Chain mail was also flexible and allowed more freedom of body movement than armor made of metal plates. The disadvantages of chain mail were that it required a lot of care, was heavy, and was expensive to make. Chain mail was worn only by wealthy or powerful individuals who could purchase or demand its manufacture.