Chain mail was part of a heavy metal harness in the Middle Ages.[more]
While they were usually made from rings, here you can also choose the links to be squares.[less]
As a contemporary application, New Zealander Kayne Horsham invented a very strong and aesthetically pleasing plastic version of chain mail.
He invented a patented injection-molding machine that molds the rings of the chain mail in place, without any joints, such that the chain mail leaves the machine in a finished state.