Chinese armour was predominantly lamellar from the Warring States period BC - BC onward, prior to which animal parts such as rhinoceros hide, rawhide, and turtle shells were used for protection. Lamellar armour was supplemented by scale armour starting from the Han dynasty BC— AD forward, partial plate armour from the Northern and Southern dynasties — , and mail and mountain pattern armour from the Tang dynasty — During the Ming dynasty — , brigandine began to supplant lamellar armour and was used to a great degree into the Qing dynasty — By the 19th century most Qing armour, which was of the brigandine type, were purely ceremonial, having kept the outer studs for aesthetic purposes, and omitted the protective metal plates. The earliest archaeological evidence of armour in China dates to the Shang dynasty. These were either breastplates made of shell tied together or a one-piece leather breastplate.
leather Scale Armour
armour | History, Types, Definition, & Facts | sharonberg.com
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Ring armour ring mail is an assumed type of personal armour constructed as series of metallic rings sewn to a fabric or leather foundation. No actual examples of this type of armour are known from collections or archaeological excavations in Europe. It is sometimes called ringmail or ring mail.
Leather armor became less popular as ring mail and plate mail became cheaper but a typical soldier always wore some leather armor even if it was just around his legs or under his ring mail. It was also used as the base to make other armor such as brigandine armor. Leather was used to make different types of armor.