Below is my Chain Maille Descriptions these are the particular weaves and metals that I have used or can use in my Chain Maille Jewelry. This list will grow as I add new Chain Maille Weaves into my knowledge base. If you would like to see something in the list please use the contact form and contact me.
Chain Maille is the art of adding links of a chain or Jump Rings together to make a pattern for jewelry, armor, or clothing. These patterns are called weaves as the links are woven together to form the pattern. To let you know what the different patterns look like I have added in pictures of each weave for you.
This is by no means a Complete list of all the chain maille weaves out there. There are 1000’s of them. These are just the ones I have used in making chain maille jewelry or am working on learning and mastering. I have also noted next to the weave title if I know the weave or it is on my to learn list.
I use Anodized Aluminum and EPDM in most of my items.
What is anodized aluminum? The aluminum alloy used is 95% aluminum and 5% magnesium; this creates a ring that is approx. 2/3rds the strength of steel but 1/3rd the weight. Anodizing is a process that adds a hard finish to the ring that gives it it’s color. The finish is corrosion resistant and can stand up to most damage without flaking, cutting or grinding on the ring with another hard metal surface (grooved pliers, scissors, etc…) and acids like chlorine will cause damage. Combined this means you have rings that are light, strong and resistant to most forms of common wear and tear. Cleaning should be handled with water and nonacidic soap.
What is an EPDM Ring? EPDM is UV resistant and has excellent mechanical properties for use in chainmail.
The colors are consistent and are close as possible to matching the anodized aluminum colors that I use as well. EPDM is typically used as a roofing membrane or as a non-toxic pond liner. It is latex-free and FDA approved.
Please Note that these are not my pictures unless otherwise stated they have been pulled from the web for reference to the weave itself.
European 4-in-1 and 3-in-1 (known)
This is a classic, traditional chain maille weave that is instantly recognizable. It makes a very slinky fabric-like sheet. I also like to use it to wrap cabochons.
Byzantine ( known)
Byzantine (BIZ-ann-teen) is in the European family of chain maille weaves. It creates an ornate rope that looks very exotic.
Box Chain (known)
Also in the European family of chain maille weaves, Box chain starts out like Byzantine but ends up something altogether different. Depending on the size rings you use, this chain can be either a square rope or a rectangular rope.
This is the name usually given to two strips of Byzantine around a wire wrapped bead. It is a beautiful way to incorporate beads into chain maille jewelry.
Olivia (on my to learn list)
This chain maille weave is just short strips of Byzantine joined at the top and bottom. It makes a nice wide chain with lots of places to attach beads.
RSD (Rhino Snorting Drano) (on my to learn list)
Another icky name for a great chain maille weave. It’s in the European family and makes a great loosely woven rope.
Foxtail- (Full Persian) (known)
Also frequently called Full Persian, this is an excellent round rope chain maille weave. It’s fun to make and fun to look at.
Half Persian 3-in-1 (known)
This chain maille weave kind of cuts Full Persian in half lengthwise, giving it a raised ridge down one side and a dipped valley on the flip side. Wild no?
Japanese 12-in-2 ( known)
The Japanese chain maille weaves are quite simple and elegant. They look like empty honeycombs to me. Japanese 12-in-2 is Japanese 6-in-1 with all the rings doubled. Doubling the rings makes this weave much more substantial and useful for jewelry. While I really like the end result of the Japanese weaves, they are tedious to make.
Jens Pind Linkage (on my to learn list)
I haven’t been able to find out where the name for this chain maille weave came from but it sounds like someone’s name. This is a spiral weave where the rings are held just tightly enough that the spin is kept stable, but not so tightly that it is too stiff to flow. I don’t quite know what it is about this weave that is so beautiful. It is deceptively simple looking, and as close to perfection as you can get.
Helm Chain (known)
This is also called Helm Chain and is what is known as a captive weave. A captive chain maille weave refers to the fact that some of the rings do not actually thread through other rings but instead are trapped between other rings. Parallel Chain is a simple but charming weave that is the basis for several kinds of circle patterns used to make pendants.
Celtic Star (on my to learn list)
This is one of the chain maille weaves that is based on the Parallel chain described earlier. It results in a circular “tile” element that is frequently used as a pendant.
Celtic Filigree (on my to learn list)
This is a pretty and lacey circular “tile” or pendant type of chain maille weave.
Celtic Knot (on my to learn list)
Celtic knots are composed of sets of two or three rings threaded through each other and then strung through the middle with wire.
Celtic Wings (known) (picture is of one of my bracelets)
Celtic Wings is constructed by creating a 2-2-2-2 chain of alternating large and small rings, then fitting two small rings into each set of large rings and securing them using large rings on either side passing between, but not through, the larger rings in the base chain. Alternatively, it can be constructed by creating 1-2-1 units of large-small-large and sandwiching between the large rings of a 2-2-2-2 chain of alternating large and small as the chain is built. It is similar to helm chain and can be called a variation on it.
Mobius Flowers ( known)
Flowers are made by simply joining three or more rings together in a spiral. If you add enough of them you will create what is known as a Mobius ball.
Barrel ( known)
The Barrel weave is made by 2 rings in a stacked pattern are held in place with a ring going the other way and two “barrel” rings (done here in a different color) passing through them.
It looks like a mess because it IS… it’s basically a 1-1-1 chain with extra loose loops added in (the easiest weave EVER). The loose rings move and jingle softly and can have little loose crystals or beads, or discs as in the picture in among the loose rings for some moving sparkle.
Orbital ( known) (picture is of one of my earrings)
Orbital is made with a 2-n-1 chain with orbiting rings in each section. It makes for interesting weaves and is a base for some gorgeous weaves as well.
Captured Bead is also known as Caged Bead( known) (picture is of one of my sets)
This is a gorgeous weave, made by taking rings and “capturing” a bead on the inside. Nothing but the rings are holding the bead in place, however, often wire is used to help keep the beads going in the same direction or to hide the holes that may be drilled in the bead or crystal.
Chart of the Chain Maille Metals that I use
Please note that all of our Rings and come from The Ring Lord and this information is from them.
|Information|| Bright Aluminum
| Anodized Aluminum
|Titanium (TI, TA)||Silver (ST, SFN)||Gold Fill (GF)||Rubber Rings (EPDM)|
|Hypoallergenic||Good||Good||Excellent – perfect hypoallergenic choice||Excellent – perfect hypoallergenic choice||Good|| Yellow, Rose = excellent.
White contains Nickel
|Good – latex free|
|Will Tarnish or Change Color Over Time||Stays same||Stays same|| Stays same
Anodized keeps brighter colors longer than TI.
| Stays same
Colors fade from skin oils – clean to renew.
| Sterling: TRL uses an anti- tarnish alloy made just for us – it tarnishes slowly.
Fine silver tarnishes very slowly.
|Most Appropriately Used As||jewelry, armor, costume||costume jewelry, armor||high-end jewelry||any jewelry, armor, costume||high-end jewelry||high-end jewelry||costume jewelry|
|Pairing Suggestions||Great with anodized aluminum, rubber rings and enameled copper||Great with bright aluminum and enameled copper||Beautiful with silver, gold fill, stainless and titanium.||Beautiful with anything. Best with niobium, silver, gold fill and stainless||Beautiful with niobium, gold fill and titanium||Beautiful with niobium, silver and titanium||Best with anodized and bright aluminum or stainless steel|
|Cleaning||Ultrasonic cleaner or hot soapy water like dishes.||Hot soapy water like dishes – don’t use strong acids/ bases on AA it will affect the coating.||Ultrasonic cleaner or hot soapy water like dishes – even for anodized.||Ultrasonic cleaner or hot soapy water like dishes – even for anodized.||Ultrasonic cleaner or hot soapy water; dry quick to prevent corrosion. Chemical cleaners available.||Ultrasonic cleaner or hot soapy water like dishes||Hot soapy water like dishes; any white powder is a mold release agent used in casting the rings – this can be washed off.|
|Special Notes:||Niobium is an element on the periodic table. Nb 41. It’s called a reactive metal as you can change its color with heat and electricity.||It’s called a reactive metal as you can change its color with heat and electricity||We use a special alloy of sterling silver made just for us that is anti-tarnish. Fine silver is a great competitor to the proprietary alloy Argentium. It tarnishes at a similar rate and can be fused.||It is highly unlikely you will ever wear thru the gold tube – this is a thick tube of gold, not a plating. I have never had anyone wear through it.||Can be used to add stretch to maille – like a bra or clasp-less bracelet.|