Picture of Byzantine Chainmail(le) Speed-weaving
0 - Chain samples.jpg
AR comparison.jpg
Byzantine weave isn't actually Byzantine in origin, but it is a beautiful weave and is fairly simple. It's a good beginner's weave for chains (as opposed to sheets) of chainmail.
It is a cousin of the box weave, which I personally dislike, and therefore have not presented as an instructable. If you do know box weave, however, think of the Byzantine as alternating box weave.

Note! This instructable assumes that you have basic chain working skills.
You may wish to start with Paul the Mole's European 4-in-1 weave instructable to get you familiar with chain working. Euro 4-in-1 is excellent for making sheets of chainmail, and is a great beginner weave. I also have an instructable on making jewelry-size rings, and armor-size rings will be addressed in another instructable.

You will need rings and two pairs of pliers. If you're working with small and soft rings, you can use a ring-tool and a single pair of pliers. I work with tooth-less pliers, as teeth will mark my rings. For many ring sizes, you can use chain, flat, bent or needle nosed pliers, but for some sizes you'll need specific ones. Apply judgment as needed.

Ring size: I frequently use 18ga aluminum wire with 3/16" interior diameter as a good medium ring size. You can go with larger or smaller rings, though the wire-to-ID ratio needs to be within a certain range to produce aesthetically pleasing results. A small wire size with large ID will result in a rather... anemic looking weave, and a thick wire with small ID will be too tight to work with.
See the photo? The IDs are all the same, but the thicker wire looks better. Be careful not to go too thick, though--the weave will get too tight to construct.

If you are interested in additional weaves, let me know (though PMs, emails or comments) on what you want me to demonstrate. If you want an idea of what's out there, take a look at the chainmail gallery on my website.

New and shiny updated video on step 3!
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Grey_Wolfe8 months ago

You are the first weaver I have found that also uses the 5x2 (2x2x2x2x2) Byzantine speed weaving tactic.

I'm surprised more folks either don't use or don't declare this technique when writing guides on speed weaving.

Hathos961 year ago
Sorry I mean 16 gauge
ryzellon (author)  Hathos961 year ago
I don't know off the top of my head. I would either have to weave it for you or do the math for you. And I don't even know if you have AWG or SWG.
You should have no trouble finding examples on the internet of similar gauges, similar ARs, etc. The sites I linked earlier should be a solid start, and so will www.mailleartisans.org. Once you determine your proposed AR, you can infer from the various photos whether your weave would be looser or tighter. There are also plenty of websites that list rings per inch for various weaves at various sizes.
Hathos961 year ago
2 questions.
1. Would this weave really flexible with a 12 gauge 1/4" ID? Like for a bracelet.
2. Do you know how many rings per centimeter it would be for the same measurements in the previous question?
ryzellon (author)  Hathos961 year ago
1. I'm pretty certain this weave would be impossible with those stats, even with a single connector between units. You'll need a larger mandrel or thinner wire.
Assuming 12 ga AWG: that's 1/4" divided by 0.0808 = 3.09 AR
Assuming 12 ga SWG: that's 1/4" divided by 0.104 = 2.4 AR

Byzantine needs to be in the 3.3-3.5 range (though that depends on whether your calculations account for the fact that the ring's inner diameter is never exactly the mandrel size due to spring back).

2. #1 establishes that this is pretty much impossible.
linkxsc2 years ago
This instructable was rather helpful. I had to do a slight modification of what oyu did for my project through (a bracelet for a lady friend), where I used rubber O rings every other section (where you usually peice togethe rthe 2x2 sections, i instead closed the 2x2 sections aroudn the orings) so it would have a degree of stretchiness.

Came out much better then I'd expected, sadly I only had straight stainless wire onhand to make the rings from, so i couldn't give the bracelet any real pazzaz, but all in all a good project for someone to try out on a boring afternoon
sgutierrez63 years ago
just wondering what would be a good ID for 12 and 14 ga weave, i see instructions on the net about 20ga to16ga, but never anything larger?
Bridel5686 years ago
this is really cool. do you know how to acutally make it into chainmail instead of just a chain. that would be helpful
ryzellon (author)  Bridel5686 years ago
You can't make Byzantine into a sheet. Look up European 4-in-1 or 6-in-1 weave for "chainmail" sheets. (Yes, I know how to do it. No, I don't have an instructable written up for it, but I'm pretty sure other people have.)
Yes you can. :D


The tutorial is here;


I created the weave in '05, and a user by the name of MrMaigo made the tutorial shortly thereafter.
could you put up an Instructable on the 6-in-1? cause I haven't seen that one on yet.

6 in one is exactly the same as 4 in one, but each ring goes through 3 rings on each pass instead of 2..just a bit more dense.
I have wanted to do this for a while, finally took the plunge after reading this Instructable, I ordered 16gauge 1/4"id stainless and bronze rings from The Ring Lord as well as 2 bent nose pliers. One days work was all it needed to produce this: It's a little too long but that will be easy enough to sort out. THANK YOU, for this very easy to follow Instructable.
chain and garter.JPGsporran chain close up.JPG
dawnichu4 years ago
i make chainmail, and i couldnt understand it! you need to be more precise. maybe using coloured rings to show which pairs you are working would help
loreno134 years ago
ang ganda nice one!!!
I have been struggeling with this weave..Your video made me see how it is done and how easy it is too..Thanks a mil..
Una4 years ago
The video makes perfect sense.
mponceloz5 years ago
The instructions is not clear, need to take more pictures and add litle more explanation. Good example the instructions by jbb3141.
No offense, but this made zero sense to me =(
Where can I purchase the rings? oO
baki105 years ago
 the black rings what material is that?
Beautiful! I HAVE to try this. I just hope my hands are nimble enough to do it. Love Great Big Sea also! Keep up the good work. Absolutely inspiring.
VazHelsing5 years ago
Kaiven5 years ago

Umm... My links keep fliping back and forth so the weave doesn't keep its shape.  Do I have to use thicker wire (I am using wire about as thick as small paperclips)

Sounds like that is probably the case. Not necessarily thicker wire you could also make your rings smaller. If your wire is about the size of small paper clips that proably makes it around 20ga. At that size I have found that the ring size needs to be pretty small. 20ga wire with a 7/64 inner diameter is almost perfect for byzantine
Kaiven Kaiven5 years ago
I get it now. Great Instructable!
Great choice of music on your videos! Great Big Sea is AMAZING!
Natasha Dee5 years ago
LOVE Great Big Sea! LOVE this video!
krazipanda5 years ago
wizerd 7455 years ago
It's been a couple of months since I've made any chain-maille so I made a neckles for myself today.
wolfmage3565 years ago
try learning how to show ur steps better. i find this instructable useless really. you just jump in to it showing absolutely nothing of how you got there
CaptainNemo6 years ago
I've found copper electrical wire wrapped around a pencil works great for proper diameter and guage.
maxpower496 years ago
what is the black 20g 1/8" and where do you get the titanium
gmana6 years ago
where can you get the rings
Speedmite gmana6 years ago
I make mine. you can find guides.
frollard gmana6 years ago
Look at his links section - he posted 3 good sources.
wizodd6 years ago
There must be some sort of rule-of-thumb if not a formula for calculating the number of links used per linear or square unit depending upon the guage, the ID and the weave. Anyone know where to find such a thing?
frollard wizodd6 years ago
I estimate - and this is only an estimate - based on a post I made above...

that each ring in this weave, at an Aspect Ratio of 3 - will travel .28x the inside diameter per ring...

as in 10 1 inch id rings would travel 10x0.28 = 2.8 inches

a 17 inch chain would take 17/.28 = 60 1 inch rings (big rings for sake of ratio)

a 17 inch chain would take 17/(say 1/4 inch) / .28 ratio = 242 quarter inch rings

17/(7/64)/0.28 = 533 7/64th rings....

all these numbers depend on an ar of 3.
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