How to Make Japanese 6-1 Maille Armor


Introduction: How to Make Japanese 6-1 Maille Armor

About: I enjoy building and inventing; I love creating new things and improving on old ideas. I am a student at BYU and am studying under a Mechanical Engineering Major. I enjoy camping, hiking, and backpacking.

Much like Japanese 4-1, 6-1 is a simple weave but provides greater strength and protection than Japanese 4-1. The method is slightly different because Japanese 6-1 does not form square-shaped patterns.

Step 1: Row 1

When making a Japanese weave, two different ring sizes are used; the larger rings are connected together by the smaller rings. To start Japanese 6-1, Take as many of the large rings as you want and connect them to each other in a long strip with the smaller rings. The pattern should be: one large ring, one small ring, one large ring, one small ring, etc. See picture below for clarity on this step.

Step 2: Row 2 (Part 1)

Now create a similar row that has one less ring than the first row. Place this row underneath the first row, but instead of placing it directly under the rings from the first row, move it a little to the left/ring until the rings are offset. See picture for clarity.

Step 3: Row 2 (Part 2)

In order connect the two rows, the second row will connect to two of the rings from the upper row. The ring from the bottom row is connected to the ring up and to the left and to the ring up and to the right. See picture for clarity.

Step 4: Row Three

There should be as many large rings in row three as there were in row 1. Row three should be placed under row 2 in the same way that row 2 is placed under row 1. Connect rows 3 and 2 in the same way you connected rows 2 and 1. See picture for clarity.

Step 5: Rinse, Repeat

Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you are finished with your piece of Japanese 6-1 maille.

Step 6: Japanese 6-1 Variations

By doubling the rings you can create two of the most common 6-1 Variations: 12-2 and 6-2. The first picture is an example of 12-2 Japanese and the second is an example of 6-2 Japanese. Hope you enjoyed the last of the Japanese Weaves!



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    35 Discussions

    where to buy these ring?

    You Cant get a template for a head. The only one is on your body. (hopefully.)

    Historically, the japanese weaves were used to connect plates of armor so making a shirt or helm would be challenging with all of the contractions and expansions you would need. I would suggest using a European weave as there are already plenty of designs and tutorials for making shirts and helms. Dig around this site for a while.

    Not that I know of, but i'm sure I could come up with a concept. A shirt wouldn't be too difficult but the design for a head piece would definitely take longer. When making a shirt, thing of making two upper-case "T" shaped pieces, one to cover the front of your body and the other to cover the back. However, covering under your armpits and along the sleeves is hard to understand. I'll try to post a drawing of my concept so that it is easier to understand.


    2 years ago

    How much does it matter if the rings are the same size or not?

    Tim P

    2 years ago

    looks cool, but sounds like it'll take a while...

    a old friend showed me how to make EROP. 4 in 1 25 yrs. ago and he used a still screen door spring by cutting the links with cutters and it came out strong and looked nice.

    Fantastic display of craftsmanship and perseverance. Your monicker "ineverfinishanyth" MUST be sarcasm at its best! I wonder how strong mail would be if the rings were welded closed. Any idea as to a monetary value of such a creation? I'm always looking for a new opportunity...

    hey guys, with a 6-1 oriental weave, if i use 18ga and 16ga wire, what ratio of each will i need. also, what diameter for each do you suggest.

    1 reply

    use 16awg-1/4 for the horizontal links and 18awg-5/32 for the connectors for the gauges you specified. OR look up the worth company and order their #5 x2 oval rings. they're only $23.40/thousand and according to my calculations, you would be able to easily fit 6 of them in a 16awg-1/4 link.

    first of all.....there is no such thing as j12-2. that is a misnomer because the count is taken from looking at the wrong links. you are really supposed to look at the horizontal links for the japanese family of weaves. j12-2 would mean 12 horizontal links going through 2 vertical which makes no sense to someone versed in maille terminology. so the proper name for this weave is j6-1 since each horizontal link passes through 6 vertical links.

    native japanese gusari (maille) was never riveted. mainly because the flat or horizontal links were never larger then 16awg x 1/4in and the cross links were never never coiled from larger wire then 16awg. nanaban guasri or foreign maille was introduced from europe in the end of the momoyama period (c16th centrury) and this *was* sometimes riveted. then again, nanaban gusari is nothing but e4-1 hanging the wrong way.

    to make so gusari (j4-1) stronger, they just used key ring style links which was named seiro gusari. of course *that* particular weave was woven in the style of so gusari. asa no ha gusari (j6-1) was more rare then that because it took so long to weave and was mostly used in the kote or amoured sleeves and would have hex plates built in to increase the impact resistance of the weave. the worth company sells some oval split rings that are *perfect* for seiro gusari or a seiro/asa no ha gusari hybrid and they're only $23.40/thousand for the size you'd need.

    hope this helps! -bows-

    What size rings do you use? an aspect ratio would be nice, I have an awesome idea for a jacket and I'd like to make some Japanese 6-1 sleeves for it.

    2 replies

    By size, of course, I mean diameter. Assuming I'm using 12 gauge only.

    12g?! O,..,O holy hell mate! if you go by historical conventions, teh max size for the horizontal links was 16g 1/4 in. typically the cros links were made of 18g and just large enough on the inside for the horizontal links to fit. if you were going to use 12 gauge youd be using 3/8in links for the id with this ar.

    i made a pair of kote once using mild steel 14.5g 1/4 in for the horizontal links and mild steel 16g 3/16 for the connectors with 12 mild steel 18g square square plates woven into the upper arm and 3 mild steel 18g plates for the forearm. it in itself was pretty heavy but it was nice and durable. then again i had actual intentions of using it as armour in case of a knife attack. i was a bit paranoid back then. lol

    This isn't 6-1 mail, it's 6-2 alternating, substantially different from 6-1. 6-1 means every ring is attached to 6 other rings, whereas 6-2 alternating (hopefully self-explanatory when you look at this) means the rings alternate between being attached to 6 rings or 2 rings.