A Faster Way of Making Chainmail




About: Duct-tape fan (as you see in the picture), quite some knowledge of armour and weaponry, Dutch, Bilingual education. Please leave a comment, hit favorite, and if you feel like it, even follow me ;)

As I was making various chainmail things, shirts head protection and jewelry, I came up with a fast way of making chainmail. It requires some preparation, but the result is great. This instructable is quite short, as the technique isn't really difficult. I am not going to show how to make or cut the rings, I trust you know how to do that. The only thing you need to know is how to make european chainmail.


Step 1: Beginning the Weave

To start, you just use the european 4-1 weave. be sure to make an angle like in the picture. my suggestion is to start the top piece of 5 rows high, and go down on the left-hand-side at least 4 rings wide (the rows down depend on you plan). These dimensions can differ, but in my opininion this makes the easiest base to start with.

( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( (
 ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )
( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( 
 ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )
( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( (
 ) ) ) ) 
( ( ( (
 ) ) ) )
( ( ( ( 
 ) ) ) )

If you start like this, you can go on with the technique described in the next steps.

NB: I recommend the rings to be bent open with the opening facing up and moving the left side towards you. This makes it way easier to weave.

Step 2: Step 1: Preparing the Rings

First, you need to prepare the rings. divide the rings you have in two identical groups. One group is going to be opened, the other one is going to be closed.

I chose to use two groups of five, as an example. Now open five rings, make the opening a bit wide, that makes the weaving easier. I prefer to open the rings with the top-left side pointing to me (but that's your call).

Now close the other rings. Make sure they are neat, because you won't open or close them again.

After you've done this, you can move on to the next step.

Step 3: The Weaving (part 1)

Now that you've got your rings ready, put a closed ring onto an open ring. With this technique you always weave one open ring through four closed rings.

Now weave the open ring through one row first. In this example, I started on the right side, and moved to the left.

Step 4: The Weaving (part 2)

You've got one open ring attached to three closed rings. It is attached to the two rings above.

Now it's time to move downwards, weave the open ring through the ring below laying in the same direction. 

Just close the ring and you see that you've woven two rings at once.

Step 5: Good Luck

I hope this instructable was usefull to you, I will be posting more about chainmail. Good luck with your build and if you feel like sending any pictures of your build, I would like to see them. 



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    15 Discussions


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    thanks, trying to make it as interesting as possible, even though that can be hard as a non-native speaker.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I have made chainmail before. Some buy their rings however I made my own. I took a steel rod with the wanted diameter, fixed it in a power drill. With pliers I made a 90° bend on the last half inch of the steel thread, this half inch was then inserted into the chuck holding the steel rod. A wooden block with a hole a little larger than the rod diameter, is fixed in a vice. Now with a leather glove (holding the running thread) and the rod inserted in the hole of the wooden block, you can power up the drill and start bending the thread into a tight spiral. This can afterwards be fixed in a vice and cut with a dremel or a coping saw. :D

    A friend of mine made one with this method, but used modified spotwelder to weld the rings together.


    6 years ago on Step 3

    .i was wondering if you could post a picture of how you started it, like instead of showing how to put another ring on one that's started, i can't seem to get it right, i think that would be of very much help, showing the first three or four rings being put together.

    2 replies

    6 years ago on Introduction

    With only every other row of rings being opened, you could weave with half the rows using punched washers.


    6 years ago on Step 5

    Great idea, helpful pics... but isn't the time saved in this method (by ringing two pieces at once) wasted by initially opening half of the rings?

    1 reply

    From my experience, it's a bit faster. Maybe it even helps you mentally, because every ring you attach looks like you've attached two. This already makes it look a lot faster.

    This Instructable is all about a faster way to make the chainmail. Not about how to make a shirt. If you need to know that, You might want to take a look at "Ineverfinishanythi". BTW that 'ible' is also without a zip.

    It was just a little joke. Of course there's no zips in chainmail!! I like your method, it seems very fast. I've seen people making chainmail and it can be quite tedious, although there are machines to make it. And, making a small machine to make it can't be too hard.


    6 years ago on Step 5

    Tom, this is a terrific 'ible. Thanks for sharing this shortcut to a labor-intensive process.