- --- In LOTR_Costume@yahoogroups.com, Matthew Campuzano
>long it usually takes to make.
> Hi all!
> I am trying to make a coat of chainmail, and I was wondering how
Oh, well, about five foot usually!
(And an unfailing sense of humour!)
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> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- --- In LOTR_Costume@yahoogroups.com, "Teknolord <claus@f...>"
> Working with chainmails is very subjective, regarding what u want...Warning: lecture follows. If you're not interested, just click 'next':)
> Hard durable require steel, u can get a shiny nice one if u make it
> in aluminum/aluminium, copper will make a variation, etc etc, and
> lets not forget the size of the rings will define how pretty the
> chainmail will look
(Cat, if you want this, you have my permission to use it)
Pretty much any material can be made into maille, the definition of
maille being a 'fabric' of interlocked rings. So far there's
spaghettio maille, hula hoop maille, balloon maille....you get the point.
On a more practical level, there are many materials that would make
wearable maille (be it armour or jewelry). Some of those would be
plastics, but the first thing that comes to mind is metal (well that
and I know squat about plastics:)). There are many metals, all with
their pros and cons. Mild steel is easy to work with, authentic (well,
from the point where they learned how to make steel from iron) and
works as riveted maille, which is a type of maille that's pretty light
for how strong it is, and it was the primary type used in the middle
ages in Europe. Riveted maille has rings with ends that overlap a bit,
with a rivet going through both ends. Mild steel is prone to rust if
you don't take care of it religiously.
Stainless steel stays shiny much longer (it will stain, but only under
extreme circumstances or after very very long use). It is a very tough
material, so it holds up well but is harder on your hands both when
cutting rings and weaving. The kind of stainless that's called
surgical stainless steel can be friendlier on those with metal
allergies, this is the kind that's widely used in body jewelry.
Galvanized steel, or 'galvy' is a much used material because it is
easy to get a hold of, doesn't rust much and is easy to work with. It
is basically mild steel with a zinc layer that protects it against the
elements. The main problems one can have are oxidation of the zinc,
rusting of exposed steel and the Smell. The zinc can turn dark or go
dull with age or exposure to sweat and moisture, but some like the
look that this gives. The ring ends will not be caoted so they can
rust, and heavy wear and tear or poor quality galvy can cause flaking
of the zinc layer so the steel will become exposed and can rust. Also,
some wire comes with a strange smell (other than the basic metal
smell, that's always there) when you buy it or acquires a nasty smell
after wearing it. Body chemistry plays a part here, some people just
turn galvy smelly and some don't. It doesn't mean you're unwashed or
anything, it just means your skin doesn't want you wearing galvy and
is being vocal about it.
Bright aluminum is very popular for non-traditional maille
applications. It makes very light tank tops, neckties, jewelry and
even dresses. It recreates the look of maille, but not the weight.
Bright aluminum is used where appearances are most important, it is a
purer alloy of aluminum. It can be somewhat more brittle than dull
aluminum but this doesn't matter much except for use for armour
purposes, where dull alu is the preferred type of alu. It does not
usually leave marks on skin. This is very good for costume purposes as
it's lighter than most materials and easy on your hands as you work
Dull aluminum is an aluminum alloy that is less pure than bright
aluminum. It is tougher and less brittle, and in thicker wire gauges
will make fully functional armour. But dull aluminum is lighter than
most armour grade materials. It does have a problem with black rub-off
that doesn't stop but washing it every now and then helps. The rub off
washes out with water so it's not that big of a deal.
Anodized aluminum is aluminum that was put under an electric current
to make it absorb dye, and then sealed to keep the color in. The color
is a layer that can wear off or be scratched with other metal objects,
but if your skin isn't the kind that eats metal, and you don't carry
bracelets in your pocket with your keys, you can have a lot of fun
Copper is easy to get (in the form of electricity wire). It is soft
(how soft depends on the kind you get) and heavy, and is usually used
to add color to a project, although some make entire projects with it.
A whole shirt would be hard to wear and in soft copper would probably
be torn apart under its own weight, but in jewelry it works just fine.
Copper starts out as a shiny warm orangey color and turns brownish
pretty fast. A dunk in lemon juice can make it shiny again. Copper can
turn your skin green, but hey, if you like the woodelf look...:)
(again, some people experience more green skin than others).
(actually I've toyed with the idea of making a chain weave armband to
see if it leaves a pretty temporary tattoo)
Enameled copper or artist wire is usually a very soft kind of copper
with a plastic color layer around it (sometimes it is silver plated to
get some shine). You can get it in many colors, as well as metal
tones. The color layer is rather vulnerable to scratching or being
marred by your tools though, and the wire is dead soft so you need
thicker wire for the same purpose as when you're working in other
Brass and bronze are copper alloys. Brass tends to be goldish and
bronze more copper/brown toned. Brass is authentic in trims for maille
shirts of a sturdier material, but bronze is used for trim now as
well. Brass is a popular gold substitute in maille jewelry and both
materials are valued for their color as most maille materials are
silver toned. They are easy to work with and harder than copper, but
still not armour grade. Depending on the alloy and your body
chemistry, it will or will not have a bit of the greenman syndrome
that copper has.
Titanium is a pretty high tech material. It's light and strong
(heavier than alu though) and can be given different colors with an
electric current or heat. The color layer is actually harder than the
titanium itself, but again, don't keep it with your car keys. Common
sense still aplies. The original look of it is a dull grey shine that
some hate and others like. Most people with metal allergies can wear
titanium, this metal is used a lot in surgery where people have to
walk around with a plate or screws in their body for a long time.
Niobium is the high end color prettiness metal. It can be anodized
with an electric current to take on different colors and the color
layer is pretty hard and thick. I have a friend who has a very
aggressive body chemistry, and niobium is his preferred colored
material because it tends to hold its color for at least a month or
two (where alu is eaten away in a matter of weeks). On us, the ones
who can wear piercings longer than half year without them being
dissolved, the color should last a very long time (if not for a
All these materials can be bought in readymade rings for the ones who
don't want to coil and cut. But anything you find might make good
maille, you only have to try (this reminds me of several people I know
who get a strange look in their eyes when they see metal coat hangers,
or turkey trussing wire, or the twisty things you use to close plastic
That was pretty much it, I haven't covered every conceivable material
but I hope I've managed to shed some light on this without confusing
people even further. Besides, I haven't contributed much to the forum
in terms of textile tips, I should share what I do know. If you have
any questions, let me know or ask the nice people at the Chainmaille
- The number of rings, the lenght of wire used and the craft time depends of
(mainly) four factors:
1 - the weaving method,
2 - the diameter of each ring,
3 - the gauge of the wire,
4 - the skill of the crafter.
The most common weaving method is called "4 in 1", and is an european style.
Each ring, as the name says, is linked to other four rings. It makes a very
light mail (compared with other mailes with the same wire gauge but higher
linking rate), and is pretty flexible. If i'm not wrong, all models used id
LOTR are "4 in 1" models (except maybe by the elven mails, wich resemble a
persian uncommom style of weaving: must confirm this). If you are new into
this mailmaking stuff, you should try this method.
Higher the diameter of each ring, higher will be its flexibility, and less
wire you will use. But if you make very large rings it will become weak,
with loosing links, and also less impressive-looking.
The higher the gauge, higher will be its durability, but also higher will be
the crafting time, since it's more difficult to cut, open and close. Also,
high gauges demands larger rings.
Skill: well, if this is your first mail, be prepared to spend some time in
it. the crafting can be pretty boring and slow, but after some time, you
will be more used to it and will develop new methods (hint: not all rings
must be opened and closed in the weaving! think in pre-linked rings!)
This webpage can help you a lot:
The last mail i maked took me 2 weeks of work (1 hour a day) and about 20
lbs of galvanized stell stell (gauge 16). My first one took 5 weeks!
i'm making chainmail right now, but i wouldn't recommend it to
you. i'm VERY dexterous, and it is still extremely hard for me. so
far, i have been working on my chainmail shirt for about 12
hours, and it only measures 5 inches by 7 1/2 inches.
it really all depends what size rings you use. smaller rings look
cooler, but using them is very difficult.
anyway, a good site for chainmail is www.theringlord.com .
that's where i got my rings. they also have direstions for making
your own chainmail, patterns, tools, etc.
i'm guessing that all in all, it will take me about 240 hours to
complete my chainmail shirt--the equivalent of 10 straight days
of work. which means that i will be working on this shirt for quite
some time yet.
--- In LOTR_Costume@yahoogroups.com, "robjanzerog
<zerog_robjan@h...>" <zerog_robjan@h...> wrote:
> --- In LOTR_Costume@yahoogroups.com, MatthewCampuzano
> <belegmin@y...> wrote:how
> > Hi all!
> > I am trying to make a coat of chainmail, and I was wondering
> long it usually takes to make.
> > Thanks!
> G'day Matt,
> Oh, well, about five foot usually!
> (And an unfailing sense of humour!)
> Rob Jan
> > ---------------------------------
> > Do you Yahoo!?
> > Yahoo! Mail Plus - Powerful. Affordable. Sign up now
> > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]