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Chain mail


I can’t find a description of how to make chain mail… ALso
there is another finer chain mail… chain mail that they made
for ladies evening and very fine purses… Metal but it looks
like little roses and not the heavy chain mail… Any help would be appreciated…
Thanks… calgang


hi: Go to the library and get ancient arms makers guide… It
will show you how to make Chain Mail… ringman…

PS. the rose pattern I believe was made from an early


There is a book published by Robert McOmber in 1976 that has
instructions (in calligraphy!) and illustrations. Not too easy to
follow - but do-able. Try a search on the Orchid archives to find
more info. I found it really helps to have a sample in front of
you to refer to the first time, and to suspend the first row of
links on a piece of wire so you can keep the links facing the
right way as you add the second row of links. It is a lot like
knitting - if that helps!



Basically, it’s a variation on any chain assembly.

There is more to it than that, though, and the fancier variants
you describe have to do with the size of the base links, and the
specific pattern in which they are joined.

It may sound odd, but try to find the nearest local chapter of a
club called The Society for Creative Anachronism ( has
links that might help find the closest group). There are a lot
of people involved in this group that practice mail making; and
in all truth the only way to really learn it is to have someone
walk you through the basics, then sit and do it.

good hunting…
Ron Charlotte – Gainesville, FL OR @Ron_Charlotte


Calgang, there are several sources for looking up chain mail
production. a prominent one is in Oppi Untracht’s encyclopedic
"Jewelry: Concepts and Technology". also Tim McCreight’s “The
Complete Metalsmith” has some info on chain making–closely
related to chainmail. The SCA, or other historical re-creation
groups have practice of gleening details, and applying them, from
obscure sources as well. chain mail that looks like roses? is it
six-on-one, six-on-two, different shaped rings, or a different
kind of motif worked in? basically, european chain mail is
four-on-one–that is, for every ring, there are 4 attached. so to
start a patch, take a jump ring, and link 4 others to it.
soldering is not necessary, because there tends to be enough
metal holding everything together! (unless you’re making armour,
or a once-in-a-lifetime masterpiece out of 1-2mm dia. rings). to
add on, link a jump ring on to 2 at a time. if you need, i can
send you a pictorial for 4 on 1 and 6 on 1 (or 2). erhard.


The above URL will take you to a site that shows how to make it,
as well as pictures of finished products.


Hi, calgang… The booklet “Chain Making” by Robert McOmber has a
pattern and description for chain mail. This quite reasonable
book is available from Mr. McOmber at 253-941-4209 (Midway, WA,



Calgang, There are quite a few Chain Mail sites on the Web. Many
with excellent directions. Lost my bookmarks, but was not hard
to find. Some are listed under body armor.


Hi Calgang, The web site best quoted for chain mail ‘how to’ is If you you
can’t find the pattern you want there, try contacting your local
SCA (society for creative anachronisms) group - S if they
don’t know of it THEN you’re in trouble. Best of Luck Eileen


You may want to look at the book titled “Great Wire Jewelry” by
Irene Peterson. She has several patterns of chain mail, and
other chain making techniques as well as weaving, knitting, and
braiding. Neat book. Maybe check out your local library for
it, or chase it down online. I think it runs around $12-14.00.

Laney Clark Kinetic Jewelry Designs


Greetings. One of the best sources that I have found for chain
mail patterns is: Jewelry Concepts and Technology by Oppi
Untracht. If you are not familiar with the book, it is huge and
is a wealth of As for the small weave that was
used on the ladies handbags. The size of the finished product
is based on the size of the ring and the gague of the wire that
is used. Most of the handbags that I have seen were a simple 4
in 1 weave using a small jumpring of about 22 or smaller wire.
Hope this helps.



Here you go Calgang. For Christmas I purchased everything that
my 13 year old son would need to start doing chain mail, since
the chain shirt that he was desperate for cost upwards of
$550,(8th grade…Tolkien…fantasy games…you get the
picture). In my web travels I found this site, that gave me all
of the sites with the answers…Same patterns for teeny mail as
for large. Best of luck…it is incredibly tedious work…in case
you didn’t guess who’s started making my son’s shirt. :slight_smile:

Lisa,(Its hot…its cold…its hot…its cold…Is the entire
state of California going through menopause?) Topanga, CA


The above link will take you to a very good “how-to” site with
easy to follow instructions, graphics, etc., on making chain


I’m only just catching up on my reading.

For chain mail, go to and use the locator to find
the group closest to you. Contact the Seneschal, and ask them for a
referral. They’ll be able to get you in contact with someone who will
be happy to help you out. ;}

Elizabeth Schechter
Silverhorn Designs
(known in the SCA as Aurelia aurifaber)