And here it is, the chain-mail. I procrastinated this piece for so long, even going so far as to contemplate going without it.Certainly glad I didn’t do that, because, you will see soon, it really adds a lot. The thing about the chain-mail, is it felt like it was going to be harder than it really was. Once I got into it, I really enjoyed working on it. It’s killer on your hands, but it’s really fun to craft something like this. Now, as you can see, I didn’t make a full shirt. I didn’t have near enough time for that, but I will someday. For this project, this worked just fine.
Besides what you need for making the coils (which I will get into), there really isn’t much you need to make chain-mail. This is everything I worked with. The only thing not showing is the fingerless gloves I wore after the first day and the bolt cutter I used to cut the rings.
Once you learn what you are doing and get into it, it’s actually really easy to make. You get into a rhythm and it comes together pretty quickly. As you can see in the picture, you need both open and closed rings.
For the rings, I used fencing wire. Now I can’t remember what gauge it is because I actually made the coils years ago. I first learned how to make chain-mail around seven years ago with my brother while we were going through our Lord of the Rings obsession phase. We started using PVC pipe like they actually did for the movies, but shortly upgraded to wire. We learned how to put it together from this website: http://mailleartisans.org/weaves/weavedisplay.php?key=6 (I can’t believe I still had the link after all this time!) The tutorials and diagrams made it so easy to figure out and I’ve never forgotten how to do it.
As for for making the coils, I also found the original video we watched to learn just how to do that. (Amazing how this blog post as brought back so many memories. :)
In all, the front piece and two sleeves took me about three solid afternoons to complete, and I used about five 16-20” coils. Despite how I put it off, it all came together perfectly in the end.
Now on Wednesday, I’ll get into another piece of armor and the last piece of the costume—the vambraces. I tried something I’d never done before with those, and I am thrilled with the results.