The chainmaille shirt

5/16" ID, 16-gauge galvanized steel rings

Early 2006

It had been several years since I last made anything from chainmaille. As in... somewhere close to 5 or so years. I have no clue what possessed me to think of it, but one day, I had decided I wanted a chainmaille shirt. And, as is my nature, when I get into something, I get into it all the way (see my various other hobbies, such as the comic or the newly-added geocaching). Hence... I didn't even bother starting out with smaller items, or 'practice' things. I just went and got a mess of 16 gauge (mainly because that was the thickest wire I was capable of buying in Winnipeg) galvanized steel wire. Every ring was hand-coiled with nothing more than an eye-bolt, my wrists, and a pair of nippers to cut each ring off the coil. Luckly, at the time I was working at a job where they allowed me to do chainmailling while there (I did phone tech support... lots of non-typing time while talking to people or waiting for their computer to reboot). Hence... approximately one month straight of this (about 3-4 hours a day of mailling), I had me a chainmaille shirt (minus the sleeves).
The scales I had to order online. When I began the shirt, I started out by looking around online to see if there was any kind of instructions. Y'see, at THIS time, I didn't want to kill that much time, work, and wire just to make something completely wrong. Hence... I stumbled across The Ring Lord, and the scales were soon after in my hands.
I styled my shirt somewhat after a previously-made shirt that was on the aformentioned 'The Ring Lord' site. Someone going by the name 'Tawnos' had created a similar shirt. Probably several differences here and there, but in general, somewhere close. Scale shoulders, etc, etc. I don't know if they had their scales meeting in the back or not, but I wanted to leave that area open. All in all, it turned out good, and whenever I wear it, everyone always loves the scales.
As well, for added strength, I doubled the rings around the neck and arm-lines, so there's less chance of the rings pulling apart when I'm putting it on or taking it off. You can see here a close-up of the ring-to-scale transition. The scales basically act the exact same as a ring... however due to their size, they can only go in one direction, so to speak.
As an added bonus, when not wearing the shirt, it can be turned into a fun game that I like to call "hurl the magnet". As you can guess, it gets old pretty fast... but then again, it gets fun again pretty fast after it gets old :P


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