A Simple Swatch Of Chainmaille

A simple swatch of chainmaille travelbug
Released: Monday, August 17, 2009
Origin: Manitoba, Canada
Tracking: Click here to follow this travelbug

Current goal: To travel far and wide, teaching people about and showing them the awe and fascination that is chainmaille.

About this item:
An octagon of chainmaille with a travelbug tag, a european 4 in 1 weave of chainmaille, sitting on a wooden table. This swatch of chainmaille was hand-made by myself for the purposes of travelling. It was made using nothing more than a spool of 16 gauge galvanized steel wire, an eye-bolt to hand-coil it, and pliers to cut the rings (with the minor exception of the stainless steel rings in the vicinity of the TB tag for added strength) and attach them to the piece.

chainmaille (originally just known as "mail") has been used as armour throughout history since as early as the 4th century BC, right up until current days. It stopped being used as battle-wear in the 14th century when it was replaced by platemail, however still played minor rolls afterwards. Nowadays for example, butchers use it to avoid accidentally cutting their hands, divers wear chainmaille shark-suits, and police have it incorporated into stab-proof vests. Additionally, it may be used by historical reenactment societies, such as the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA).

Other uses may be decorative, such as jewelery, decorations, or my own personal signature item for geocaching. I've otherwise created a multitude of items, such as a full shirt (all hand-coiled and cut, except the scales on the shoulders) or a pen-wrap.

With this particular swatch of chainmail, you can feel how easily and smoothly (assuming none of the rings have become opened or twisted over time... if so, please repair them if you feel you're able to) it will slide over your skin. If one uses significantly smaller rings (such as in a finger ring I made), it can feel as smooth as a silk (in my personal opinion). If made well, I've found my chainmaille shirt will not snag hair when putting it on, and is perfectly comfortable to wear for the entire day (aside from the 20 pounds it's added to you).

Please do not tug or mangle the chainmaille if you can avoid it. Historically, chainmaille had been made using a mixture of solid and riveted rings to avoid the rings pulling apart, however since the ends on these are only butted together, rings can be pulled apart. Again, if this occurs and you can fix it, please do :D.

So give making chainmaille a try sometime if you feel the urge. This swatch is a simple "European 4-1" pattern, but there are literally hundreds of different weave styles one can make. Buy rings, make them, heck... I've made chainmaille out of pipe-cleaners in the past. It's quite the amazing hobby once you get into it.

Please keep the chainmaille moving around from cache to cache so that others can get a chance to play with it first-hand. From my experience, most people have neither seen nor felt chainmaille in person.

The chainmaille octagon with a metal dowel and two pairs of pliers on top.
- The tools used to make the chainmaille
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