Chainmaille 101

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Chainmaille Jewelry 101

  • Chainmaille jewelry uses small circular jewelry components called jump rings to create intricate pieces of metal jewelry including bracelets, earrings, necklaces, rings, and headpieces. The same techniques can also be used to create larger pieces such as guitar straps, belts, coats, scarves, dresses and even sculptures.
  • Chainmaille jewelry does in fact have roots in the medieval armor that comes to mind when you hear the word. Contemporary weaves are largely based on the original weaves used centuries ago.
  • To create chainmaille jewelry, an artist uses pliers and “weaves” the rings together by opening, closing, and linking them in a variety of patterns ranging from simple to very intricate.
  • To date, there are over 1,000 known weaves and variations in chainmaille jewelry.
  • Chainmaille jewelry is made by a variety of people, old and young, male and female, across the country and internationally.
  • Most people who make chainmaille jewelry feel it is a very relaxing and meditative craft. We often find as well that it is quickly addicting to those who enjoy it – once they get a taste for it they can’t put their pliers down!
  • Because you do not need large machines, expensive equipment or even much space chainmaille is a craft that can be easily picked up by anyone. Materials used to make chainmaille jewelry range from very affordable metals such as copper and aluminum to precious metals such as silver, gold, and titanium also allowing for accessibility at any investment range.
  • Contemporary chainmaille artists often integrate other materials into their work ranging from glass beads and crystals to metal scales and even fabric or feathers.
  • Chainmaille also has a place in high-end jewelry and haute-couture fashion and has been used by such designers as Jean Paul Gaultier, Stephen Dweck and David Yurman.

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