About Chain Maille
Chain Maille (also known as Chain Mail) historically started as a flexible material of interlocking rings of metal used to create protective mesh garments for soldiers. The word Maille is french for mesh and thankfully, today it is no longer needed to protect warring troops and instead is used in the creation of costumes used in reenactments and movies, and also in Jewelry. Chain Maille Jewelry is very unique and can be made into an amazing array of styles and uses. This is a very labor intensive art form from making the rings, preparing them for use by opening them one at a time, then weaving them together.
There are many types of metals that can be used but the strongest and I think the most beautiful, are rings made of Stainless Steel. I like the tool cut rings as they have a hand-made look that separates them from the saw cut, which tend to look more like the typical chains that you see all the time. Stainless Steel is much tougher to work with as it takes a lot more strength to bend and can be tough on the hands. My second favorite is jewelry grade Aluminum which has a pretty high gloss, is about a third the weight of Stainless Steel and MUCH easier to work with. It also comes in a variety of colors that make for some amazing accents. These two materials are clean, do not tarnish, are not effected by oil or sweat and can get wet. In addition, neither cause allergic reactions as most other materials can such as brass, copper, pewter, silver, etc. There are four categories of weaves, each with their own unique look. These are European weaves, which are the closest to the work used to create armor; Persian weaves, chain or rope like in look and my favorite for bracelets and necklace work; Oriental weaves, which tend to be very intricate and the most difficult to create and; Hybrid weaves, which are modern designs, many being a combination of different weaves and some incorporate beads, jewels and more. I can create most items in any length to fit most anyone or any purpose and I am also happy to work with you to design something unique in color and/or design.