Chain Maille 101: From Jump Rings to Jewelry

Chain Maille 101

Intricate and alluring, chain maille has fascinated us for centuries with its elegant and practical applications. Read on to learn more about this time consuming but rewarding jewelry making technique and browse our free tutorials and instructional videos. Then, pick up some supplies and try your hand at chain maille jewelry making.

What is Chain Maille?

Chain maille started out as a form of armor; as early as the 4th century BC, people had discovered that linked rings created a durable fabric that could protect the body from being cut in battle. Today, it's more commonly used as decorative jewelry, but many contemporary patterns of linking do have their roots in armory. Chain maille is composed exclusively of rings (though sometimes other embellishments are incorporated), interlocked in varying patterns for diversity in appearance, flexibility and drape.

Video Tutorials

Find video tutorials to introduce you to a variety of styles of chain maille weaves. If you've never tried chain maille before, be sure to watch our **How to Open and Close Jump Rings** video, as this is the fundamental skill you'll need for making chain maille.

Featured Video: **How to Make a European 4-in-1 Chain Maille Bracelet**

  • **How to Create Faux Chain Maille**
  • **How to do Byzantine Chain Maille Weave**
  • **How to do Captured Bead Chain Maille**
  • **How to Make a Chain Bracelet Using the Roundmaille Weave**
  • **How to Make a European 4-in-1 Chain Maille Bracelet**
  • **How to Make a Japanese 12-in-2 Chain Maille Bracelet and Ring**
  • **How to Make a Japanese 8 in 2 Chain Maille Bracelet With Swarovski Edging**
  • **How to Make Dragonscale Chain Maille**
  • **How To Open and Close Jump Rings**
  • **How To Use Beadsmith's Jump Ring Opener**


Recommended Projects

Our designers have created a selection of project tutorials to put your newfound chain maille skills to work. Each project kit includes all the materials you'll need to create your own piece of jewelry, or you can substitute your own components to create a look that's all your own.

  • **Dragonscale Chain Maille Bracelet**
  • **Uplink Bracelet**
  • **Round Maille Bracelet**
  • **Mobius Chain Maille Bracelet**
  • **Sir Landevale Bracelet**
  • **Gregory Chain Maille Bracelet**
  • **Retired - Tiny Wreath Earrings**
  • **Retired - Retired - Captured Crystals Necklace**
  • **Japanese 12-in-2 Flower Ring**
  • **Retired - Urban Gauntlet Bracelet**
  • **Retired - Chained Ellipse Earrings**
  • **Japanese 12-in-2 Flower Chain Maille Bracelet**
  • **Retired - Byzantine Spike Earrings**
  • **Tilly Bracelet**
  • **Retired - Captured Cranberry Ring**
  • **Flexible Helm Chain Maille Bracelet in Orange**
  • **Retired - Kelsey Bracelet**
  • **Retired - Candy Cane Chain Maille Bracelet**


Recommended Products

To make chain maille, the first thing you'll need is jump rings—and lots of them! Fortunately, we have a wide selection of jump rings specifically for chain maille, which list interior and exterior dimensions as well as wire gauge so that you can find the precise size of jump rings you'll need for your favorite chain maille weave. Two pairs of chain nose pliers are the only tools you'll need for chain maille; our designers recommend a pair of bent nose and standard chain nose pliers, and also love the **jump ring opener tool from Beadsmith**, which makes quick work of a pile of closed jump rings. Crystaletts and rubber O-rings add color, style and flexibility to your intricate designs, and clasps finish off your projects. Check out a chain maille kit for an all-inclusive project, or find step-by-step tutorials in an **instructional booklet from Artistic Wire**.

  • **Chain Maille Jump Rings**
  • **Flat and Chain Nose Pliers**
  • **Chain Maille Kits**
  • **Tool Kits**
  • **Clasps**
  • **Crystaletts**
  • **Rubber O Rings**
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