Chain Maille Q and A

1. Which pliers should I use for chain maille?

Chain maille will require frequent manipulation of your wrists, so you will want to use pliers that are comfortable for you. You will need pliers that have flat jaws, so chain nose pliers are a popular choice for chain maille. Some chain maillers will use flat nose pliers, as you can hold onto a larger surface of the jump ring due to the wider jaws. Others still will use bent chain nose pliers to reach tight spots in smaller weaves. You may want to also consider using ergonomic pliers for chain maille, as they are designed for repetitive use, ensure less hand and wrist fatigue and have soft, non-slip handles.

2. Does it matter which direction I open the jump rings in?

There are two different kinds of jump rings for chain maille: "right-handed" and "left-handed" jump rings. This refers to how the opening of the jump ring has been cut. To find out what kind of jump rings that you have, look at the rings with the opening at the 12:00 position. The side of the ring that protrudes towards you designates the kind of ring; if the right side is protruding towards you, it is a right-handed ring. The majority of the jump rings that we sell are right-handed, but there can be variance in the jump ring packs. All of the rings in the pack will be cut the same way, however, so you will not receive a mix of right-handed and left-handed jump rings in the same pack.

You will always want to open the jump rings so that the protruding side of the ring is towards your body. Opening the jump rings the opposite way from the way it was cut will weaken the ring, which can lead to the ring snapping while it is being manipulated.

3. Should I open jump rings in advance of starting my piece?

Having at least a small pile of jump rings open in advance will ensure that you do not stop and start frequently while beginning a pattern. If you are setting your piece down frequently to open more rings, you could lose your place in the pattern and have to start over from the beginning. Some patterns may require that you completely close several jump rings in advance, so we would recommend scanning a new pattern before starting to see if this is required.

4. What difference does wire gauge size make in chain maille?

The smaller the wire gauge size, the thicker the wire is. (Refer here for a wire gauge chart.) Along these lines, the thicker the wire gauge size of the jump rings that you are using, the more difficult it will be to manipulate the rings into chain maille patterns than jump rings of smaller wire gauge sizes. Finished chain maille pieces made from thicker gauge jump rings will also have a chunkier look.

5. What wire gauge size would you recommend for a beginner?

We would recommend trying either 18 gauge or 20 gauge jump rings.

6. What will happen if I do not close the jump rings completely?

Jump rings that are not closed properly may snag against clothing and tear the fabric. There is a risk of the jump ring being pulled open and yanked out of shape by whatever it has snagged against. Improperly closed jump rings can also scratch the wearer’s skin. To ensure that your jump rings are closed completely, click here to view our picture tutorial on Opening and Closing a Jump Ring.

7. Will the color chip off of the Artistic Wire jump rings?

Artistic Wire has an exclusive enamel coating which is engineered to resist chipping and peeling, but some chipping and peeling may occur around the jump ring opening. We would recommend coating the jaws of your pliers with Tool Magic to prevent any marring or chipping of the wire color. Click here for a picture tutorial on how to apply Tool Magic.

8. Why are the Artistic Wire jump rings more flexible than sterling silver?

The core of Artistic Wire is copper, which is a softer metal than sterling silver. This means that the Artistic Wire jump rings are easier to manipulate when you are opening and closing your rings, but the finished piece will not be as strong as a finished piece made from sterling silver. The extra flexibility of the copper can also make the rings more susceptible to plier markings as well.

9. Do you have any chain maille books available?

We have several books available for chain maillers of all levels! Click <a href="http://www.fusionbeads.com/search#!&ea_q=chain%20maille%20book%20%3B%3B%20productsearch"><u>here</u></a> to view our selection of chain maille books.

10. Which jump rings will work with the European 4-in-1 pattern?

The bolded measurements on the table below are the preferred sizes for creating this weave.

Gauge Size
Jump Ring Size (Outer Diameter)
13 Gauge 10mm, 12mm
14 Gauge 9.5mm, 10mm
15 Gauge 10mm
15.5 Gauge 15mm
16 Gauge 5mm, 5.3mm, 5.5mm, 5.8mm
6mm, 6.3mm, 6.5mm, 6.8mm
7mm, 7.1mm, 7.3mm, 7.5mm
8mm, 8.2mm, 8.7mm, 9mm, 9.2mm, 9.7mm, 10mm, 15mm
16.5 Gauge 7mm
18 Gauge 4.5mm
5mm, 5.3mm, 5.5mm, 5.6mm, 5.8mm
6mm, 6.3mm, 6.5mm, 6.6mm, 6.8mm
7mm, 7.3mm, 7.5mm, 7.8mm
8mm, 8.5mm, 9mm, 9.6mm, 10mm, 15mm
19 Gauge 3.8mm
4mm, 4.3mm, 4.5mm, 4.75mm, 4.8mm
5mm, 5.3mm, 5.5mm, 5.8mm
6mm, 6.3mm, 6.5mm, 6.8mm
7mm, 7.3mm
8mm, 9mm
20 Gauge 4mm, 4.6mm, 5mm, 5.8mm, 6mm, 6.3mm, 7mm
20.5 Gauge 3.5mm, 3.8mm
4mm, 4.3mm, 4.5mm, 4.8mm
5mm, 5.3mm, 5.5mm, 5.8mm
6mm, 6.3mm, 6.5mm, 6.8mm
7mm, 7.3mm
8mm, 9mm
21 Gauge 4mm, 4.5mm, 4.75mm
5mm, 5.5mm
22 Gauge 3mm, 3.3mm, 3.5mm, 3.8mm
4mm, 4.3mm, 4.5mm, 4.8mm
5mm, 5.3mm, 5.5mm, 5.8mm
6mm, 6.3mm, 6.5mm, 6.8mm
7mm, 7.3mm
8mm


11. Which jump rings will work with the Byzantine pattern?

The bolded measurements on the table below are the preferred sizes for creating this weave.

Gauge Size
Jump Ring Size (Outer Diameter)
13 Gauge 10mm, 12mm
14 Gauge 9.5mm, 10mm
15 Gauge 10mm
15.5 Gauge 15mm
16 Gauge 6.3mm, 6.5mm, 6.8mm
7mm, 7.1mm, 7.3mm, 7.5mm
8mm, 8.2mm, 8.7mm, 9mm, 9.2mm, 9.7mm, 10mm, 15mm
16.5 Gauge 7mm
18 Gauge 5.3mm, 5.5mm, 5.6mm, 5.8mm
6mm, 6.3mm, 6.5mm, 6.6mm, 6.8mm
7mm, 7.3mm, 7.5mm, 7.8mm
8mm, 8.5mm, 9mm, 9.6mm, 10mm, 15mm
19 Gauge 4.75mm, 4.8mm
5mm, 5.3mm, 5.5mm, 5.8mm
6mm, 6.3mm, 6.5mm, 6.8mm
7mm, 7.3mm
8mm, 9mm
20 Gauge 4.6mm, 5mm, 5.8mm, 6mm, 6.3mm, 7mm
20.5 Gauge 4.5mm, 4.8mm
5mm, 5.3mm, 5.5mm, 5.8mm
6mm, 6.3mm, 6.5mm, 6.8mm
7mm, 7.3mm
8mm, 9mm
21 Gauge 4mm, 4.5mm, 4.75mm
5mm, 5.5mm
22 Gauge 3.5mm, 3.8mm
4mm, 4.3mm, 4.5mm, 4.8mm
5mm, 5.3mm, 5.5mm, 5.8mm
6mm, 6.3mm, 6.5mm, 6.8mm
7mm, 7.3mm
8mm


12. Which jump rings will work with the Turkish Round pattern?

The bolded measurements on the table below are the preferred sizes for creating this weave.

Gauge Size
Jump Ring Size (Outer Diameter)
13 Gauge 10mm, 12mm
14 Gauge 9.5mm, 10mm
15 Gauge 10mm
15.5 Gauge 15mm
16 Gauge 6.3mm, 6.5mm, 6.8mm
7mm, 7.1mm, 7.3mm, 7.5mm
8mm, 8.2mm, 8.7mm, 9mm, 9.2mm, 9.7mm, 10mm, 15mm
16.5 Gauge 7mm
18 Gauge 5.5mm, 5.6mm, 5.8mm
6mm, 6.3mm, 6.5mm, 6.6mm, 6.8mm
7mm, 7.3mm, 7.5mm, 7.8mm
8mm, 8.5mm, 9mm, 9.6mm, 10mm, 15mm
19 Gauge 4.75mm, 4.8mm
5mm, 5.3mm, 5.5mm, 5.8mm
6mm, 6.3mm, 6.5mm, 6.8mm
7mm, 7.3mm
8mm, 9mm
20 Gauge 4.6mm, 5mm, 5.8mm, 6mm, 6.3mm, 7mm
20.5 Gauge 4.5mm, 4.8mm
5mm, 5.3mm, 5.5mm, 5.8mm
6mm, 6.3mm, 6.5mm, 6.8mm
7mm, 7.3mm
8mm, 9mm
21 Gauge 4mm, 4.5mm, 4.75mm
5mm, 5.5mm
22 Gauge 4mm, 4.3mm, 4.5mm, 4.8mm
5mm, 5.3mm, 5.5mm, 5.8mm
6mm, 6.3mm, 6.5mm, 6.8mm
7mm, 7.3mm
8mm


13. Which jump rings will work with the Half Persian pattern?

The bolded measurements on the table below are the preferred sizes for creating this weave.

Gauge Size
Jump Ring Size (Outer Diameter)
13 Gauge 10mm, 12mm
14 Gauge 9.5mm, 10mm
15 Gauge 10mm
15.5 Gauge 15mm
16 Gauge 6.5mm, 6.8mm
7mm, 7.1mm, 7.3mm, 7.5mm
8mm, 8.2mm, 8.7mm, 9mm, 9.2mm, 9.7mm, 10mm, 15mm
16.5 Gauge 7mm
18 Gauge 5.8mm
6mm, 6.3mm, 6.5mm, 6.6mm, 6.8mm
7mm, 7.3mm, 7.5mm, 7.8mm
8mm, 8.5mm, 9mm, 9.6mm, 10mm, 15mm
19 Gauge 5mm, 5.3mm, 5.5mm, 5.8mm
6mm, 6.3mm, 6.5mm, 6.8mm
7mm, 7.3mm
8mm, 9mm
20 Gauge 4.6mm, 5mm, 5.8mm, 6mm, 6.3mm, 7mm
20.5 Gauge 5mm, 5.3mm, 5.5mm, 5.8mm
6mm, 6.3mm, 6.5mm, 6.8mm
7mm, 7.3mm
8mm, 9mm
21 Gauge 5.5mm
22 Gauge 3.8mm
4mm, 4.3mm, 4.5mm, 4.8mm
5mm, 5.3mm, 5.5mm, 5.8mm
6mm, 6.3mm, 6.5mm, 6.8mm
7mm, 7.3mm
8mm


14. Which jump rings will work with the Full Persian pattern?

The bolded measurements on the table below are the preferred sizes for creating this weave.

Gauge Size
Jump Ring Size (Outer Diameter)
15.5 Gauge 15mm
16 Gauge 15mm
16.5 Gauge 7mm
18 Gauge 6.8mm
7mm, 7.3mm, 7.5mm, 7.8mm
8mm, 8.5mm, 9mm, 9.6mm, 10mm, 15mm
19 Gauge 6mm, 6.3mm, 6.5mm, 6.8mm
7mm, 7.3mm
8mm, 9mm
20 Gauge 6.3mm, 7mm
20.5 Gauge 6mm, 6.3mm, 6.5mm, 6.8mm
7mm, 7.3mm
8mm, 9mm
21 Gauge 5.5mm
22 Gauge 4.5mm, 4.8mm
5mm, 5.3mm, 5.5mm, 5.8mm
6mm, 6.3mm, 6.5mm, 6.8mm
7mm, 7.3mm
8mm


15. Which jump rings will work with the Helm Weave pattern?

The bolded measurements on the table below are the preferred sizes for creating this weave.

Gauge Size
Jump Ring Size (Outer Diameter)
18 Gauge 6mm (also requires 18 gauge 5.97mm inner diameter jump rings)
7mm (also requires 18 gauge 6.97mm inner diameter jump rings)
8mm (also requires 18 gauge 3.97mm inner diameter jump rings)
8.5mm (also requires 18 gauge 3.97mm inner diameter jump rings)
9mm (also requires 18 gauge 4.97mm inner diameter jump rings)
9.6mm(also requires 18 gauge 4.97mm inner diameter jump rings)
19 Gauge 4.8mm (also requires 19 gauge 4.97mm inner diameter jump rings)
5mm (also requires 19 gauge 5.17mm inner diameter jump rings)
5.3mm (also requires 19 gauge 5.47mm inner diameter jump rings)
6mm (also requires 19 gauge 6.17mm inner diameter jump rings)
6.8mm (also requires 19 gauge 2.97mm inner diameter jump rings)
7mm (also requires 19 gauge 3.17mm inner diameter jump rings)
7.3mm (also requires 19 gauge 3.47mm inner diameter jump rings)
8mm (also requires 19 gauge 4.17mm inner diameter jump rings)
20.5 Gauge 4.5mm (also requires 20.5 gauge 4.97mm inner diameter jump rings)
4.8mm (also requires 20.5 gauge 5.27mm inner diameter jump rings)
5mm (also requires 20.5 gauge 5.47mm inner diameter jump rings)
5.3mm (also requires 20.5 gauge 5.77mm inner diameter jump rings)
6mm (also requires 20.5 gauge 6.47mm inner diameter jump rings)
6.5mm (also requires 20.5 gauge 2.97mm inner diameter jump rings)
6.8mm (also requires 20.5 gauge 3.27mm inner diameter jump rings)
7mm (also requires 20.5 gauge 3.47mm inner diameter jump rings)
7.3mm (also requires 20.5 gauge 3.77mm inner diameter jump rings)
8mm (also requires 20.5 gauge 4.47mm inner diameter jump rings)
22 Gauge 4mm (also requires 22 gauge 4.77mm inner diameter jump rings)
4.3mm (also requires 22 gauge 5.07mm inner diameter jump rings)
4.5mm (also requires 22 gauge 5.27mm inner diameter jump rings)
4.8mm (also requires 22 gauge 5.57mm inner diameter jump rings)
5mm (also requires 22 gauge 5.77mm inner diameter jump rings)
5.3mm (also requires 22 gauge 6.07mm inner diameter jump rings)
6mm (also requires 22 gauge 2.77mm inner diameter jump rings)
6.3mm (also requires 22 gauge 3.07mm inner diameter jump rings)
6.5mm (also requires 22 gauge 3.27mm inner diameter jump rings)
6.8mm (also requires 22 gauge 3.57mm inner diameter jump rings)
7mm (also requires 22 gauge 3.77mm inner diameter jump rings)
7.3mm (also requires 22 gauge 4.07mm inner diameter jump rings)


16. Which jump rings will work with the Japanese 12-in-2 pattern?

Gauge Size
Jump Ring Size (Outer Diameter)
16 Gauge 7.5mm (also requires 18 gauge 3.27mm inner diameter jump rings)
8mm (also requires 18 gauge 3.27mm inner diameter jump rings)
18 Gauge 5.3mm (also requires 16 gauge 5.37mm inner diameter jump rings)
6.5mm (also requires 19 gauge 2.67mm inner diameter jump rings)
6.6mm (also requires 19 gauge 2.67mm inner diameter jump rings)
19 Gauge 4.5mm (also requires 18 gauge 4.47mm inner diameter jump rings)
5.5mm (also requires 20.5 gauge 2.47mm inner diameter jump rings)
20.5 Gauge 4mm (also requires 19 gauge 3.67mm inner diameter jump rings)


17. Which jump rings will work with the Dragonscale pattern?

Gauge Size
Jump Ring Size (Outer Diameter)
16 Gauge 8.7mm (also requires 18 gauge 3.47mm inner diameter jump rings)
9mm (also requires 18 gauge 3.47mm inner diameter jump rings)
18 Gauge 5.5mm (also requires 16 gauge 6.37mm inner diameter jump rings)
5.6mm (also requires 16 gauge 6.37mm inner diameter jump rings)
8mm (also requires 20 gauge 3.57mm inner diameter jump rings)
8.5mm (also requires 20 gauge 3.57mm inner diameter jump rings)
9mm (also requires 19 gauge 4.18mm inner diameter jump rings)
9.6mm (also requires 19 gauge 4.18mm inner diameter jump rings)
19 Gauge 6mm (also requires 18 gauge 6.97mm inner diameter jump rings)
20 Gauge 5.3mm (also requires 18 gauge 5.97mm inner diameter jump rings)


18. Click here to download the Chain Maille FAQ.

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