Step 3: Choosing the Weave and Ring Size
The next step is to decide what weave and ring size you want to use on your chainmail shirt. Depending on what you choose, your chainmail shirt can take anywhere from 5,000 rings to 40,000 rings to make.
Choosing the Weave
When choosing the weave to make your chainmail shirt out of, you have many different options. I have 4 listed below, and they range from easy to weave, and light, to difficult to weave, and dense. If you want to follow along with my tutorial, the weave I am using is European 4 in 1. This is the most common weave for making a chainmail shirt.
European 4 in 1
European 4 in 1 is by far the most common weave used for making a chainmail shirt. It is fast to weave, easy to learn, and can be used with a wide variety of ring sizes. It forms a very nice looking result.
Japanese 4 in 1
European 6 in 1
I actually don't know if anybody has every used Dragonscale to make a chainmail shirt, but it would be pretty sweet if they did! Dragonscale takes a lot longer to weave, and it is super dense. But it would look very cool.
Choosing the Ring Size
When it comes to choosing what ring size you want to make your chainmail shirt out of, you have many different options. You can use large rings and spend very little time making your shirt, or you can use smaller rings and make a much cooler looking shirt. It all depends on how much time you want to spend. In general, more time means a better result . Listed below are some common ring sizes to make a chainmail shirt out of. The rings in the picture aren't actual size, but you can see their size relative to each other and the size of a quarter.
12 Gauge, 3/8 inch ID
Generally this size/gauge of ring is just used for aluminum, because aluminum is so weak. Using it with other metal will result in a heavy shirt, and the rings might be a little more difficult to close.
14 Gauge, 3/8 inch ID
This ring size will result in a shirt that is has a relatively open weave. The rings won't be very tight together. However, if you don't care about a tight weave, this ring size will enable you to finish the shirt faster.
14 Gauge, 5/16 inch ID
This ring size is kind of the middle ground of ring sizes. It is strong, it will form a relatively dense weave, and it will take less time to weave than the smallest ring size.
16 Gauge, 1/4 inch ID
This is the ring size that I made my first chainmail shirt out of. It takes a pretty long time to weave, but the result is definitely worth it.