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Maille-making Tutorial by Theophilia Maille-making Tutorial by Theophilia
LordShadowblade's Maille-making Tutorial"

This has been a long time coming. I just finally got around to doing it.

For anyone who likes maille armor or who wants to know how to make maille armor or is just simply curious as to how I make my maille armor.

As I said at the end of my tutorial here, I use the term "maille" simply because people have gotten confused with "chain-mail" with "chain mail" (as in, those annoying spam messages that run along the lines of: 'I'm an ugly horrible monster that killed your mom. If you don't send this to 6,000 people in 2 seconds I'll kill you tonight, etc") and also because Ewart Oakeshott didn't like the term. And I don't want to say "mail" because that's even more confusing (silly modern people and not immedietly recognizing medieval terminolgy ;)), so, for the sake of clarity, I've adopted the (presumably) French spelling.

It might be preferable to download this, just because it's such a large file and I don't know if the words are very legible.

Again, as stated in the title, this is for butted maille. And sadly, is not historically correct. Butted maille is not super strong. It tears apart quite easily (as my maille hauberk can attest to after my cousin and I shot arrows at it. However, they are very easily repairable. ;)) and so is not suited for real combat. (However, for airsoft matches, that's a different story. ;-) It makes for fantastic armor, I got shot up close in the back and didn't feel a thing). Real maille armor was made from riveted rings (which is INSANE!!!!) or solid rings, or a mix of of riveted and solid rings.

WAAAAAAY too difficult to make. And I thought butted maille took forever!!!! O.O So, I am perfectly happy and content with my butted maille. :aww: Anyway, enjoy the tutorial. I hope you all find it helpful. ;)
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:iconbear48:
bear48 Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2015  Professional
nice
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:icontourk:
Tourk Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013
I don't know where you are in the world or if this was covered before but you can get the same amount of Galvi wire at most walmarts for $3.97 for 100ft. The kind in your picture I've seen at Lowes or Home Depot. It's the same in all ways but walmart sells it for half the price. Also Lowes has Bolt Cutters that are just great for this wire.
[link]
If your rings are 3/8" then you can cut up to 3 rings in succession with out dumping. Also the grips are pretty comfortable I don't wear gloves when using them and I don't get blisters. As for opening and closing the rings walmart sells great jeweler's pliers that have no teeth and grip well.
[link]
I hope this will help you and look forward to seeing more work!
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:iconmad-badger19:
Mad-Badger19 Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Waouh!!
Thank you very much for this tutorial. I'm learning to make some jewelry and clothes with maille, but I just have some little ring from my fther and I didn't know how make them.
Thank you very much!
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Glad you found it helpful! :D I still need to do a bit more maille-making, even though I've already finished my hauberk. :nod: It would be cool to do some jewelery with rings though.
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:iconmad-badger19:
Mad-Badger19 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
For the moment, I just made some panterns of chain box and bird cage for my friends. :)
But I can't make more for the moment because of the studies. :dizzy:
When have you begun to work with maille? :3
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner May 14, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
When did I start making maille? A while ago. :XD: I think around in 2010? Something like that? It doesn't actually take too long to get the hang of it. I don't consider myself a particularly fast learner either. You just have to make your own system and work with that. I like working ring by ring. Other people like putting them together in pieces of five and then connecting all the pieces together. I found that incredibly troublesome, because I'd always get the links messed up. So whatever works for you. :D

I worked on my projects while I was watching movies or listening to books on tape (the latter more than the former).
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:iconmad-badger19:
Mad-Badger19 Featured By Owner May 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ok, thank you very much for your answer.
While watching movie? Yeah! that's a good idea! :D
I've learned working with piece of 4 for the moment. :)
I continue to learn new patterns after the Hight Level (baccalauréat in french :) )
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner May 15, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very cool! :D Well, good luck with all of your projects!
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:iconmad-badger19:
Mad-Badger19 Featured By Owner May 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you very much!
okay! let's go!! :D (after the exams. u.u" )
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:iconlongdeadhero:
longdeadhero Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
On the subject of the wire; i suggest you go to a Menards, though I'm sure most hardware stores will have them, you can get a 1/4 mile spool of wire for $40 - $50, its a bit more money up front but it will save you money in the long run.
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ah, thank you very much for the suggestion! ^^
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:iconwolfmaille:
Wolfmaille Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2010
wow a hauberk made from 14ga galvy has got to be IMMENSELY heavy! And I've been on some humps with full PPE and packs. :/

Great tut!
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah, it is pretty heavy! :D Though I think it's fairly accurate with the weight of many medieval hauberks. When I'm done it'll probably be about 30-35 pounds. :D
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:iconwolfmaille:
Wolfmaille Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2011
yeah. I bet. All that weight... RIGHT on the shoulders. hahaha. Good stuff. post pics when it's done!
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Actually, the nice thing is that your can actually shift a lot of the weight onto a belt too, so you have weight on your shoulders but a good bit of its on the belt too around waist. :D
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:iconbohemianbeachcomber:
BohemianBeachcomber Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Oooh, cool. :D I saw this done once before at a musuem that had a medieval exhibition going on. I didn't actually sit down and make anything, but I looked for a couple of minutes. It's quite interesting.
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It's very addictive. ;-) :D
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:iconbohemianbeachcomber:
BohemianBeachcomber Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I can imagine. :)
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:iconlykex:
Lykex Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2010
Faved this cuz my siblings are cosplayers and might actually find this useful. There are a fair number of anime characters out there who wear chain mail. ;p

And if not, meh, at least I've seen one way to make a piece of armor for my own fantasy fiction. ;p
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hahah, well thank you very much for the :+fav:. ;-) :D I hope you and siblings find it useful, if you ever decide to try your hands at making maille. :D
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:iconaranov:
Aranov Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Ahhh, you use a band saw? Cheater... ;P I should like to get my hands on one. Though I must admit, cutting rings by hand is quite a strength-building exercise... I should like to make myself a hauberk one of these days, but the thought is quite as daunting as crocheting an afghan. Congratulations on finishing your own piece!

Oh, and I refer to my "wire-twister" as a mandrel. Dunno if that's a historically accurate term, but it's what the site I got the plans from called it.
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ah, a mandrel! That's what it was called! Thank you! I had totally forgotten, though I know my uncle had told me before. :XD:

I actually haven't finished my hauberk yet, but I'll be sure to post a picture when I do. I still have tons of work to do, but I think all of the tricky stuff has been taken care of. I just need to continue the shirt straight down. The sleeves and the fitting has all been done. :nod: :D
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:iconaranov:
Aranov Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
You're welcome! I'm definitely looking forward to those pictures :D Mad props to you, again. Fitting with fabric is hard enough; I don't want to think about what a mess maille could be. ;)
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That's true, but at least with maille you can (even if it's really tedious) go back and fix things, since you are, after all, "making" the "fabric" as you go along. So if you make a mistake in a pattern you can always fix it. Unfortunely, not so with sewing. :XD:
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:iconaranov:
Aranov Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Mm. Very true, as I've learned sooo many times before. :P
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ditto. :XD:
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:iconsudsysutherland:
SudsySutherland Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Interesting stuff!
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks!!! :D It's fun too! :aww:
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:iconfaeriecarousel:
FaerieCarousel Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2010
Niiiiiiiice.
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hahah, thanks. ;)
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:iconxlordandyx:
XLordAndyX Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2010  Student General Artist
INCREDIBLEEEE!!!!
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks. :XD: :D
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:iconxlordandyx:
XLordAndyX Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2010  Student General Artist
u are welcome :D
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:iconelavoria:
elavoria Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, and I forgot to mention:
Tutorial-design wise, it might be better to make the font smaller with a mandatory download. The font without downloading is too small, but then it's REALLY big. :)

And I think the change of verb tense is very natural xD
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're quite right! I did try to make the full-view bigger but I guess the new dA format doesn't let you make any deviation wider than 1000. :hmm: Don' know why. maybe because it'd get in the way of the side arrows. :hmm:

I know. It's an INSANELY huge file.

Hahahahaha, I should try to be more consistent with my tenses though. :XD: ;-)
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:iconelavoria:
elavoria Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
That IS bizarre about the 1000 limit, especially since the whole "full view" thing... whatever. xD

:D
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I know! I guess when you first click on the picture it does it, I'll try clicking on the file, because if you'll notice if you just click on a picture and try to link it somewhere the link won't work because it has a totally different web address. :hmm: So I guess you have to click on the title. It's really dumb. :roll:
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:iconelavoria:
elavoria Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I /have/ noticed the link thing with downloads... :shrug:
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:iconelavoria:
elavoria Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh... my... so many little rings..... :faint:
I admire your patience!!! I bet it looks really snazzy finished, though. :D

And hahaha, "byrnie" is a funny word!
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah. So. Many. Little. Rings..... O.O

Oh, it only really requires aas much patience as anything, like knitting or sewing. Honestly, I only get impatient when I'm not doing anything, am bored or when what I'm doing isn't cooperating. :XD:
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:iconelavoria:
elavoria Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Sewing is so frustrating. Perhaps because I've just started. I enjoy it, but it's frustrating. xD
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Sewing is frustrating. :nod: I really like it, but I'm terrible at it. :XD: I can't think well about how to connect things or visualize shapes in advance.
Reply
:iconelavoria:
elavoria Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
:3
So far I haven't attempted using a pattern, so I haven't really made anything much at all.
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