The Differences Between Persian Dragonscale and Dragonback

The Differences Between Persian Dragonscale and Dragonback

Weaves Referenced:
Persian Dragonscale
Half Persian 3-1
European 4-1

These two weaves are very similar, and can be confusing to tell apart for beginning and advanced maillers alike. Both weaves involve connecting two mirrored chains of Half Persian 3-1 together with European 4-1 connections (you can also think of them as connecting two strips of E4-1 together with HP3-1 connections; but for this article we will visualize it as HP3-1 chains connected by E4-1). The main difference in these two weaves is how they connect the HP3-1 chains together.

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HP3-1 has a roughly V-shaped cross section. The point of the V has a bit of overlap, so the actual shape is closer to halfway between a V and an X, but you can think of it as a V. This means that there are two sides that the E4-1 rings can be connected to.

The first is to have the "cup" of the HP3-1 chains facing each other, so the cross section has a <=> arrangement. When you connect in this way, you get Persian Dragonscale. It is a symmetrical arrangement, and so Persian Dragonscale looks the same on the top and bottom. Because this is a fairly intuitive way to look at the HP3-1 chains, many Persian Dragonscale tutorials (including my own) start with two HP3-1 chains facing each other.

Alternately, you can have the HP3-1 chains laying side by side. When you connect these, the cross section ends up with a v=v arrangement, and you create Dragonback. Since this arrangement is not symmetrical, Dragonback has a different appearance and different flexibility on one side. Because it is less intuitive to think of attaching rings to the "side" of an HP3-1 chain, few if any Dragonback tutorials start with two HP3-1 chains side by side. Instead, most tutorials (including my own) build the Persian connections directly onto of a strip of E4-1.

When looking at an unmarked photo of a one of these similar weaves, how can you tell if it's Persian Dragonscale or Dragonback? Look for these telltale clues:
  • Does the side view have a series of eyes, or a herringbone pattern? Eyes mean Persian Dragonscale, while the herringbone means it's Dragonback.
  • Do the "ridges" on the top and bottom of the chain point in opposite directions, or the same direction? Opposite means Persian Dragonscale, while same means Dragonback.
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