Project help - new to mailling

ADHDhubris

New Member
New Member
Hello!
I’ve never actually made chainmaille before despite it having been a recurring point of interest, and I think it’s probably time to. And what better way than by a trial-by-fire project, only time will tell if it’ll actually get done. Project design attached.

Project description:
Cocktail dress, butted (?)(not riveted) 4-1 European for body, undecided bracelet-like weave for straps and trim around the neckline.

There are a couple (a lot) of road-blocks though that I haven’t been able to find resources on (either due to limited knowledge of terminology or tunnel-vision) that I was hoping someone with more experience might have insight on.
1. Material; I was thinking aluminium based on weight but is it strong enough to support itself with thin straps? Would stainless-steel hold up better in the high stress areas? If neither will hold up without constant repair, is it possible that a corset-like base-layer that the chainmail can attach to would solve that problem?
2. Size thingies; would a tighter weave hold up better? Is there a recommended ring gauge and diameter for a project like this?
3. Amount: I haven’t had any luck trying to find the ring lords estimate calculator, is there another easy to use calculator somewhere?
4. Inexperience: I don’t know what issues I might encounter, I would love advice or insight in general or on this specific project (as long as it’s not saying I should start somewhere easier, you are not going to be able to convince me)

I hope I’m not asking to much :)
 

Attachments

  • IMG_0138.png
    IMG_0138.png
    3 MB · Views: 26

chainmaillers.com

Administrator
Staff member
Advertisement
First off, welcome to the wonderful world of chainmaille :D I don't generally work with "garments", but I have dabbled from time to time. I'll try to at least give you some things to think about if not outright answers.

  1. Aluminum is "light" but with something this size, it will still have a bit of weight to it. Thin straps will most likely not support it on its own. With aluminum (unless you're talking about anodized aluminum) you will also have to worry about "rub off". Stainless will generally hold up better than aluminum, but then you're talking about added weight. Adding a base layer to take the some of the strain off would definitely help, but then you run into how will you attach the chainmaille to the base.
  2. Depends what you mean by tighter. Denser weaves require more rings which may add strength, but also more weight. Rings with a thicker wire diameter will also increase strength, but once again, will also add more weight. You also have to take into account how "transparent" you want the piece to be. It's a balancing game between strength, light weight, and transparency. I think you generally only get 2 out of the 3.
  3. Ringlord calculator can be found here, but there's a certificate error. Visit at your own risk. https://theringlord.org/cart/shopcontent.asp?type=howmany
  4. I know you don't want to hear this, but my personal opinion is test the waters a bit first before you start a project of this size. Aside from potential issues with closures, due to inexperience, there's also the, possibly, hundreds of, very repetitious, hours a project this size would take. With a project like this, you also need to understand expansions, contractions, and of course, how to fix possible weaving errors. Many common errors can be alleviated as you build up muscle memory, something you won't have if you're first starting out. I've heard anecdotally of people that started with a huge project and actually finished it only to go back and start over because of how bad the closures were where they started. Work smarter, not harder ;)
Hope that helps you some or at least gives you some things to think about :D
 

ADHDhubris

New Member
New Member
First off, welcome to the wonderful world of chainmaille :D I don't generally work with "garments", but I have dabbled from time to time. I'll try to at least give you some things to think about if not outright answers.

  1. Aluminum is "light" but with something this size, it will still have a bit of weight to it. Thin straps will most likely not support it on its own. With aluminum (unless you're talking about anodized aluminum) you will also have to worry about "rub off". Stainless will generally hold up better than aluminum, but then you're talking about added weight. Adding a base layer to take the some of the strain off would definitely help, but then you run into how will you attach the chainmaille to the base.
  2. Depends what you mean by tighter. Denser weaves require more rings which may add strength, but also more weight. Rings with a thicker wire diameter will also increase strength, but once again, will also add more weight. You also have to take into account how "transparent" you want the piece to be. It's a balancing game between strength, light weight, and transparency. I think you generally only get 2 out of the 3.
  3. Ringlord calculator can be found here, but there's a certificate error. Visit at your own risk. https://theringlord.org/cart/shopcontent.asp?type=howmany
  4. I know you don't want to hear this, but my personal opinion is test the waters a bit first before you start a project of this size. Aside from potential issues with closures, due to inexperience, there's also the, possibly, hundreds of, very repetitious, hours a project this size would take. With a project like this, you also need to understand expansions, contractions, and of course, how to fix possible weaving errors. Many common errors can be alleviated as you build up muscle memory, something you won't have if you're first starting out. I've heard anecdotally of people that started with a huge project and actually finished it only to go back and start over because of how bad the closures were where they started. Work smarter, not harder ;)
Hope that helps you some or at least gives you some things to think about :D

Thank you so much for your reply and the warm welcome! :D

1. I might go the route of attaching hooks at the top of, and at the waist, of a corset that the rings of a row can be hung onto, if that doesn't work, straigth sewing some of them on might do the trick. Might be worth sacrificing some of the movement for strength.
2. I meant denser so the answer was spot on! I might experiment with making some swatches of different diameters and gauges first. I don't know if hooking weigths to them would help with figuring out how thin the straps can be, but maybe it'll get me in the ballpark atleast ^^
3. Thank you!
4. It is definitely the smarter option xD I just know from experience that I have greater luck with completing "trial-by-fire"-projects than if I test the waters before working on more complicated ones. Might be able to bypass that issue by making an accessory for the dress, like a matching evening-bag or neckerchief/shawl! (I also remeber the countless sweaters I've had to frog(R.I.P) because I didn't keep the same tension through-out haha I imagine it'd be just as frustrating starting over with chainmail ^^)

Thanks again for the great answers! They have helped greately and given me some new ideas on how to proceed :D
 
Top