Chain Maille Tutorial

Bead Unique now carries beginning Chain Maille supplies and will be adding advanced Chain Maille Supplies soon.  Be sure to purchase our Aluminum Chain Maille Rings to learn your favorite techniques.  One of the most popular techniques is Byzantine weave.  Check out our tutorial to learn this fun, versatile pattern:

One of the first things to understand with Chain Maille is the term "Aspect Ratio." It may seem intimidating, but it really isn't that complicated. All it entails is dividing the Inner Diameter by the Wire Diameter. Like this:

Aspect Ratio = Inner Diameter ÷ Wire Diameter

or AR= ID/WD

It is easy, but it is very important to remember one thing. The Inner Diameter and the Wire Diameter must be in the same unit. For example, if you have a ring diameter in inches, and a wire diameter in millimeters, it won't give you the correct aspect ratio. If, however, you have both the ring diameter and the wire diameter in inches, or the ring diameter and the wire diameter both in millimeters, you will get a perfect answer.

The Aspect Ratio of a ring is important for a couple reasons. If you are attempting a weave for the first time, and the tutorial tells you that the max aspect ratio you can use is a 4.9, but you attempt it with a 5.5, you will be sadly disappointed. You will find that it doesn't seem like the pieces can fit together but it is simply because your rings are the incorrect size.  The aspect ratio is used to make sure that the weave isn't too loose or too tight, and prevents you from having to struggle with putting rings together that just aren't the right size.


For the sample bellow we are using a suggested aspect ratio: 3.5

If you are using 14 gauge wire (Approx. 2mm) you will want the inside diameter of your jump rings to be approx. 7mm. 

Aspect Ratio = ID (7mm) ÷ WD (2mm)

7mm ÷ 2mm = 3.5


Byzantine is a good weave to use for all kinds of jewelry. It is also very easy to learn.

1. To start, close four rings and put them on two open rings, then close the open rings.

Free computer generated Byzantine tutorial on thechainmail101.com

2. The next step is to fold two of the rings backwards (red), then widen the middle two rings (blue).

Free computer generated Byzantine tutorial on thechainmail101.com

3. Finish by putting two rings (blue) through the folded back rings (red) to lock the weave in place.

Free computer generated Byzantine tutorial on thechainmail101.com

4. Add two more rings (blue) to the rings you just added (red), and then add two more rings to those rings (blue).;

Free computer generated Byzantine tutorial on thechainmail101.com

5. Exactly like the second step, fold the last two rings back (red), and spread the middle two rings (blue).

Free computer generated Byzantine tutorial on thechainmail101.com

6. Finish it off by putting two rings (blue) through the folded back rings (red) to lock the weave in place.

Free computer generated Byzantine tutorial on thechainmail101.com

7. To add on, repeat steps 4-6. Here is what the finished product should look like.

Free computer generated Byzantine tutorial on thechainmail101.com