Hail and welcome Game of Thrones fans, Vikings, Valkyries, Shield Maidens, Warrior Women, and Knights of the Realm. Today I would like to share a little about chainmaille. What is it? Where did it come from? Why is it spelled three different ways?
Chain mail in the Novodevichy Convent Museum in Moscow, Russia.
Spelled properly as mail, it is also spelled maille or maile in some instances. Many maillers think that "Chainmaille" is redundant, because you maille to make chain. I spell it Chainmaille, Chain Maille or Chain Mail, not only to differentiate from the junk mail one receives in their mail box, but so that others searching for jewelry or other things can find the blog or items.
The word maille comes from the French meaning "mesh or stitch". Chainmaille is an ancient art form, dating back to the 5th Century Celts, and most likely made from iron rings. Creating maille is called, weaving, knitting, or linking. Linking individual metal rings together creates Chainmaille; occasionally these rings may be welded or riveted. Commonly referred to as Jump Rings or O Rings, each ring is cut from a coil of metal, creating uniform rings with which to work.
Maille may be made out of a variety of metal including, copper, jeweler's brass also known as Merlin's Gold, stainless steel, iron, aluminum, and precious metals. Many modern day weavers choose Niobium, glass and Neoprene rings to incorporate into their work. Copper is the oldest metal mined by man and was used for any number of items from weapons to tools, and jewelry. A set of maille jewelry is usually called a parure and is comprised of a necklace, bracelet, earrings and sometimes a ring is included as well.
Helm Weave Necklace.
Accented with Swarovski Crystals, by The Alchemists Vessel.
Matching Helm Weave bracelet.
Matching Helm Weave Earrings, also accented with Swarovski Crystals.
This set would make a wonderful gift or a fabulous and unique Wedding Set.
There are many names for some weaves, and others are simply called what they are called for whatever reason that may be, in some cases the name of the weave has little to do with its origins. Weaves like the Box Chain are also called Inca Puno and Queen's Chain. Double Chain also known as Dragon Chain is not to be confused with Dragonscale, a complicated and beautiful maille pattern.
Dragonscale Weave in Silver and 14Kt Gold-plated rings.
(aka Double Chain, but that's boring.)
Now would be a good time to mention that although Maille was and in some cases is still used to create armor, the designs shown and described here are meant for jewelry, adornment and decoration, and will not protect you from anything! Yes, it is made out of metal, yes it is strong, sturdy, durable and sustainable, a good piece of maille will last a life time and longer with proper care and feeding. However chunky or delicate, it will not protect you from knives, needles, swords, maces, axes, bullets, or projectiles of any kind, including harsh words or Cupid's arrows.
We would like to invite you to have a look at the Photo Gallery here on the blog for more unique jewelry and Chainmaille Weave patterns.
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Thank you for stopping in and having a look.
The Alchemists Vessel would like to wish you a pleasant day.