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Killer Ready - Chainmaille Tapestry - by countessjets

countessjetscountessjets Member Posts: 2
edited June 2020 in Crafting Contest

This was actually the first chainmaille tapestry I ever made and it was a gift for my husband - DBD is the first game we ever played together. Making a chainmaille tapestry (or inlay as it's often called) takes a mix of computer work for the patterning and recoloring and hands on work for the weaving.

It has 15,862 anodized aluminum rings (not counting the ones for hanging) that I wove together using the European 4-in-1 weave. It's all done by hand with a couple pairs of pliers and took me about 60 hours for the weaving. The finished size without the hanger is about 15" x 19". With the hanger, the total weight is only about 1 pound because the aluminum rings are so lightweight. As it gets bigger it gets hard to hold when weaving one row at a time so my method is to weave strips of three rows and then connect them. It can still get a bit unwieldy but I found it to be a little faster that way.

Making the pattern took about 10 hours or so. I started by reducing the image size to the number of pixels I would need for one pixel to equal one ring and have it come out to the total finished size I wanted - every 7 rings is approximately an inch. You lose image clarity when you reduce the pixels though, and images use many many shades of colors, so then I recolored pixel by pixel to recreate the image with just the 3 colors of rings. I put the image into a spreadsheet then for easy tracking as I work . One pixel = one cell on the spreadsheet.

I hung it using teh larger bright aluminum rings, cut a dowel, ran it through the rings and affixed the end caps.

Post edited by countessjets on


  • ZoophageZoophage Member Posts: 122

    Wow! That looks seriously amazing! Well done. This is definitely something I could see people wanting to buy, myself included.

  • ZoophageZoophage Member Posts: 122

    Question: did you "simply" crimp each ring together with some sort of soft-nosed pliers? I've never heard of the European 4-in-1 weave, so I'm just guessing.

  • countessjetscountessjets Member Posts: 2

    Thanks! I don't use soft nosed pliers, I use standard metal pliers (chain nose and flat nose) but they don't have teeth so they don't tend to mark up the rings. Euro 4-1 is a pretty standard chainmaille weave, especially for tapestries, where every ring is connected to four others (except for the edge rings, of course). I use saw cut jump rings. I use a pair of pliers in each hand and each ring is opened by pulling one side toward me and the other side away from me. You hook it through the other rings you want to and then close by bending the sides back toward each other and actually pushing in slightly to close the kerf (the small gap left from the saw when it cut). Closing usually takes a little back and forth work until you get it closed flush and even.

    I hoped that helped clarify!

  • ashenlionashenlion Member Posts: 10

    Oof, I've worked with chainamail before, gotta compliment on the devotion there. That is a gorgeous gift.

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