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Topic: How to make fake (and comfy) chainmaille/chainmail TUT  (Read 4455 times)
Tags for this thread: chainmail , chainmaille , knitting , tutorial  Add new tag
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Earth Crone
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« on: May 22, 2016 07:24:54 AM »

When I make costumes, comfort is primary, not realism. I applaud those that make period clothing and strive for authenticity, but those old timey folks were often not comfortable. I mean who wants to wear a stone weight ot chainmaille?

So to create a set of arm guards, I wanted some chainmaille to protect those vulnerable wrists and forearms, but did not like the idea of linking 100's of rings together or sewing with them.

YouTube came to the rescue again. I have to say that my first attempt did not really resemble chainmaille, but was easy and for a costume at a dimly lit party, would do. Especially if drinks are free!

*An old sweater or knitted length of fabric. Garter stitch (knit each row), stockinette stitch (knit one row, pearl one row), or the inside of an old sweater.
*Black spray paint
*Silver spray paint
*Well ventilated area, or do this outside. You will also have to let the fabric breathe and cure for at least a week, mine gave off fumes for quite a while.

The back side of of knitted stockinette stitch, or even better, garter stitch looks rather like chain fabric. A heavy weight yarn and big needles would do the trick. Or a thrift store (or back of the closet) sweater. Turn it inside out and take a look.  The smoother and thicker the yarn, the better the look. Think of comfort too. 100% wool can be scritchy, so a blend, cotton, or a manmade yarn would be best.

I knitted up a length of some 100% wool, rather scratchy, rusty orange wool...it was the thickest yarn I had. In the future, I would use something less fuzzy. Big needles made it go fast. Then the cat helped by becoming quite fond of the sample and mangling it a bit. Did I say this was wool with quite a bit of lanolin still present?

I stapled it to a piece of cardboard and gave it two coats of black spray paint. Depending on the color, you might want to spray the other side as well. I used a rusty color yarn, so my maille looks like it's a bit rusted...I like that.

Then a coat or two of silver. I also added a clear gloss layer that did not really do anything.

Then I sewed it into my wrist guards. Simple. The final fabric is stiffer, but still flexible. As you bend the fabric, more of the original yarn will show. Dying the sweater to a darker or rust color first.

« Last Edit: May 22, 2016 07:35:34 AM by cmarion3 » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Must craft....must craft.....
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2016 07:21:41 PM »

That's pretty awesome! I really want to get back into costuming, and you have inspired me! Your method is definitely a lot easier than trying to figure out and complete real chainmail!!

« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2016 11:42:51 AM »

Yeah for faster, softer, lighter chain mail!
This will be a great addition to your costume. I'd love to see the whole costume by the way.
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Earth Crone
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« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2016 05:35:14 AM »

It was made for a swap actually, I posted this early so had to fudge a bit. I'd love a costume to go with these....I'll have to make myself a set.

Must craft....must craft.....
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2016 05:00:08 PM »

And then, you could really enjoy a Renaissance Fair. Smiley
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