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European 4 in 1 Chain Mail How To

The European 4 in 1 chain mail technique is the foundation for medieval armor! This pattern consists of one jump ring with four jump rings connected to it. Series of rows and columns are connected by the "one" jump ring. Read through this Handy Tip and follow the helpful pictures to learn this technique. You can use it to make armor, jewelry and more!
Prepare some of your open jump rings and some closed jump rings. Slide four closed jump rings into one open jump ring. Close the open jump ring. Our Jump Ring Handy Tip Video can help you with opening and closing jump rings.Lay the jump rings flat and position them so that they resemble the above image. The center jump ring should be tipped toward you and the outer four should be tipped away from you. This is the 4 in 1 pattern. One center jump ring (the connector) and four outer rings. The four outer rings make up the columns and rows.To add more columns, open a jump ring and slide two closed jump rings onto it.
Connect the open jump ring to the two jump rings in column two. Keep adding columns until you have the desired width you need for your design.To start another row, slide two closed jump rings onto an open jump ring and connect the open jump ring to the first two jump rings in the second row.To continue adding to this row, slide one jump ring onto an open jump ring and connect it to the second and third jump ring in row two and the second jump ring in row three.
Continue adding rows until you have the length you need.There is another way to weave a 4 in 1 pattern that is a bit faster. This technique is called speed weaving. Start your pattern the same way, by sliding four jump rings onto one open jump ring.Spread the links so that you have two on one side and two on the other.
Slide two closed jump rings onto an open one.Link the open jump ring to the two closed jump rings at one end. Continue this pattern to create a chain that is long enough for the width you need.Lay the chain out so that the jump rings lay in the manner we described in step two.
Build another chain for the next section.Use an open jump ring to connect the first two jump rings in row two and the first two jump rings in row three.Use an open jump ring to connect the second and third jump rings in row two and the second and third jump rings in row three together.
Continue using open jump rings to connect the two chains together.This is what a swatch of chain mail fabric looks like. In this image, we have the connector rings tipped toward us.If you hang the fabric with this orientation, the piece will stay relatively rectangular and the sides of the fabric will hold their shape. This is the best orientation for bracelets or belts.
If you turn the fabric 90 degrees, the drape of the fabric changes.The sides collapse in on themselves and they taper toward the bottom. This is the correct orientation for a shirt. The fabric will follow the contours of the body.You can make a bracelet using this technique with our Canterbury Tale bracelet instructions.

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