European is the original armor weave. It also happens to be the first weave I learned when starting chain maille. So many things can be made with it – shirts, bags, art. If you want a larger custom piece, something bigger than jewelry, chances are it will have European 4 in 1 in it. The name comes from its place of origin. The Europeans made large shirts of maille in this style, unlike the Japanese, who took an entirely different approach to maille. ‘4 in 1’ refers to the fact that each ring (that isn’t on the edge of the piece) has four rings going through it. Bracelets that I keep in stock range from $12-$35, but absolutely anything can be made with this weave.
Elf sheet is a very intricate weave that it difficult to finish up. Usually I understand how weaves work – how each link fits through the other to create the pattern, and I can easily take apart the weave and put it back together from the middle. But with Elf sheet, I know how to build it, and that’s it. I don’t understand how it works, but It’s amazing none the less.
Helm Chain is a flat, narrow weave suited to choker necklaces, bracelets and anklets. Despite its apparent simplicity, it is a slower chain to make. It contains rings that aren’t linked through anything (these are the large rings surrounding each set of smaller rings). They tend to make for a trickier construction, although the results are well worth it.
Bracelets are $25.
Dragon Scale is one of my favorite weaves, although it takes a fiendish amount of time to make. It’s essentially two sheets of European 4 in 1 woven through each other, which actually is less complicated than it sounds.
The first two pictures are of my own bracelet that I wear most days (which is why it looks a little beat up). Dragon scale also works very well with rubber rings on the inside, and the lack of clasp gives a great seamless look.