Have you ever looked at chainmaille either in the movies or at shows and thought "How cool would that be to make?" but didn't know where to start? Well hopefully this will answer some of your questions and get you started. At its most basic level, you will need four things to get started.
1, A pair of pliers
These were my first pair of pliers and they served me well for quite some time - you can see how well loved they were. They don't need to be expensive, but they do need to be smooth jawed so they don't mark the rings.
I recommend a combination of chain nosed pliers and bent nosed pliers
You can find some great beginner pliers here
2, Some rings
You'll need a bunch of rings to get you started. You can either coil and cut your own (I don't personally as I prefer to just get on and make) or buy pre made rings.
You'll find lots of options for rings from aluminium to stainless steel and it's up to you what you choose - each type of ring has its own pros and cons.
You can find a range of premade rings here
3, A way of learning
If you have a fellow mailler or friend to teach you, that's fantastic -but is also quite rare still. The internet is a wealth of knowledge and there are lots of ways to get into chainmaille. You can buy kits that contain tutorials and the materials you need to get started. These are a good way to 'dip your toe' in and see if chainmailling is for you.
The other way is to find tutorials on the internet and you have lots of options open to you.
I started with Maille Artisans which has hundreds of weaves for you to look through and learn.
Another website that is being expanded all the time is Chainmaillers.com . Not only is it a resource for tutorials but it also comes with a forum to chat to other maillers
If you're more of a visual learner, Youtube is a great resource to watch how chainmaille is made and one channel in particular has a whole heap of videos, that's Aussie Maille. One thing to bear in mind when purchasing rings to weave along is that she uses AWG (American Wire Gauge - I'll do another post to explain the differences between the wire gauges)
And finally ......
4, A lot of patience!!
Weaving rings is a great hobby, but at times it can be frustrating and if you're anything like me, rings will get thrown across the room. But as with anything, practice makes perfect.
Other resources that are available are groups on Facebook like :-
https://www.facebook.com/groups/136071543134042 (Chainmaille Jewelry and more)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1005540889530155 (Chainmaille Outlaws UK)