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Why is Aspect Ratio Important When Making Chainmaille Jewelry?

When I tried to make my first Byzantine chainmaille bracelet I had no idea how important aspect ratio was. It came out so loose the pattern wouldn't even stay together and I couldn't figure out what I did wrong. :-( Then I read about aspect ratio. Aspect Ratio or AR is how the diameter of wire in millimeters relates to the internal diameter of the ring.

AR = inside diameter divided by the wire diameter

An aspect ratio has already been determined by chainmaille artists for chainmaille patterns. For example, the Byzantine weave uses an AR of 3.5.  Knowing this I can determine what size ring of need for this weave based on the wire gauge. (Click below for calculations examples).

3.5 = Inside Diameter / Wire Diameter
3.5 (AR) x Wire Diameter = Ring Inside Diameter

Here are the Wire Diameters for the most popular wire gauges:

16 gauge = 1.3mm
18 gauge = 1.0mm
20 gauge = 0.8mm

So the inside diameter for a Byzantine weave for 16 gauge, 18 gauge, or 20 gauge wire is as follows:
    16 gauge wire size      3.5 times 1.3mm = 4.55mm
    18 gauge wire size      3.5 times 1.0mm = 3.50mm
    20 gauge wire size      3.5 times 0.8mm = 2.275mm

If you don't have the exact internal diameter rings available you can usually round up to the next ring size.


Here is the link to AR's for the most popular chainmaille patterns or here is a subset of that list:

European 4 in 1 - 3.3

Dragonscale - 3.8, 6.0 - 5.2, 7.2

Byzantine - 3.4 - 4.2

Roundmaille - 3.3 - 5.0

Turkish Round - 3.5

Full Persian (6 in 1) - 5.1 - 6.5

Half Persian (4 in 1) - 4.7 - 5.9

Spiral (4 in 1) - 4.0 - 5.5

Flower - 3.9 - 5.5


Now that you know all about Aspect Ratios you can make a perfect chainmaille jewelry treasure. Have fun!

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Comment by zoraida bros on June 15, 2011 at 7:54am

Thanks for this great information.  I have yet to create chainmaille but I do love it and want to attempt it soon.  I make my own jump rings so I do need to know about Aspect Ratios, patterns and overall chainmaille jewelry designs .   



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