Chain Mail Jewellery & Accessories by Angie Mack


Tutorial: Not Tao 3 Chain Mail Unit

I’ve been meaning to get this done for quite a long time and finally had the chance to take the photos. They’re (mostly) a little clearer this time, so I hope that helps make the instructions easy to follow.

Not Tao units are quite versatile, and they can be made with any number of rings woven around the large, central rings (as long as the sizes fit together well) – I’ve used them as pendant bails, linked them together for a chain, and they would be great components in chandelier earrings.

For this tutorial, basic chain mail techniques (like opening and closing rings) are assumed. To make these, I’m using 18 gauge 5/16’s in red and black (1.2mm thick with a 4.75 ID), and 18 gauge stainless steel rings with an outside diameter of 9mm – that’s an AR of around 4 for the small rings, and an AR of 5.5 for the large rings.

The most important thing when selecting rings for this weave is that the small rings will be able to fit two of the larger rings and one of the smaller rings inside it when closed, after that you can experiment with how many rings can be woven around the outside of your larger rings. The colour and material combos are virtually limitless, but for the sake of the tutorial I will be referring to each ring by the colours shown.

Step One

Close three red rings and open three black rings, then connect two large silver rings to the three red rings.

Step Two

Holding the unit by one of the red rings, you now need to get the two loose red rings in the right position so that a black ring can be added.

Once you have the red rings in the right position, you need to thread a black ring  in between the two silver rings and through each red ring – it goes through the ‘top’ of the lower red ring in the picture, then through the ‘bottom of the upper red ring. As this is probably the trickiest bit, and it was a little difficult to get a photo showing how to add the black ring in,  I’ve made a very simple graphic that shows how to position the red rings and the path that the black ring needs to follow, as well as taken a few shots from different angles.

Step 3

After you close the first black ring, you add a second one that follows the same pattern and path to link the third red ring. Remember that you need to keep the black ring between the two silver ones so that it ends up being ‘sandwiched’ by them.  It’s quite easy from here, as you can just thread the black ring through the top of the second ring, then – while making sure the third red ring is positioned correctly, bring it through the two silver rings and thread the ring through the ‘bottom’ end of the red ring, as shown.

Step 4

To finish it off, the last black ring is added and follows the same path as the other two.

Close off the last ring and that’s it – one complete Not Tao 3 unit, which I’ve shown below from the top down view and the from the side, in case it helps make clear how it all comes together.

If there’s anything about this tutorial that’s confusing or isn’t explained clearly enough, feel free to leave any comments and questions and I’ll do what I can ASAP.

As you can see below, I expanded on the idea for the last necklace, adding spikes and crosses to the same basic design.