is knitted chain mail a good idea? and other chain mail related questions.

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Izzy358

New Member
Hi everyone,

I'm making Lady Sifs armor from Thor: The Dark World, I've been looking up ways of making chain mail and I'm hoping you guys can tell me from experience if knitted "chain mail" ever looks any good.

I've made some real chain mail that is posing as an under shirt (you can only see the collar area so that's all I made) and that's working fine but it just cost too much to consider making a full skirt which is what I need now (and honestly the process/time just killed my back and wrists!)

I've put so much time into this costume that I really don't want to ruin it all with a rubbish looking under skirt.

as you can see in the images below the chain mail goes under the leather skirt so its only partially visible.

Lady_Sif_(Earth-199999)_TDW.jpgNews-Lady-Sif-SHIELD-01.jpg

I have tried PVC rings cut from pipe but it just looks really chunky even when I use the smallest pipe I can find and my armor is quite snug so I think it may be quite uncomfortable for the portion that would be around my waist under the armor, also I used pretty small rings (5mm) for the section of shirt I made so I think it might look strangely large in comparison.

I know nothing can quite match the real thing but if it's near enough I think I could be happy, Ideally I'd want something that could sort of blend in with the chainmail I made in this image:

DSCN4557.JPG

has anyone used knitting as a chain mail option? if so were you happy with it? did it hang right or look weird?

if anyone has pictures to share I'd love to see it! or if you have a better suggestion I'm all ears,

and one last thing if anyone's still reading this, I was considering just making panels of real mail to fill in the gaps in the outer leather skirt do you reckon that would work? sort of as if it were pleated with alternating leather and chain mail, it would still be more work than knitting but less time and money than a full skirt, anyone reckon that could look good?

sorry if this has ben asked before but I could find any specific chain mail threads when I searched.

look forward to hearing from you,
Izzy
 

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Xtafa

Active Member
Wearing mail can be tiresome for extended periods, though it is a small area. If not wanting to use actual chain mail, you could purchase aluminium or plastic o rings [either can be found very cheap and make a faux chain mail. There are heaps of tutorials for this online, check with SCA and WEMA forums for some tips. You could also find some cheap butchers gloves and salvage the metal mesh from them. I have seen knitted chain mail that looked pretty good too, so ether route works!
 

Joe Pep

Active Member
hey.. yeah I do agree with the being heavy and clunky what you might want to also try is perhaps.. aluminum... Galvanized steel is really heavy but is the norm for most use I mean if you want it to be able to take a wack or two..Here are some options.. 1.. go to the website the ringlord and get some anodized aluminum rings in the size you want.. they are way easier to weave than steel... and if you are just going to use them for cosplay they are just fine.. 2. If your budget is super tight like most of us.. then I would suggest going to your local hardware maybe home depot getting some aluminum wire in the correct gauge probably 12 or 14 would be best. get a bolt orr something to wind the wire usually 5./8" or 3/8" and you can wind it up yourself. It will take a while, but if you have to have a metal and money it tight, there you go.. Hope that gives you some help.. later.
 

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Izzy358

New Member
this page sells plastic chainmaille rings that you can paint to look like metal,
http://theringlord.com/cart/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=219&cat=Engineered+Plastic+Rings
oh brilliant! I've seen this website before but didn't realize they sold plastic rings, this might be the way to go they look pretty good and easy to use, I think I'm going to order a bag of these and see how that goes, cheers!

go to the website the ringlord and get some anodized aluminum rings in the size you want.. they are way easier to weave than steel... and if you are just going to use them for cosplay they are just fine.. 2. If your budget is super tight like most of us.. then I would suggest going to your local hardware maybe home depot getting some aluminum wire in the correct gauge probably 12 or 14 would be best. get a bolt orr something to wind the wire usually 5./8" or 3/8" and you can wind it up yourself. It will take a while, but if you have to have a metal and money it tight, there you go.. Hope that gives you some help.. later.
this is interesting thank you, the rings I used before were steel so aluminum sounds like it might be an option if its easier to weave, I'm willing to put in the hours and if it's a slightly easier process that's definitely preferable,

I think I'm going to give the plastic rings a go but I would prefer to have metal of some kind. Making my own rings sounds like a good idea to save money if I'm not happy with how the plastic rings paint up etc

thanks for taking the time to reply you've all given me a lot to think about!
 

Izzy358

New Member
Wearing mail can be tiresome for extended periods, though it is a small area. If not wanting to use actual chain mail, you could purchase aluminium or plastic o rings [either can be found very cheap and make a faux chain mail. There are heaps of tutorials for this online, check with SCA and WEMA forums for some tips. You could also find some cheap butchers gloves and salvage the metal mesh from them. I have seen knitted chain mail that looked pretty good too, so ether route works!
yeah even the small area around my neck is pretty heavy on its own, thanks for those forum suggestions I've never heard of them before but they look like they could be a good resource!
 

p00k1333

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I searched for knitted chainmail when I did the Stargate Jaffa armor recently. I found the knit pattern called 'garter stitch' was the best match for the pattern I saw in reference photos. Since I had no time to learn how to knit, I attempted to get a suit printed, like the Spider-Man suits. I wasn't having any luck with replies or receiving sample fabrics, so i decided to paint the suit with fabric paints. After all was said and done, I would have been better off making real chainmail. The result was satisfactory, but the effort was a lot more than weaving 40-50 thousand rings. The bit on the front of the skirt is aluminum chainmail I made from hardware store wire.
 

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Izzy358

New Member
I searched for knitted chainmail when I did the Stargate Jaffa armor recently. I found the knit pattern called 'garter stitch' was the best match for the pattern I saw in reference photos. Since I had no time to learn how to knit, I attempted to get a suit printed, like the Spider-Man suits. I wasn't having any luck with replies or receiving sample fabrics, so i decided to paint the suit with fabric paints. After all was said and done, I would have been better off making real chainmail. The result was satisfactory, but the effort was a lot more than weaving 40-50 thousand rings. The bit on the front of the skirt is aluminum chainmail I made from hardware store wire.
wow I never thought of painting it, that's good idea for keeping it lightweight and keeping the cost down, I can see how it could be a lot of effort though.

I was concerned that it wouldn't hang like real mail but it looks really good, especially around your arms, your Jaffa costume looks great, nice work!

thanks for the tips, this is why I love this forum I can learn from people first hand experiences!
 

mistymills

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I'm using chrome and silver paint on a large knit sweater for my chain mail for Viking Batgirl. I don't know the stitch used but it's a large round-ish stitch that'll look right. I found the sweater at a thrift store, hacked off the cowl neck and the sleeves and it looks great. I'm trying to figure out a good way to weigh the bottom hem down a bit so it doesn't curl upward at all as it tends to want to do now. I've heard using a base spray of plain silver and dusting it with a chrome spray gives good results.
 

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SmilingOtter

Master Member
I'm a big fan of The Ring Lord - I haven't used their stuff for costumes, but bracelets, pendants, dice bags, etc. They have a great selection, and very reasonable prices.

I do have one beef against them, though - it can take several days for them to put my order together, even when the stuff is already in stock. You can pay extra to have them rush, but (IMO) if they can move fast, they already should be doing so.

I still order from them as soon as my supplies start getting low or I need/want something different, and highly recommend them.
 
There are fabrics that look vaguely like chain maile, like this. You might have to weight the bottom somehow to get it to hang nicely, but it would probably look nice.
 

Izzy358

New Member
I'm a big fan of The Ring Lord - I haven't used their stuff for costumes, but bracelets, pendants, dice bags, etc. They have a great selection, and very reasonable prices.

I do have one beef against them, though - it can take several days for them to put my order together, even when the stuff is already in stock. You can pay extra to have them rush, but (IMO) if they can move fast, they already should be doing so.

I still order from them as soon as my supplies start getting low or I need/want something different, and highly recommend them.
yeah I noticed that on my order I got dispatch confirmation several days later, they do have an amazing selection though, not sure I'm happy with the plastic rings because while they're light weight and so easy to use the smallest size is about half an inch and it just looks huge to me, but I'm going to see what I think after I've painted them maybe they'll look better.


There are fabrics that look vaguely like chain maile, like this. You might have to weight the bottom somehow to get it to hang nicely, but it would probably look nice.
I really like the look of that fabric, especially as its going to be partially hidden that could work well, and I could maybe add some real rings to the bottom to weight it down like you said, thank you!
 

DTrujillo

New Member
Found this at Forever21 (it's a long dress, about 60"+ long).

Seems like a pretty serviceable option for fabric chain mail lots of stretch. 50% Rayon 50% Poly. Nice loop size.

IMG_4223.JPGIMG_4224.JPGIMG_4225.JPG
 

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