Why is Aspect Ratio Important When Making Chainmaille Jewelry?

by Karen on May 8, 2011

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 http://www.chainmailbasket.com/weavechart.php 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!





{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

David Bowman May 20, 2012 at 10:25 pm

If you’re serious about chainmaille, you have to understand Aspect Ratios.

Sometimes I know what gauge wire I want to use, but I need to figure out what inner diameter to use to get the right ratio. Sometimes I know what inner diameter I want, but I need to figure out the gauge to use.

I got tired of doing the math, so I created an Excel spreadsheet that does the calculations for me. You can read about it and download it from this site: http://chainofbeauty.wordpress.com/chainmaille-resources/

Karen June 14, 2012 at 8:27 pm

This is an excellent resource! Thanks for sharing!

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