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The foxtail chain is the basic chain of an unusual family of weaves that aren't strictly maille at all. These weaves must be made from rings that are permanently sealed shut - either made from rubber or welded after formation. The unique property of these weaves is that it is not necessary to open or close a single ring in the weaving. Instead, rings are pulled through each other, leaving small loops poking out that can be used to add the next ring. Rubber rings are ideal for this kind of work as you can really abuse them without doing any damage to them. Beautiful jewelery can also be made from silver or gold wire rings; see the Silver Weaver website for several examples of this kind of jewelery.

For these instructions, I'll be using 5/16" ID .07" thick neoprene O-rings. The basic chain made from this size weave is dense but still flexible, and quite stretchy. It makes a good simple bracelet or necklace. This chain is the basis for all of the other chains in this family, and the techniques used in those other chains are the same as the ones used in this chain. All that I need to weave the chain is a single pair of tweezernose pliers:

Step 1

A crochet-style hook might also work, although it would have to be quite thin and fairly strong. And now, without further ado:

Step 1: Use a single closed metal ring to form the basis for your chain. Wrap a rubber ring around the metal ring and place your plier tips through the two holes that result.

Step 2

Step 2: Grab another rubber ring with the tips of the pliers.

Step 3

Step 3: Pull the new rubber ring through the old one. At this point the chain is still very unstable and can come apart with ease, so stick your pliers through like you did with the first ring.

Step 4

Step 4: Pull another ring through. The chain should stabilize with this ring, so you can take a break and put your tools down if you want. Friction keeps the rings from coming apart from now on.

Step 5

Step 5: Just keep adding rings to your heart's content. It took about a minute for me to extend the chain in this image from that seen in step 4; weaving goes very quickly once you figure out the best way to pull rings through.

Step 6

There you go! This basic chain is elegant and quick to make. Moreover, it can spawn all sorts of different variations. For example, try splitting a single Foxtail chain into two by pulling one ring through each of the holes available after you add a ring. This is the basis for the Foxweb weave.
Examples of the strange things you can do to the Foxtail chain:
The Thing

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All items on this site are copyright 2002 Chris Weisiger (a.k.a. Derakon). That's right - I made everything on this site. Reproduction of any of my work i\ n whole or in part requires my express consent.