Dragon eye inlay Byzantine Weave
Introduction History Rings and Weaving Overview of Weaves Weaving Euro 4-1 Weaving Byzantine Weaving HP 3-1
Weaving HP 4-1 Weaving FP Weaving Jap 2-1 Weaving Jap 2-6 Wire Gauge Glossary Links
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z 
Alloy A metal produced by combining two or more other metals.
Anodizing Process of creating an oxide layer on the surface of a metal by anodic treatment. Generally used on niobium, titanium, and aluminum. Results in a thin film of oxide that is often harder than the unoxidized metal beneath, and which can be manipulated via thickness to produce desired colors. In the case of aluminum, dyes can be used to color this layer.
Aspect ratio(AR) The ratio between the diameter of a ring and the diameter of the wire. Formula: AR = ring ID/gauge
Aventail A curtain of mail attached by means of staples around the base of a helmet. This protects the neck and the shoulders
AWG American Wire Gauge (AKA Browne & Sharpe) - Wire measurement standard still used for non-ferrous wire and intended for electrical use. Based on electrical resistance in a wire, such that each successive number has twice the resistance of the number below it.
Burr A sharp, projecting edge or point sometimes left when cutting metal.
Byrnie A mail shirt which usually extends only to the waist, and has no sleeves.
Cage The group of rings which trap a captive ring and hold it in place.
Captive ring A ring that is held in place by a series of rings without passing through the inner diameter of those rings.
Chainmail A flexible weave composed of interlocking metal rings or loops of chain.
Closure The point at which the ends of a butted ring meet.
Coif A hood, usually of maille.
Full hard temper The highest hardness of a metal normally commercially obtainable.
Galvanizing To coat steel with zinc or tin for protection against rust. Can either be done electrolytically or by traditional dipping.
Gauge Older standard numbering systems indicating wire diameter. Still in widespread use in North America.
Gauntlet Armour for the hand, ranging from mail mitt to plate armor.
Half hard temper (see temper)
Handflower Mail jewelry which covers all or part of the back on the hand. Consists of a bracelet and finger ring, along with mail connecting the two.
Hard drawing Passing metal through successively smaller holes in a draw plate in order to reduce diameter and increase hardness.
Haubergeon A mail shirt which usually extends to the upper thighs, and has half sleeves. Often, these would be laced down the sides.
Hauberk A mail shirt reaching to somewhere between the knee and hip and including sleeves.
I.D. Inner diameter. Refers to the measurement across the inside of a ring.
Kerf The gap between the ends of a ring after it has been saw cut.
King In chainmail, a weave doubling the number of rings. This can be used to add strength to a few places in a piece, or to make the entire weave stiffer.
Mail (Also 'maille') A flexible weave composed of interlocking metal rings or loops of chain.
Mandrel A cylindrical shaft around which wire is wound to form coils, usually for the purpose of making rings.
Mantle A circular drape of cloth or mail worn over the upper body. Covers the shoulders and upper chest and arms, and has a central head hole.
O.D. Outer Diameter. Refers to the measurement of a ring including the gauge on both sides.
Orbital ring A ring which is connected around either the space where two or more other rings connect or around one or more entire rings, while never passing through the inner plane of any ring.
Oxidation The chemical addition of oxygen to a compound. Atmospheric exposure will create surface oxidations.
Plate Armor constructed of large sheets of metal hammered or otherwise formed into the shape of the wearer.
Riveted mail A form of mail made up of rings whose ends have been flattened, punched, and rivetted together.
Speedweave A weaving technique whose purpose is to decrease overall time to make a particlar weave, usually involving adding one or more pre-closed rings into the larger workpiece rather than individual open rings.
Spring hard temper Hardest temper attainable by cold working. Not normally used for mail, as it exhibits a great deal of springback and can be very brittle and difficult to form by hand.
Springback The tendency of a tightly wound coil to expand after the coiling tension is released. This causes the coil to expand slightly, making the completed rings larger than the mandrel they were originally wound on.
SWG Imperial Standard Wire Guage - Used in US for many ferrous (iron and steel) metals and some non-ferrous metals not intended for electrical use. Based on the number of times wire was drawn through an Imperial standard draw plate to reach a given diameter.
Tarnish Discoloration of metal, typically from a layer of oxides.

Commercial wire suppliers refer to the hardness of a metal. A range of terms are used to represent the range of hardnesses.

In order:

  • Annealed
  • Quarter Hard Temper
  • Half Hard Temper
  • Three Quarter Hard Temper
  • Full Hard Temper
  • Extra Hard Temper
  • Spring Hard Temper
  • Extra Spring Hard Temper
Tensile strength The breaking strength of a material when subjected to stretching forces.
Tumbling A method of cleaning and deburring by mechanical action. Some tumblers rotate in a cylinder, while others use vibration. For ring tumbling, stainless steel shot, sand, rice, or nothing at all are common tumbling media.
Weave A weave is the immediate pattern noticed in a piece of mail of one weave. It is the repeating pattern, and the pattern in which the rings are added, and the characteristics of how they interact with other rings in the weave.
Renderings Copyright 2006 by Jeff Baker. Pictures provided by The Ring Lord