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Japanese 4-in-1 chain mail bracelet

A few simple variations add texture and depth to a traditional chain

The Japanese 4-in-1 chain, in its basic form, joins jump rings to create a square; for each large jump ring in the center row, there are four small jump rings linking it to the rest of the pattern. For my version, I doubled the small rings and used a texture-infusing layer of rosettes in place of the large rings. While 8-in-3 might be more accurate, it’s a bit cumbersome, so I gave the pattern a more graceful name: Irena. The bracelet is pleasantly challenging to make, but you can finish it in a day, if you’re motivated. The chain takes on a graphic look when you mix oxidized and bare sterling silver jump rings.

If you love geometric chain mail, you’ll find rich territory in Japanese chain mail weaves. Some can be extremely intricate, displaying hexagonal shapes that will test your weaving skills.

Click through the gallery below for step-by-step instructions, or click here for the free project PDF.

Materials

  • Argentium sterling silver jump rings:
    - 20-gauge (0.8 mm), 4.75 mm inside diameter (ID), 252
    - 20-gauge (0.8 mm), 2.75 mm ID, 12
    - 18-gauge (1.0 mm), 3.5 mm ID, 238
  • Three-loop Argentium sterling silver slide clasp

Additional tools & supplies

  • Liver of sulfur

Toolbox: Chain mail

Instructions

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