Update (04/17/2916): Blue Buddha Boutique is closing its door permanently. The link to their website (below) is no longer active.
You can’t create chainmaille jewelry using randomly selected jump rings.
If the jump rings you use is too small or too thick, you either can’t weave the rings through or the weave is going to be as stiff as a chopstick or a twig
On the other hand, if the rings you use are too thin or too large … the weave is going to be so loose that the links can’t hold its shape and when you wear it as jewelry, the links will definitely flop or look flattened
The first step we need to take when we learn a new chainmaille weave is to find the weave’s ideal ring size(s).
Each weave has its own minimum & ideal Aspect Ratio (the number we get when we divide the inner diameter of a jump ring by its wire diameter – read more about it here >>> http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/articledisplay-old.cgi?key=10902 )
You can find out certain chainmaille weave’s aspect ratio in the following sites:
Let’s say that we want to create a length of chainmaille which ideal Aspect Ratio is 5.1
If we want to create the weave using a 16 gauge wire (with 1.6 mm wire diameter), we are going to need to do some math.
That’s how we find out that if we want to make our own jump rings, we’ll need a cylindrical object with a 8.16mm diameter to use as a mandrel
Or, we can skip all those steps and get a chain maille jewelry making kit instead.
That way, we don’t have to worry about figuring out the weave’s AR and hunt for the right mandrel or pre-made jump rings — and focus on learning the weave
That’s what I usually do . . . . . .
Especially if I’m not sure whether I want to incorporate the weave into my designs