How to make chainmaille jewellery – a byzantine Romanov weave
Products used in this project
Not all products are available for this project
Information about this project
Designed by: Agata Szybalska
Hello fellow beaders! Today I am going to show you how to make byzantine romanov weave jewellery. The weave we’re going to work with is still the byzantine weave but the variant form of this weave which I’m going to show you is called Romanov and, undoubtedly, connotes luxury. In this chainmaille jewellery making tutorial I’m not only going to show you how to make a necklace and earrings, but I’m also going to create a bracelet and hopefully inspire you to experiment by showing you various ways of using the byzantine weave.
Please note the products below and in the list above are for a BRACELET ONLY.
Supplies used in this project:
- Jump rings – 5.5mm jump rings x288 (To make the length of bracelet in the picture) & 10 x 10mm Jump rings to link the components together.
- Beads – any 6mm round beads, around 9 beads.
- Jewellery pins – at least 25mm long eye pins or pieces of hard wire.
- Lobster Clasp
- Jewellery tools - two pairs of smooth jawed flat nose pliers to open and close the jump rings, side cutter pliers to cut the pins, and round nose pliers – they will make your work with the jump rings easier
- Bead mat – to keep the jump rings in one place
- Optional: charms or tassels
As a reminder, let’s see how we should open/close the jump rings correctly.
Please note steps 1-16 will show you how to create the basic chainmaille component. Attach an earwire at step 13 if you would like to make earrings, follow onto step 17 for a pendant or step 28 for a bracelet.
To make each earring we need 2 single byzantine elements. If you haven't created a byzantine element before, you can follow the instructions in the picture below.
A 6mm bead should be placed between those elements. We need to thread it onto the eye pin.
If you don’t have such pins, you can use head or ball pins instead.
You just need to cut the head or ball off with the side cutter pliers…
… and make a loop with the round nose pliers.
The loop should be big enough to slide 2 jump rings through it. Thread the bead onto the pin.
Cut off the unneeded part of the pin leaving about a 0.8 – 1cm piece sticking out from the bead.
Catch the end with the round nose pliers…
… and make another loop the same way as previously.
Check whether the loops are in line and, if needed, straighten them with two pairs of flat nose pliers.
All the elements of an earring are prepared, we just need to connect them.
Attach: the earwire, 1 byzantine element, 1 bead on the pin, and the 2nd byzantine element to an open jump ring and close it.
If it’s possible, attach another jump ring the same way. However, if you use, e.g. leverback earrings, which have much smaller loop or you made two small loops by the bead, there will be not enough space to attach the 2nd ring. So one is enough, but you may like to use a thicker one in case.
Connect the bottom part of the earring the same way with one or two jump rings.
IMPORTANT! Attaching the right size of bead to the byzantine elements in the Romanov weave is really important. If the bead is too big, the elements won’t wrap around it. It’s impossible to give a precise size of bead, because each bead – a perfectly round one, a Fire Polish or any other – lies differently. Whereby, the differences in the size of beads, even with a fraction of a millimeter, are very important.
Another important element is the length of the pin. If it’s too long, the bead will bulge out and you won’t place the byzantine elements nicely aside. If it’s too short, the whole element will be too soft and it won’t get a nice shape. You can save the situation a bit by using a bit bigger linking jump rings. The weave will be much more stable if you attach two linking jump rings each time, but if it’s impossible, try to attach thicker ones, at least.
Make the 2nd ring the same way.
Note, there is a loop at the bottom of our Romanov element which just calls for hanging something dangly on it! Of course, it’s not obligatory, but I usually attach something to it. It can be a bead, a charm, a tassel, a piece of a chain or anything that comes to your mind. I attached here a small heart-shaped charm.
PENDANT - The earrings are finished, so it’s time to make a pendant. You can make the same element as in the earrings and hang it on a bail instead of the earwire, but I propose to make something bigger, that sometimes is called “a double Romanov weave”. In fact, it’s not Romanov, but a byzantine weave closed in a circle. I must admit, I don’t know the official name of this weave. To begin, we need to make a piece of byzantine chain made of two elements.
Thread a bigger bead (8 mm) onto a pin with two loops.
You need to attach the bead to the weaved element. Open one of the loops…
… slide it through the side jump rings of the element…
… and close it. Repeat the steps with the 2nd loop.
Half of the pendant is done. Now we need to make another one. Starting from the place the bead is attached to, make another byzantine element, but omit the 2nd step. It should look like this:
Repeat that at the other end.
Now, the hardest part – we need to close the element in a circle. Flip back the side rings at one end and slide a linking jump ring through them. Don’t close the ring yet. Slide it through the rings at the other end (flip them back firstly):
Close the ring now, and insert another one in the same place.
The pendant is almost finished – you just need to attach a bail. Attach the bail to one of the linking (horizontal) rings. Choose the one which the pin is not attached to – the bead will be placed horizontally then. Due to that, if the weaved element is a bit too big, it will lie nicely.
If you don’t have a bail, you may use a thicker jump ring. The last step is to attach something dangly, like in the earrings.
The pendant looks perfect when hung on a quite thick, distinct chain – but the choice is up to you.
BRACELET - The set will perfectly match a simple byzantine bracelet, but if you prefer something more fine, you can make the whole bracelet of the Romanov elements – like the ones in the earrings. Each two nearest elements will share a linking ring and the rings should be bigger than the ones in the byzantine weave.
Below you can see some of these types of bracelets which I have made. The size of the rings is different, depending on the size of the bead in proportion to the byzantine elements. It should fit well, so that the whole weave doesn’t block itself. The bracelet will lie nicely then.
6mm round beads and 5.5 mm jump rings, 9mm linking rings.
Faceted beads are a bit bigger than the rounds so they wrap the byzantine elements better and the linking rings can be smaller – 6mm faceted crystals, 5mm and 8mm jump rings.
This one is a little more chunky, 10mm rounds and 6mm jump rings. The linking rings are 10mm.
Romanov is one of the variants of using the byzantine weave, but undoubtedly the most popular one. A few more examples:
Minimalistic - a half of the byzantine element and a colourful circle:
A byzantine chain of 3 elements closed in a circle has a triangular shape.
Made from a common central part - a half of the byzantine element and an incomplete “double Romanov” topped with a simple chain:
Three Romanovs made from a common central part also get a triangular shape.
Stars made of a byzantine weave, though you may not notice it at first.
These are just a few examples. There are plenty more possibilities. It’s all up to your imagination. Please, share the results of your work with the byzantine weave on our Facebook Group.
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