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How to make fake chainmail

Updated April 07, 2017

Chainmail, a type of armour worn by wealthy warriors from the middle ages onward, is formed out of thousands of intertwined metal links. It is possible to purchase authentically knitted chainmail from replica and armour supply companies; however, due to the materials and workmanship required, the weight and cost of this item are both quite high. Making a passable fake chainmail item depends on mimicking the texture of the metalwork, since that is what gives the distinctive "knitted" look.

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  1. Search for a sweater with a wide, open knit. Try locations such as thrift stores, outlet stores, and second-hand clothing shops. The sweater should be as plain as possible. Colour does not matter.

  2. Remove any tags or decorations from the sweater.

  3. Cut the sleeves to the desired length, if necessary. Tie off the ends of the yarn to keep the sweater from unravelling.

  4. Lay the sweater flat in an open, ventilated area and spray lightly with silver spray paint. Do not stand close enough to allow paint to build up and drip as this will ruin the effect, just a dusting is needed to give an authentic look. Allow the sweater to dry and reapply if necessary. Repeat until the desired look is achieved.

  5. Tip

    Wearing fake chainmail under a belted tunic or combined with pieces of more authentic armour creates a more authentic look.

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Things You'll Need

  • Large, chunky knit sweater
  • Silver spray paint

About the Author

Gwen Wark is a freelance writer working from London, Dublin, and New York. She has been a published writer since 1998 with works appearing in both university and local publications. Her current writing projects include SEO, web copy, print and advertising features. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in history from Rutgers University.

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