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# Overlapping Slits in European 4 in 1Article © MAIL User: Blaise

A hauberk that extends below the hips will often restrict the wearer's range of motion as the thighs attempt to extend for walking, sparring, etc... Most maillers will leave a slit in the front and back (or the sides) of the garment extending up to about crotch height to solve this problem. The two halves of the resulting garment move with the wearer's legs, rather than holding them back.

However, a slit produces a discontinuity in the fabric of the maille, which causes what engineers call a "stress concentration". In a continuous piece of maille, each ring distributes its weight (and all the weight it carries from other rings) between all the rings to which it is attached above it in the weave. The edge rings of a piece of maille carry significantly more weight than those in a continuous weave, because in each row, there is a ring below each of them which is distributing its weight on less rings than normal. The higher in the piece you go, the more weight each ring has to carry. This is why when you hang a piece of European maille from the rings in its top row, the top edge rings are always the first to fail.

When a slit is made, there is a single ring which is being treated as the top edge ring by not one, but two separate sheets of maille, causing the extra stress on that ring to double. These rings often fail, even under light use, and constantly have to be replaced. This article details a method of overlapping the European 4 in 1 weave at the top of a slit, to cause a significantly smaller stress concentration, and consequently a much more durable garment.

Step 1:

Begin with the lower edge of a continuous piece of maille. Identify the point at which you want the slit to center.

Step 2:

At the exact centerpoint of your slit, add a ring in the normal European 4 in 1 fashion.

Step 3:

Now add another ring right on top of the first one, connected to the same two supporting rings above it.

Step 4:

Add a ring that passes through the rightmost supporting ring, and its neighbor to the right. It is important to note that this ring must be leaved in between the previous two rings that were added.

Step 5:

As was done in step three, add another ring right on top of the one just added, connected to the same two supporting rings above it. Be sure that this one is outside the two rings from the previous column.

Step 6:

Now go back to the original column that was added. Add a ring that passes through the leftmost supporting ring, and its neighbor to the left. This ring must be behind both of the rings in the first column.

Step 7:

Again, add another ring right on top of the one just added, connected to the same two supporting rings above it. As in step 4, this ring must be leaved in between the two rings from the first column. At this point, the most basic overlap point is complete. It is possible to continue these overlaps out more than three columns if desired. I use five columns, but this simple overlap will suffice for demonstration the concept.

Step 8:

We can now continue normal rows of Euro 4-1 to either side of the overlap point. Those to the right must be on top of (or in front of, depending on how you look at it) the foremost row of rings in the overlap point (darker color in diagram).

Step 9:

Those to the left must be beneath (or in back of, depending on how you look at it) the rear row of rings in the overlap point.

Step 10:

Now normal weaving can resume, starting from either end of the overlap point. Add a ring through the two rings at the rightmost end of the rear row of the overlap point in normal Euro 4-1 fashion.

Step 11:

Continue to the left, linking only through the rear row of the overlap point.

Step 12:

Weaving past the end of the overlap point, the row becomes standard Euro 4-1.

Step 13:

Add a ring through the two rings at the leftmost end of the front row of the overlap point in normal Euro 4-1 fashion.

Step 14:

Continue to the right, linking only through the front row of the overlap point, past the end of the overlap point. Again, the row continues as normal Euro 4-1.

Step 15:

Weaving can now continue in a normal fashion at the bottom edge of both of the two split sheets that have just been created.

Summary:
As previously stated, this is a basic overlap, distributing stress over only 3 rings. If the overlap is carried out to 5 or 7 columns, the stress concentration is dissipated further. Note that if the overlap continues too far, the added weight of the extra rings will probably begin to counteract the benefits of the overlap...

Here is an example of this tutorial in action. It's a 5 ring overlap on my 16SWG 3/8inch galvanized steel hauberk:
Original URL: http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/articledisplay.php?key=258