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How I Prep Maille to be Sold/Worn
Article © MAIL User: DruidQueen

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When I get maille ready to sell/wear/give to someone, I've taken to prepping it a little before it leaves me.

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First, I clean it with lemon juice. We have a lemon tree in our backyard, so I don't have a shortage of lemons. If you don't have this commodity, you could buy lemons/juice or I'm pretty sure vinegar works too.

Anyway, I keep a wide-mouth pint jar with a lid in our refrigerator with about 1/4 or 1/3 of it filled with lemon juice. If you leave the jar on the counter, it will get moldy and gross. Don't try it - it smells horrible and your parents will kill you, even if you don't still live with them. :P

I put the jewelry in there, shake it around a while, and then stick it back in the fridge. You can leave it in there as long as you want. The dirtiness of the piece determines how long it stays in the juice for me. I've noticed that really dirty copper takes about the longest to shine up nicely.

After it comes out of the icebox, I rinse it in water. Hot or cold, it doesn't matter.

I then move on to my extremely high class tumbling device. Old pillow case + cheap rice + clothes dryer = awesome poor man's tumbler. :P

Like it says, I took one of my mom's big OLD pillow cases and put some cheap rice in it. PLEASE do not use a new pillow case. The pillow case I use started out a beautiful sky blue. It still is a beautiful sky blue, except where the rice and maille touched it. It is a horrendous black/gray there. It WILL ruin the pillow case. Don't do this without parental permission on the pillowcase you want to use. YES, I'm talking to you, middle and high school kids. :P <-- Personal experience.

Put the maille in there that you want to deburr or polish a little more. Add a small bag of rice if it's for jewelry. Tie a good tight knot in the case. Toss it in the dryer for a while. I prefer to use the no-heat setting, but if you don't have that, it doesn't really make a difference.

Don't do this with other clothes in the dryer. Especially white clothes. ANOTHER personal experience.

Take it out when the dryer goes off, and look at your work. If it needs some more tumbling, toss it back in. You can't hurt the maille like this. At least, I haven't managed to yet.

Your pieces might have some rice stuck in them. Just pick it out, you won't die from the work.

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Other things I have learned from this:

-Do not tumble or polish your enameled copper in this way. The polishing won't help the shine, and tumbling it doesn't seem to come out too nicely.

-I noticed on my lovely anodized Ti byz choker that using lemon juice on anodized Ti will shine it up some, but the tumbling will take off the anodizing for some reason.

-I haven't tried anodized aluminum in this manner. I expect similar results. Same goes for etched aluminum.

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Metals I have tried that work great in this:
Copper
Stainless
Bright Aluminum
Bronze
Regular Aluminum
Galvy

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You can also polish plain rings in the dryer. Getting the rings seperate from the rice is another story. Something that I do that seperates them wonderfully:

Take a piece of wire small enough to go through the rings. Pour all of the stuff (rings/rice) in a low sided bucket/bowl, etc. I use a crab boiling tray.

Hold the wire at one end, and pass it blindly through the middle of the rice/rings. It should pick up the rings as it goes through. Then dump the rings off the wire into a bag/bucket. Repeat.

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So far, I've had only good results from this procedure/thing, except for the Ti necklace. :( None of my maille has been pulled apart in the dryer, including my 22g 3/32" BA roundmaille necklace and my 24g 1/16" stainless byzantine necklace.

Good luck, hope it works for you! If you have questions, PM or email me. I'll try to help you in any way I can. :D

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Original URL: http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/articledisplay.php?key=465