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Half Persian 4 in 1
Article © MAIL User: Vacacita

Weaving Half Persian 4-1
by Theresa Olin

Half Persian 4 in 1 is widely considered one of the most difficult chainmaille weaves. Unfortunately, this reputation can keep many aspiring maillers from trying this lovely and elegant chain. There are some challenges, especially in starting the weave, but once you find a method that works for you (and practice enough to get familiar with its nuances), it can be woven fairly quickly and, dare I say, easily. I learned the weave from Derakon's tutorial, but found that I could weave more easily and efficiently if I slightly changed how I did some of the steps.

The rings used for the pictures are 18swg 1/4". This size makes a looser weave than I like, but the rings are a lot easier to see than the smaller rings I usually use. I can highly recommend 20awg 5/32", 22awg 1/8", and 24awg 3/32" rings. The recommended AR is 5.

The key to understanding HP 4-1 is recognizing the layout of the weave. There are two rows of rings: one consists of the open rings worked while weaving the chain, and the other comprises the pre-closed rings that are added along the way. Each ring in a row lies in an over-under sequence with the adjacent rings in that row. (Imagine a row of books on a shelf that have slumped over partway.) Also, each ring goes through only rings of the opposite row - never rings in the same row.

In these pictures, I used bright aluminum for the pre-closed rings and red anodized aluminum for the pre-opened rings. If you have rings in different colors, this method will help distinguish the two rows of rings.

Since I'm right-handed, that's how the pictures and descriptions are oriented. Left-handed maillers may need to reverse some of the direction-dependent instructions.


1. Open a bunch of rings, and close a bunch more. You'll need approximately equal numbers of both.

2. Put three closed rings onto an open ring, and close the ring.

To start the weave, these three rings will have to be positioned carefully. Consider these two pictures:

Image: vacahp4-1start1.jpg  Image: vacahp4-1start2.jpg

In the first picture, the silver rings form a )( shape as they come out over the red ring. There's one ring on the ) side to the left, and two rings on the ( side to the right. In the second picture, ring 2 (the top ring of the two on the right) has been pushed to the left and positioned under ring 1. The three rings now lay on top of each other, like that slumped-over stack of books; 1 is on the top, 2 is in the middle, and 3 is on the bottom.

Now that we've examined the layout in still life, here's how to do it:

3. Hold the closed ring with your pliers in your right hand. Place the rings onto your left index finger so that the loose rings fall to the right. Then grasp the rings with your thumb and index finger.

Image: vacahp4-1step3a.jpg  Image: vacahp4-1step3b.jpg

4. Grab the two right-most rings with your pliers. Then twist them 180 degrees, bringing the top to the front.

Image: vacahp4-1step4a.jpg  Image: vacahp4-1step4b.jpg

5. The rings should look something like the first layout picture in step 2. Jockey the middle ring so that it goes into position as in the second layout picture. You'll have to nudge it under the top ring and make sure the bottom ring stays in place.

6. Pick up an open ring with your pliers, and place a closed ring onto it.

Image: vacahp4-1step6.jpg

7. Pass the open ring up through the right-most ring on the chain.

Image: vacahp4-1step7.jpg

8. Grasping the rings with your thumb and letting go with the pliers, turn the open ring around and grab the other end of the ring with the pliers. This is the end you just passed through the right-most ring on the chain.

Image: vacahp4-1step8.jpg

9. Pass the now-free end of the open ring up through the other two closed rings in the chain. It will end up parallel to the first open ring from step 2. This is probably the most difficult step, since you need to make sure the closed rings don't shift before you can get the open ring into position.

Image: vacahp4-1step9.jpg

10. With a second pair of pliers, close the open ring. The other rings will probably fall into a loose tangle like they did here.

Image: vacahp4-1step10.jpg

11. Holding the same ring with the pliers in your right hand, place the chain onto your left index finger so that the rings align properly, as in the picture. It may take a few tries and some wiggling to get the rings in the right place. Do not let go with your pliers. As long as you're holding that ring with your pliers, you're safe. If you let go, you'll have to deal with a big tangled mess, which usually means starting over. So hold on tight until you've got the rings where you want them.

Image: vacahp4-1step11.jpg

12. Grasp the chain with your thumb again, and let go with the pliers. Now you're back at step 6. Pick up another open ring, put a closed ring on it, and weave away.

Image: vacahp4-1step12.jpg

13. When you get to the length you want (or if you want to join the chain (Joining Half Persian 4 in 1 (CGI)) into a continuous loop), you'll need to take off the loose ring seen on the right end of the picture below. (Or simply don't include it with the last ring you add.)

Image: vacahp4-1finished.jpg


* Some people find weaving easier if the chain is pinned down or placed on a flat surface. I prefer to keep the chain in my hand for greater control.

* You can avoid having to start the weave with each new piece by keeping short lengths of chain on hand to use as starter chains. Start weaving directly onto the starter chain, and then remove the piece when you get to a workable length.

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