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The Making of Basket 20: Arabian Nights
Article © MAIL User: Chainmailbasket_com

Article originally written in 2003, shortly after Advanced Maille Basketry.

The following article puts chainmail basket making into pictures. This basket is more unusual than most other models I've developed (up to this point) because of its complete floppiness during the construction phase. I put quite a lot of work into it before I even knew it was going to work out. It wasn't until the last few rows were added that it started to actually become a self-standing structure, as chainmail baskets generally need to be.

For the sides, I used Half Persian 3 Sheet 6 in 1 (HP3S6-1), made of .063" (16 SWG / 1.6mm) 5/16" (7.94mm) stainless and bronze rings. After springback is taken into account, these rings have a measured inner diameter of about .346", which yields an AR of 5.5 (the bronze ones are slightly bigger), which is 0.7 above the minimum AR for this weave. At this AR, this sheet has a reasonable amount of flexibility. (Note: I know the stripes look more like brass, but it's actually a gold-coloured bronze alloy.)

Image: basket20c_01.jpg

I expanded it into a continuous strand. As you can see the sheet on its own is very floppy, which is not common with a sheet of maille that is to end up as basket sides.

Image: basket20c_02.jpg

When this sheet of maille was set down on a table in a certain manner though, you can see that it started to take the basketal form. It was realized at this point that it would take much coaxing to form this piece of chainmail into a basket.

Image: basket20c_03.jpg

A few rows were added to the bottom, and the basket sides were still very floppy.

Image: basket20c_04.jpg

I decided to add a very tight row to pull in the bottom part of the basket sides a lot. The row I added was too tight and it pulled in the sides too much. This is the first time I had ever witnessed this phenomenon to this extreme degree. On all my other chainmail baskets in which I made the basket bottom working my way toward the center, I never encountered this problem. It has to do with the general floppiness of the HP3S6-1 at this AR.

Image: basket20c_07.jpg

I rectified the problem by replacing the row with one of the appropriate tightness. I was back in business.

Image: basket20c_08.jpg

I continued to add rows until I reached the center. In the center I incorporated a mini-mosaic which I created a few years back.

Image: basket20c_10.jpg

The basket sides were still very loose.

Image: basket20c_11.jpg

The addition of two rows of .063" (16 SWG / 1.6mm) 9/32" (7.14mm), and one of 1/4" (6.35mm) rings continuing the HP3S6-1 weave helped quite a lot in tightening up the basket. I then added one row of .045" (<18 SWG / 1.14mm) 7/32" (5.56mm) rings to make the top part of the lip using Three Quarters Persian.

Image: basket20c_12.jpg

After this, I added trim which I attached to the row of 7/32" rings.

Image: basket20c_13.jpg

The basket can still be squished in a bit as shown in the picture, but overall it is still a very good basket, and I am quite satisfied with the results.

Image: basket20c_14.jpg
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