In a website that I am studying so I can build a Chain Mail, I have found a page featuring a lot of different Ring Weaves to build them.

I want to determine which one is the best to provide resistance against stabbing strikes, so I wish to know if there are some calculations based on wire resistance, thickness and ring size that could give me a theoretical comparation between configurations.

Currently my favourite one is Japanese 6 in 1.
But I think that one like Dragonscale) has to be very resistant too.

How to know it? What calculations can I do to get at least an idea on which to prefer for this? Any help is appreciated an I am sorry for being such a n00b if my question is not appropriate for this place.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is close to being off topic here, but I think it's okay to ask about what properties of different ring weaves would make them more or less resistant to penetration. Of course, for all I know the only answer you might be able to get is that physics has nothing to say on the matter... still, we'll see. $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Oct 11, 2011 at 4:03
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    $\begingroup$ I do like the use of the "everyday-life" tag... $\endgroup$
    – wsc
    Oct 11, 2011 at 12:29
  • $\begingroup$ Note that most instructions for making "chain mail" that you find on the internet are making simple butt joins for the individual ring. Such mail will be very weak against stabbing attack no matter how you construct it because the ring themselves can be easily forced open. You need to make strong joints. $\endgroup$ Jun 2, 2012 at 0:58

1 Answer 1


I will hand wave on this:

The best resistance against stabbing must be metal plate, i.e. no holes where a knife can enter.

The weave is the result of trying to introduce flexibility so that a dress can be made out of the material that would allow agile motion.

The best weave is the weave that when projected against the possible penetration directions leave no projective holes, i.e the knife will hit a wire at some level, and thus it will give the same protection as sheet metal.

I would choose something like "Japanese 8 in 2", or" byzantine variant 1" if the interweaving left no extra holes. i.e. something with many inter leaved levels of wire.

  • $\begingroup$ The weave will be for a chain mail, Byzantine variant 1 is for a Chain so I think that I cannot use it. And the Japanese 8 in 2 seems to work only for that cube figure, and it says that comes from Japanese 4 in 1. Do you think that I can adapt these for a cloth? $\endgroup$
    – Marius
    Oct 11, 2011 at 14:07
  • $\begingroup$ I do not know, that is why I have a question of holes when the pattern is repeated. But I see that the European 8 in 1, 10 in 1, seem to be closing all holes in the center, and the holes on the sides will be filled by the next rows, so they fulfill the "no holes".dragonscale fulfills it , too. $\endgroup$
    – anna v
    Oct 11, 2011 at 15:52
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    $\begingroup$ Chain can actually be superior to plate depending on the mechanics during stabbing; in principle the chain could be forced into the blade, causing extra friction and thus requiring more energy to penetrate, or dissipate the energy over a longer distance, thus avoiding a puncture of the armor. I have no idea whether these things are true in practice for any common ring mail. $\endgroup$
    – Rex Kerr
    Oct 11, 2011 at 16:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Rex Kerr, right, anna thinks in the wrong direction. Even modern bullet-proof jackets or armour is constructed to absorb the kinetic energy of the stab/bullet. This implies thickness, inelastic compression but not the avoidance of "holes". $\endgroup$
    – Georg
    Nov 10, 2011 at 11:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Georg, the question is about stabbing. Not the same as projectile hitting, mainly because a stabbing knife can be very thin, like a knitting needle. Also stabbing allows leeway to find a hole, sliding around. $\endgroup$
    – anna v
    Nov 11, 2011 at 15:09

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