Glossary of Terms

A brief glossary of terms commonly used in maille and jewelry-making.

Alloy -  a combination one or more metals usually to enhance its properties, a mixture or metallic solid solution composed of two or more elements.

Aluminum - a metallic element, usually combined with other metals to create aluminum alloys.  Earth's most abundant metal element.

Annealing - the process of heating metal or glass for easier working

Anodizing - a process of adding color to and increasing the thickness of the natural oxide layer on the surface of metals.

Antiquing - a chemical process of changing the color or adding an aged look to metal

Alcohol Ink - a translucent ink designed for dying metal and other materials  

Bail: A piece of metal from which a pendant is hung on a chain

Brass - An alloy, a base metal commonly used in jewelry-making

Bronze - An alloy, metal commonly used in jewelry-making

Chainmaille - the finished product of Maille or Maille Weaving

Coil - a length of metal wire turned or spun on a mandrel

Copper - An element, metal commonly used in jewelry-making

Diameter - The measurement of wire thickness or the "hole" of the jump ring.

Eye - the space or hole created by placing jump rings in a specific position.

Finding - term generally referring to any piece of jewelry-making finishing items; ear wires, clasps, bails, pin backs etc.

Gauge - A measurement of wire; AWG; American Wire Gauge

Jump Ring - usually a circle of metal with an opening; also called an O Ring

Maille - the art of weaving jump rings together to form a chain or wearable article of clothing; mesh; net; or Armor accessory (helmet coifs, shirts, gauntlets etc...); also spelled Mail, and maile

Mandrel - a round object used to spin or coil wire 

Nickle - also called German or Indian Silver, it contains no silver whatsoever, it is an alloy of 65% Copper, 18% Tin and 17% Zinc.  Although it is silver in color it is greyer in tone than Sterling Silver.  It should be noted that some people are allergic Nickle.

Niobium - a soft metal popular in jewelry-making as it doesn't 
bother those that are sensitive to metals.

Noble Metal - metals that are resistant to oxidation (rusting); Rhodium, Platinum, Silver and Gold

Plated - a fine layer, usually between .015 and .025mm, of precious metal over a base metal, like brass or copper.

Pliers -  hand held jawed tools that come in various nose shapes and sizes

Pinch-Cutting - this usually refers to cutting wire by hand with wire cutter

Precious Metal - metals that are less reactive to the elements than base metals.  Referred to as precious due to their rarity in the Earth's crust, includes the Noble metals as well as iridium, and palladium. Once valued as currency or "coin metals", now favored as an investment and in jewelry-making.

Sawing:  Using a jeweler's saw or blade to cut through wire coils

Spring-back - the loosening of a metal coil after the tension has been released.

Sterling Silver - a beautiful white "precious" metal, containing 92.5% silver and 7.5% Copper.

Weaves - patterns for making maille

White Metal - usually a base metal alloy with a high tin content, giving it it's white or silver color.

Wire Cutters - Scissor-like metal cutting tools specifically made for cutting and trimming wire, come in a variety of sheer shapes and sizes, some are used for making specific types of cuts, 

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