Forçat chain maille weaves are a classic of jewelry, often worn by men in general, giving a masculine style to 18-karat gold necklace even when they are fine.

They are in great demand for making gold necklaces and bracelets. Although of classic design, we can easily customize them by choosing the size of the links and the length of the chain, in order to adapt them to each one.

This type of chain is relatively easy to manufacture, given the simplicity of the shapes of the convict link.

However, the work of manual manufacturing of a chain will always be laborious, since it is necessary to make the links one by one, to assemble them, to weld them, to polish them ...

Forcat chain 18K gold

Hand-made forçat chain made of 18-karat yellow gold, via our online creation service

And of course mechanization now offers the possibility of manufacturing these chains at a much lower cost than manual manufacturing.

Fortunately, manual manufacturing still offers some advantages, namely :

  • a mechanical strength of the links and the upper chain
  • the possibility to manufacture custom chains according to the desired size, chains made by machines having standard dimensions (small) and not customizable.

The previous photo shows the oval shape of the links of the chain.

These chains differ from the marine chain by its pattern which is less rectangular and more oval, as seen here.

Link forçat chain

Comparative of a forçat chain with a marine chain

Here are some other examples of men's 18k gold bracelets :

Jaseron chain 18k gold Horse chain for men 18k gold 18k gold chain

How are they made ?

Work begins with the production of a 18-karat yellow gold wire with the right diameter.

Such a yarn is obtained by rolling a small gold bar into a thin, square yarn. Its shape is due to the shape of the rollers of the mill, because it is not known how to roll a round wire.

18k gold wire

Our gold wire being rolled

This thread is then passed through a die to give it its round shape and the right diameter.

Yellow gold wire

We can see the wire coming out of the die

We thus obtain a small coil of gold wire to the desired diameter that we will be able to transform into a chain.

gold 18k wires

Our gold bar became a thin wire with the right diameter to make the links of our chain 

The wire is then surrounded around a mandrel which has the desired shape.

The links sizes are adjusted with paper wrapped around the mandrel when the dimensions of the links are close to those of the mandrel.

In some cases, we are obliged to manufacture the customized chuck adapted to our needs for the manufacture of the chain maille.

Format chain 18k gold

We see in the photo our yellow gold wire wrapped on paper surrounding the metal mandrel, manufactured for our needs

The spiral of gold wire is then cut in the longitudinal direction and we recover the links of our chain.

Format chain 18k gold

Gold links with spiral of gold thread made on our mandrel

The links are then assembled and welded, each weld being tested to judge its strength.

If the weld breaks, we must start again, otherwise it will be resistant to traction.

Each link thus tested thus makes it possible to maximize the resistance of the chain in the end.

18k gold format chain

The assembled chain before making the T-clasp

The clasp of the collar is of type T-clasp : the male part in the shape of T passes through a circle smaller than the bar of T.

Format chain clasp

An 18-karat yellow gold wire with the right diameter allows us to cut and shape the elements of the clasp

Forcat chain clasp

The ring and the bar of our clasp during manufacture

The latter is then assembled on our chain by soldering.

forcat chain 18k gold

Forçat chain before finishing polishing

Once the chain polished, we can admire the final result :

18k gold forcat chain


Format chain T-Clasp


Format chain T-Clasp

Zoom on the chain showing the T-clasp of the gold necklace

For further :

September 13, 2019 — Hugo Maherault

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