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Why stainless steel?

The majority of our jewellery is made with stainless steel and you may be wondering why we chose this metal over others. Chainmail is typically made from aluminium, stainless steel, bronze, copper or titanium. Each of these metals have advantages and disadvantages when it comes to strength, colour, accessibility, cost, weight and longevity. In our eyes, stainless steel has the best pro to con ratio for making great quality long lasting jewellery, while still keeping it affordable for the average person.


DURABILITY

Handmade stainless steel chainmail bag with a box weave strap

Stainless steel is an extremely strong metal used in construction, plumbing and many other industries. It's corrosion resistant, meaning it won't turn orange or start to crumble under normal use. We use mainly 304 stainless steel in our jewellery, which is one of the most corrosion resistant in the series. Big box stores tend to use zinc alloys, brass or unnamed plated metals in their jewellery to keep costs and prices low, but this will end up costing you more when you have to replace those that necklace after a few months because it rusted and broke. Our jewellery is tough, especially the chunky chains, with the individual rings taking a lot of strength to open and close (trust me, I have the muscles and callouses to prove it!). Even our daintier pieces hold up against tension and impact, with one customer reporting her collar pins had survived a dog pulling them off her shirt! These qualities make stainless steel a sustainable choice for your bank account and the planet.


COMFORT

Handmade stainless steel chainmail earrings in the shape of diamonds, emulating gothic cathedral window architecture

Stainless steel is considered to be a hypoallergenic metal. You may have heard this word being used in relation to jewellery but what does it actually mean? In short: it’s less likely to cause an allergic reaction than other metals. The long version is a bit more complex and involves understanding some science. The cause of most metal allergies is nickel. Nickel is a strong and abundant metal used in some alloys to give a silvery white sheen. Stainless steel grades contain nickel of varying percentages but before you panic, it does not leech onto the skin, at least not in quantities which can or should cause an allergic reaction. The nickel atoms are bound within the steel which essentially stops them from being able to leave the metal and react with skin (this probably isn’t proper science talk but you get the gist). Studies suggest that 304 stainless steel is one of the least likely grades to cause a reaction (Haudrechy et al., 1997), plus it won’t turn your skin green, even when it comes into contact with sweat. This is why I chose to use this metal for earring posts, hooks and hoops as well as chainmail. I have personally worn a pair of our 16mm Stainless Steel Hoops nearly every day for the last 3 years through showers, swimming pools and gyms, and they’re still as comfortable to wear as the day I got them. If you’re extremely sensitive to metals, please use this information and research your specific situation to decide whether this is the right choice for you.


QUALITY

Have you ever bought a piece of cheap jewellery online and been disappointed with how flimsy and light it is? Well you’ll never need to worry about that with our jewellery. One of the reasons I chose stainless steel over other metals is for its weight. I wanted our jewellery to not only look great but feel substantial. It's hard to convey through a screen but our pieces just feel so satisfying to hold and wear. We use a variety gauges of rings and chains in our work, each carefully picked to fit perfectly with the piece. The thicker items like our Super Chunky Persia Chain feel as heavy as they look (honestly, it could be used as a weapon), and the daintier pieces like our ORION Necklace and EMBER Bracelet stay lightweight and elegant while still being strong and durable. A substantial amount of time is spent creating perfect weaves and finishing pieces to the best of my ability so your jewellery lasts as long as possible. 


COST

One of the biggest advantages of stainless steel is its cost. It’s a relatively cheap metal, meaning we can make more affordable end products. Let’s be real for a moment - if you’re not used to buying handmade jewellery, our catalogue may seem expensive. But if you’re comparing our prices to big corporations that use sweatshops and slave labour, have think about how you value the people making the stuff you buy. Our prices are reflective of the time it takes to design, make, market and package our jewellery, as well as the raw material costs. If our pieces were made from gold, silver or titanium, there would probably be an extra zero on the end of each price tag! Stainless steel allows us to make unique and extravagant jewellery at an accessible price point, with more durability than both precious and cheaper metals.



So now you know all about stainless steel! If you wish to purchase any of our stainless steel chainmail pieces, we have additional care tips for keeping your BTD products in top condition for as long as possible. Bearing all of this in mind, other artists may prefer to use different metals for different reasons. The points listed above are the benefits I feel are important for my jewellery. We support all creatives in this house, no matter what materials they use or art they produce!

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