What is aspect ratio?
Aspect Ratio is a number that represents the relationship between the wire diameter and the inner diameter of a particular size jump ring. Do not confuse AR with ring size. Very large and very small rings can have the same AR and therefore, work in the same weaves.
Here's an example:
Let's compare the same weave, Möbiused Rosettes, made with rings of varying ARs. We will begin by looking at two ring sizes that are very different but actually have the same AR - our T14 rings (14ga 3/8" / 14ga 9.5 mm) and our F20 rings (20ga 5/32" / 20ga 4.0 mm). The T14 rings are significantly larger than the F20 rings, yet they share a similar AR of about 5.0.
Mobiused Rosettes using T14
Mobiused Rosettes using F20
As you can see, the weave works very similarly in each size. While the finished products are different in overall size, the space between the rings and the tightness of the weave is almost the same.
To compare, let's look at the same weave in size T16 (16ga 1/4" / 16ga 6.4 mm) which has a higher AR of about 6.5.
Mobiused Rosettes using T16
As you can see, there is far more negative space in this weave that the others and it feels much looser.
Likewise, we can look at the weave in size F18 (18ga 5/32" / 18ga 4.0 mm) with a lower AR of about 3.7. Notice this size has the same inner diameter as one of our first examples F20, but the thicker wire lowers its AR making weaves tighter. In fact, the weave is so tight that the secondary Mobius rings don't fit in between each rosette, and so this sample is made using the regular Rosettes weave. (The mobiused rings would, however, fit on the edging rings, making the weave even denser than it is.)
Rosettes using F18
In this example, you can see there is much less negative space between the rings and it appears tighter.
Aspect Ratio can be confusing to understand but as you can see, it has a substantial affect on your finished weave. The images above were taken from the posts in the Weave Ideas category of our blog. You may find this a helpful resource in finding and comparing weaves that work with different ARs.
In the coming months, look for a video that demonstrates AR in action and should help to illustrate just what AR is and how it is used by chainmaillers.