As you might have guessed, manufacturing chain link fences involves a similar process to that of knitting a sweater—assuming that the machine is a mad giant with a flock of steel wool—bearing sheep.

Typically made from galvanized or LLDPE-coated steel wire, chain link fences feature a distinctive zig-zag pattern that isn’t just there for looks; each “zig” and “zag” is designed to create an optimal hook for the wire resulting in the unmistakable diamond pattern.

The machine was, in fact, modeled after a cloth weaving machine in 1844 by a Norwich, UK man by the name of Charles Barnard, co-founder of the firm Bishop & Barnard.

While manufacturing has changed more or less over the past century, the gist of the knit-like manufacturing process remains the same—as evidenced in this more recent video of a fully-automatic chain link fence machine:

YouTube video


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.