Choosing a mala
To order a mala you'll need to select
- Bead size and type (see below).
- Colours for threads (see below).
Once you have these details see shop page.
What size beads to use?
Mala: If you're using a mala for mantra japa, then it's important that it suits the size of your fingers.
As a rough guide: a mala less than 7mm requires small or nimble fingers. 7mm, 8mm & 9mm suit most people. Larger than 9mm is best for larger fingers.
If you're choosing a mala to wear then it's a matter of personal choice. Most malas rest slightly lower than the sternum in the centre of the chest.
Wrist malas are usually made from 6-7mm beads, any larger and they won't fit your wrist, as they are a fixed number of beads (27 or 27+1). See below for how to measure.
What type of beads to use?
There are many opinions regarding which type of beads to use. I suggest choosing the beads you're drawn to, after all if you like the mala, you're more likely to use it. I've included some text on each bead type on the shop page as a rough guide.
Tulsi, rudraksha and sandalwood are frequently used as japa malas and given during initiations. They are also commonly worn, as is quartz crystal, pearl, red sandalwood and lotus seeds.
The choice is up to you, it's an important choice, but avoid over-intellectualizing.
Thread and colour choices
Once you have an idea of bead type/s then choose a colour scheme. There are three main colours to choose:
- Brahmagranti (knot) colour
- Band colour
You can be quite specific or suggest a general colour scheme.
See tassel slide show at base of page.
a. Brahmagranti, knots. Cotton for Malas, polyester for Wrist malas.
b. Tassel - any colour/s cotton. I use three shades of cotton. If you select one colour I'll add a shade on either side. If you would like stronger contrasting colours (like the example below) add details in the 'Special Instructions' box when ordering.
c. Band - any colour cotton. Usually the same as (a) Brahmagranti.
d. Band trim - silver or gold thread.
Mala threads - Cotton
Most malas are made using high quality cotton embroidery thread. The threads are made in Germany and are amongst the most durable in the world. I stock a large number of common colours.
Note: Some malas are threaded on polyester, due to the small hole size. These include: Rudraksha 5, 6, 7mm, Crystal 7mm and Pearl. You will only have the option of polyester brahmagranti/knots in the ordering options, but the tassel will be cotton.
Sumerani threads - Polyester
Sumerani, wrist malas are made using high quality polyester thread, which is incredibly strong. The knot is burned together to form a continuous sumerani without a noticeable join (during mantra japa).
The threads are made in Germany and are amongst the most durable in the world. I stock a small range of common colours.
If you choose a tassel with a wrist mala, then the knots will be polyester and the tassel will be made of cotton.
Sumerani - How to measure
Measure the circumference of your squashed hand at its widest point, using a string or cloth tape. Afterwards measure the string against a ruler.
- Write your wrist measurement in the 'special instructions' box when making your order.
- I'll aim to make the wrist mala just large enough to squeeze on, this is not precise, but I have a good idea of what fits people by now.
- Choosing the correct bead is essential, otherwise it won't fit.
- 6 & 7mm can be made to fit most people.
- Adding a tassel adds a 28th bead making the wrist mala larger, so sometimes I'll advise changing the design to suit your body.