What goes into making one of our custom hand-knotted malas.
The Knotting Thread
I choose to use silk thread because it is not only stronger, but also more flexible than cotton. That means it will stretch, but if put under stress, the string will stretch first, rather than break. When I create the mala I use a special technique to tie each knot very tight, so that the natural stretching over time is minimal, and rarely noticeable unless one looks very closely.
I also like silk because it has a light shine to it, and the knots it creates are beautiful. I have used cotton in the past, since there are so many more options in colors. However, I’ve switched to dying the silk thread instead to get those colors I can’t find normally in the brand of silk thread I use for crafting my malas.
Why have knots between the mala beads? These knots serve a few functions. All natural & most synthetic cord is going to stretch to some degree over time. Without the knots this leads to a large gap of string all in one place. With knots, the small amount of stretching that occurs is distributed across the mala evenly. Also, having a small space between each of the mala beads makes it easier to use while meditating.