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Re-stringing mala beads?

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:09 pm
by Zettel
Hello everyone,

I have a fairly simple question. The string of my mala beads recently broke after about 13 years of use. Thankfully none of the beads were lost. Are there any specific considerations I should be aware of before I go ahead and re-string it?

Thank you,

Zettel

Re: Re-stringing mala beads?

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:48 pm
by viniketa
http://dharmawheel.net/search.php?st=0& ... s=restring" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:namaste:

Re: Re-stringing mala beads?

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:01 pm
by Sara H
Zettel wrote:Hello everyone,

I have a fairly simple question. The string of my mala beads recently broke after about 13 years of use. Thankfully none of the beads were lost. Are there any specific considerations I should be aware of before I go ahead and re-string it?

Thank you,

Zettel
Lol!

Yes!

Make sure you count your beads!

There should be 108. : D

This happened to me once.

Also, you may want to go to a bead shop or craft store to get the proper materials,
Finding thread that will fit through the tiny holes of some of those stone beads is hard.

I've considered fishing line, personally, though I don't know how well that will hold up, maybe somebody else has some experience with that, but it seems like it might be strong.

I would love to get some kevlar thread, as I think that would work the best and hold up the longest, especially with the tiny holes. A single strand of that stuff is unbelievably strong.

Malas last longer if there are bigger holes in the beads for bigger thread, but barring that, you may want to make sure you get a really strong thread like I suggested.

I don't recommend that micro-cable jewelry thread/cable, as I've used it and it tends to wear and get cut faster because it's metal, and metal breaks down as it bends.
I haven't had much luck with that stuff holding up too well for me when I used it.

In Gassho

Sara H

Re: Re-stringing mala beads?

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:19 am
by lobster
I would, if possible, get the 'elasticated thread' from a Buddhist supplier, specifically for restringing. :smile:

Re: Re-stringing mala beads?

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:43 am
by ngodrup
Strong thread.

Re: Re-stringing mala beads?

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:43 pm
by Zettel
Thank you for the responses everyone. I think I'll pass on the elastic strings but I am happy to know that there is no danger to simply re-stringing it myself.

Re: Re-stringing mala beads?

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:56 pm
by pemachophel
Naropa composed an essay (?) on this subject which I received from my Lama many years ago. One of the key points is to use 3, 5, 7, or 9 stands, i.e., an uneven number. I was told at the time not to use either metal wire or nylon fishing line. There were even directions for how tight or loose the mala should be. Also, not more than four chup-she (counters) and not more than four sets of decorative beads. By set here I mean that many Tibetan have four sets of three beads evenly spaced around the mala. For instance, a "set" could be two coral beads around a turquoise or amber bead. Some Tibetans put thin silver circlets between each of there decorative beads. Sometimes, the decorative beads are chosen for a reason, not just decoration. For instance, if one is using rudraksha beads, one should have four stone beads(such as turquoise or coral) to prevent the rudraksha beads from harming the eyes over time. If the mala is dedicated mainly to a single Deity, the decorative beads may be the color of that Deity. If the mala is made from bodhitse beads, there may be a one three-eyed large bodhitse bead at the back (midway point) to multiply the mantra being said by an extra 100. Actually, there's a whole lot of teaching about malas in the TB tradition. Makes sense when you're practicing the "mantrayana."

BTW, it's considered a good omen to pray through the string of a mala. Shows you're really practicing and that the bonds of samsara are starting to fall apart.

:namaste:

Re: Re-stringing mala beads?

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:26 am
by Zenda
I use fishing line. I've tried all sorts of string and they all break.

If you use \ fishing line, make sure you tie some thicker string at the end so it doesn't unravel on you. I use a kind of improvised ladder knot at the end with the thicker string knotted into it. I make a knot with the fishing line, feed the string through the center of that knot, then knot the string, and repeat this 3 times. It holds pretty well.

Good luck!