Weaving The Malligai

How to Tie the Malligai

These are classical methods of stringing the Madurai malligai. The following drawing demonstrate the 'simple' method of tying the flowers (it's easy enough for you to try out, using the steps described here),

Step 1

Leave two or three inches of thread or banana fiber strings at one end, and then begin stringing the flowers.

Step 2

Place one flower above and one below on the thread as shown, and wrap the thread around the stem of the flowers. Make a loop, twist it and slip it around the flowers.

Step 3

Pull the loop firmly so that the flowers stay in place.

Step 4

Place another pair of flowers next to the first one. Make another loop, twist it, and wrap it around the flowers, pulling the loop tight.

Step 5

Continue to add pairs of flowers in the same way and repeat the process till the strand is of the length that you require. Insert the end of the thread through another loop, and tighten it. Leave a couple of inches of thread and cut it.


Many in Madurai — both men and women — earn their livelihood weaving these fragrant wisps of white into garlands. They weave the jasmine in a variety of designs, and as their imagination soars, it yields countless variations of unparalleled intricacy. The flower sellers of Madurai are famous for the expertise and speed with which they manage to weave their creations, and there are numerous styles of weaving, knitting and knotting the jasmine!