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How Traditional Double Orchid Lei Are Made

The lei, a symbol of aloha and affection in Hawaiian culture, carries centuries of tradition and craftsmanship. While many types of lei exist, the double orchid lei stands out for its lush, intricate beauty and fragrance. Although crafting a traditional double orchid lei involves patience, it is simpler than you might think. Here’s a step-by-step look at how traditional double orchid lei are made so you can craft one yourself.

Gather Your Materials

The first step in creating a double orchid lei is assembling all the necessary materials. You’ll need a generous amount of fresh orchid flowers—consider using dendrobium orchids because of their durability and vibrant colors. Usually, you use approximately 50 orchids when making lei, but this time, get at least 100.

Additionally, you’ll need a long needle and approximately 100 inches of dental floss or sturdy string. The string length ensures your lei is full and voluminous, embodying the “double” aspect, which is denser than a single-strand lei.

Thread Your Needle

Once you have your materials ready, the next step is to thread your needle with the dental floss or string. You don’t need to double the string if you’re using a lei needle but ensure you have enough length to accommodate the number of orchids you plan to string together. The goal is to have a long, consistent stream of orchids with no gaps, so the thickness and strength of your string are crucial to support the weight of the flowers.

Run Your String Through Your Orchids

Running your string through the flowers is one key step in making a traditional double orchid lei. After you have threaded your needle, remove the flower’s stem. Afterward, you should carefully pierce the center of its base with your needle.

Slide each orchid down the string carefully to avoid damaging the delicate petals. Alternate the direction of the flowers as you add them, increasing the density of the lei and ensuring a more beautiful, fuller appearance. This step is the heart of the process and demands a gentle yet steady hand.

Tie The Ends Together

After you have threaded all your orchids, the final step is to tie the ends of your string or floss together securely. The tie should be strong enough to hold the lei’s weight but discreet enough not to detract from its natural beauty. You can adjust the flowers slightly to ensure no gaps and that the lei shows off the full spectacular display of the orchids’ beauty.

Constructing a traditional double orchid lei is more than a craft; it celebrates Hawaiian culture and is an art form that connects generations. But if you prefer to wear a fresh orchid lei made by professional hands, Hawai’i Lei Stand offers many to its customers, including double and triple lei. We use Honolulu-grown flowers so that your lei gives you a true taste of Hawai’i.