The flowers are threaded onto a string using a special lei making needle, the most common being 12 inches long medium grade. 3-ply lei twine or #10 crochet thread is used for the string. Leis are from 40 to 45 inch when finished.
It takes an experienced stringer from 10 to 30 minutes to complete an everyday lei, depending on its ornateness and the kind of flowers used. More elaborate creations, such as the Ilima lei can take an hour to make.
The Ilima the lei of royalty is made of bright orange flowers that are picked in early morning and placed indoors where the sun's rays will warm them, causing the blossoms to open. The stringer pushes out the small green stems and strings only the flowers.
The cigar lei is the most expensive and time-consuming to make. Usually worn by men, this lei can take four experienced stringers 2 hours to complete the 2,000-flower garland.
Most leis take far fewer flowers. About 30 gardenias or 70 carnations, or 140 ginger blossoms will make a 40-inch lei.
In the event Greeters of Hawaii, Ltd. does not have the particular lei you chose, we reserve the right to substitute a lei of equal or greater value.
Also, please be aware that the outer islands will not always have the same variety of selections of leis as Honolulu. All flowers are perishable and seasonal.