Akalei Designs is Hawaii's primier designer of handcrafted Kumihimo beaded Hawaiian Lei. Recently featured in Maui on HI Now with POP-Up Mãkeke and Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. With hundreds of unique designs we were recently awarded “Best Beaded Lanyard” from The American Kumihimo Society (2023) for our complex braid structures. And another positive development in 2023 we had 3 designs selected for a juried art exhibit in Oahu by The Hawaiian Handweavers Hui. This public recognition reflects how our unique and high quality necklace lei are gaining attention. All our designs are handcrafted on Maui. We are unique in that we are able to incorporate aspects of floral lei into modern forever lei using glass beads with designs normally only seen in the shell lei made famous on the island of Ni’ihau (The Forbidden Island).
KIT -Hawaiian Nani Lei Glass Bead Necklace - Red Picasso “Rizo” Beads with Black Picasso
This is for the materials (cords, rizo beads, seed beads) and the braiding pattern needed to make this necklace using the kumihimo braiding technique on a foam disk or marudai braiding stand.
This braid blends red picasso “rizo” beads and black picasso glass seed beads to create the stunning Hawaiian Lei appearance. There will be sufficient Red Picasso rizo beads to create a 6' focal section. The necklace is finished with a powerful silver toned “etched” magnetic (for an extra strong hold) for a length of between 18" to 21” long. To make longer you will add additional beads on each end.
There are hundreds of beads precisely loaded onto 8 nylon fiber braiding cords that are then woven together in a technique called “Kongo Gumi” or strong braid, with one bead at a time added and snuggled into the design to create this elegant necklace. Akalei is Hawaiian for "bead reflections" or "string of multicolored glass beads", which describes this unique style only available here on Maui. We specialize in designing a wide range of modern yet familiar Hawaiian lei.
The weaving of beads requires many hours of braiding on a Japanese wooden stand called a “Marudai”. These necklaces feel wonderful to wear and require little to almost no care by using a clean dry towel every few months to keep dust free and bright. Due to the durability of the glass beads this necklace will last for years. You can also mix and match with different lengths of similar Lei or try the Forbidden Island inspired necklaces in that collection (see sample photo in this item).
Akalei Designs make great gifts for woman, girls, men and even your favorite pet! If you would like a unique design I can create almost any length, most colors, and also use a variety of button closures. Ideal as a gift for a holiday, birthday, wedding or anniversary Each purchase comes with a wooden gift tag and if for $20 a Japanese fabric gift bag with kumihimo cords (see accessories and add to cart). For customized orders please contact me at email@example.com.
Kumihimo is an ancient Japanese braid making technique that creates beautiful and strong interlaced cords. This art form goes back hundreds of years as braids were made for use in armor of Japanese samurai warriors. In modern times these braids are designed as belts (obijime) used on kimonos.