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).
Hawaiian Lei Necklace Green Travertine with Black - 20” - 21"
The small rice sized beads (the rizo bead color is Green Travertine) with glossy black seed beads in this handmade necklace. Imagine threading a grain of rice with a cord, that is the amount of detail required to make these Lilikoi Designs. 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. The necklace is finished with a unique etched silver toned metallic magnet. Lengths and colors vary slightly due to use of computer or phone screens.
The weaving of beaded braids 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).
* Colors of beads may vary slightly due to changes in factory shipments.
Kumihimo is an ancient Japanese braid making technique that results in 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 obijime that are worn as a belt with a kimono.