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).
Dark Gray Silk, Purple Imitation Silk & Metallic Necklace Lei & Hat Band - 23"
This extraordinary necklace was woven together using 2 bundles of dark grey and 1 of lavender imitation silk fibers. Altogether there are hundreds of strands that comprise this piece, leaving it luxurious yet flexible. The braid's spiral effect allows it to be worn tighter and shorter or stretched out as a longer necklace for a lower plunge on the neckline. An extra strong silver toned magnet end allows you to wear with no worry of it falling off. It measures 23” yet is amazingly light weight so also is perfect as a hat band. By coiling the spirals you may make it a tighter braid, or tug lightly to stretch out a bit more.
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
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 (belts) that are worn with a kimono.
Customized orders are welcomed - these braids can be made using Japanese Silks and various small (4-6mm) size pearls or semi-precious stones. Please contact me at email@example.com.