Akalei Designs is Hawaii's only designer of handcrafted Kumihimo beaded Hawaiian Lei. With over 100 unique designs we were recently awarded “Best Beaded Lanyard” from The American Kumihimo Society (2023) for our complex braid structures. In addition our silk Hawaiian necklace is being showcased in a commercial for the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement Pop-Up Makēkē Market. And another positive compliment was three of our designs were selected in 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’iHua (The Forbidden Island).
Yellow Picasso seed beads comprise this designs main characteristics. Notice how the look evolved from the edges in neat spiral to the loosely falling center focal section measuring 9". Two distinct Japanese braiding techniques are used to achieve that look - Edo Yatsu Gumi and Kongo Gumi. At the areas of change are two large-hole brown beads for more accent color. A brass toned acrylic magnetic end cap will keep this secure around your neck.
This new design captures the essence of Aloha - and even better it is a perfect gift for a friend or loved one! As a beautiful glass beaded lei each necklace is handmade on Maui and involves meticulous attention to detail while braiding. The beaded necklace lei will endure forever, 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.
This beautiful hand-crafted style lei was made using hundreds of Japanese seed beads that are meticulously loaded onto multiple cords that are woven then together on a Japanese marudai braiding stand (see photo).
The necklace is created using an ancient Japanese braiding technique called Kumihimo, a Japanese word for “gathered threads". This art form goes back hundreds of years as braids were made for use in armor for Japanese samurai warriors. In modern times these braids are designed as belts (obijime) that are worn as a belt with a kimono.
It is my goal to provide you with a long lasting, beautiful piece of jewelry that you will enjoy wearing for years to come. I take great care in the construction of my pieces to ensure just that. Please note: colors may slightly differ from their appearance on your display, as it depends on your monitor settings.
Please send me a message with questions or comments.