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).
The vivid green inner drops give the green luster rose petals an added pop of color and the vibrant gold seed beads set off the bold green design for a lovely contrast of colors in natural tones native to Hawaii. The gold metallic end cap ensures this will stay secure around your neck.
This latest 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 necklace lei each necklace is handmade on Maui and involves meticulous attention to detail while braiding. The small rose petal beads used look similar to tiny orchid flowers, but this will endure forever.
The Orchid Lei were modeled after the beautiful Hawaiian island flower lei, the necklace and kumihimo pattern are available exclusively at Akalei Designs. These are typically made from flowers leaves, feathers, or natural fibers resulting in vivid color combinations.
This beautiful handcrafted style lei was made using hundreds of glass rose petal beads and Japanese seed beads on multiple cords that are woven together on a Japanese marudai braiding stand.
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. For kumihimo braiders (disk or marudai) this unique pattern will be available for PDF download in Fall 2021.
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.