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).
Lavender Rainbow Mini Dagger "Sea Urchin" Necklace Lei - 22”
This rare necklace lei incorporates transparent lavender mini-dagger beads blended with purple metallic super uno beads.The necklace/lei has an 6" focal section, and the transparent purple toned seed beads highlight that center section. This design is surely one of most beautiful designs to date. This colorful new Hawaiian Lei design that will last you forever. These dagger beads are strung into the focal section to showoff the dazzle in this unique lei. A silver toned magnet end clasp provide a secure hold and ease of use. This pattern called "Wonders of the Sea" was created by DMK.
These beads fall beautifully around the neck and are comfortable to wear for casual or elegant events. Although lei are typically made from flowers, leaves, and other natural fibers, these are made using glass beads sent to Maui from around the globe to make this "Forever Lei".
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 Designs make great gifts for woman, girls, and men! Akalei is the Hawaiian word for "bead reflections" which truly describes this unique style only available here on Maui. We specialize in designing a wide range of modern yet classic Hawaiian looking 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).
If you would like a unique design we can create almost any length, most colors, and also use a variety of closures. Ideal as a gift for a holiday, birthday, wedding or anniversary. For customized orders please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.