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).
Lush forests glean with shades of green, gold. yellow and dozens of other garden tones that are incorporated into this exquisite necklace. There are approximately 1600 beads in over 20 colors handcrafted into this spiral necklace. The beads are Rizo (each the size of a grain of rice) and can be tricky to bead in just perfectly. The kumihimo design makes it into a round spiral, so this color placement can never be duplicated a pattern as it is a random assortment of garden colors. This necklace is complimented with a beautiful green and yellow Unicorn bead (Intricate hand blown borosilicate glass) with 4" of garden toned tassels.
This 2021 design captures the essence of Aloha - and even better it is a perfect gift for a friend or loved one since this lei will last forever!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. As a beautiful glass beaded necklace lei each necklace is handmade on Maui and involves meticulous attention to detail while braiding.
Akalei is Hawaiian for "bead reflections" which describes this unique necklace lei design style made only here on Maui. We reinterpret traditional Hawaiian Lei using a vast assortment of glass and natural beads, Japanese silk and synthetic fibers, and a wide variety of braiding techniques and inspirations from across the globe.
This beautiful hand made lei was made using hundreds of glass Japanese seed beads on multiple cords that are woven together on a wooden marudai stand (in a kongo gumi braid pattern).
The necklace is woven together 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.
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