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).
Silk Fiber with Metallic Braided Kumihimo Necklace Lei- White & Gold Metallic Fiber 21"
The solid white imitation silk is accentuated with gold metallic threads that have rust, green, and silver threads so this piece will match just about any outfit. The braid's spiral effect allows it to be worn tightly as a shorter or stretched out. An extra strong gold toned magnet end allows you to wear with no worry of it falling off. It measures 21” worn and as with other similar products may be used as a hat band.
This extraordinary necklace was woven together using metallic and imitation silk fibers. This unique necklace look is created by braiding together 12 different ‘bunches” of fiber in an “Off Balance” design technique. Altogether there are hundreds of strands that comprise this piece, leaving it luxurious yet flexible. 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" which describes this unique necklace lei design style made only here on Maui. We reinterpret and illuminate 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.
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) that are worn as a belt 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.