FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Hala (pandanus) Trees

Hala (pandanus) Trees

WHAT IS LAUHALA?

Lauhala are the leaves of the hala (pandanus) tree. It is an organic natural fiber. Leaves are harvested while dried brown or still green on the tree. The leaves are cleaned where they are harvested (as to not spread the scale from area to area across the islands). Once cleaned, the thorns are stripped off and leaves are softened. Once softened, they are rolled into kūkaʻa (rolls of lauhala) for storage. Leaves are dyed when ready to use, stripped and handwoven into desired products.

HOW DURABLE IS LAUHALA?

Depending on the variety, lauhala can be very durable. Hawaiians used lauhala in their daily lives through woven baskets, mats, pillows, sails for their waʻa (canoes), etc. Lauhala items sometimes need to be patched up, repaired or rewoven, but the fact that it was an essential part of the Hawaiian way of life makes it clear that it was a durable and extremely significant plant.

HOW DO I CARE FOR MY KANILEHUA PIECES?

Avoid submerging your lauhala pieces in water (swimming, showering). This will preserve the longevity of the jewelry. If jewelry gets wet, dry it in indirect sunlight.

WHICH TYPES OF METALS ARE USED?

Kanilehua generally uses 14K gold-filled metals or sterling silver. Its casted jewelry will be made of 14K gold with a heavy gold plating over brass. This is due to the fact that casting does not occur with gold-filled metal. However, normal plating is .5 microns and heavy gold plating is 2.5 microns. Kanilehua uses gold-filled jump rings and ear wire with its casted pieces.

WHAT KIND OF DYES ARE USED ON KANILEHUA PIECES?

Kanilehua would love to use natural dyes on its lauhala, however, the dyes wouldn’t hold as long and it would add another long process for us which would add to the cost of the jewelry. We strive to keep our pieces affordable, so we use synthetic dyes on our lauhala. If you would prefer something more natural, the leaves with its natural color or sun-bleached leaves would be a good choice for you.

CAN I SEE EXAMPLES OF THE DIFFERENT DYE COLORS?

The best examples we have are the photos on our website, along with our social media pages. Lighting during photography and the dye process do affect the way the dyes show up in photos. Please expect some variation in the dye shades when purchasing items.

WILL THE DYE FADE?

Over time, the dyes will fade as these dyes are typically used on fabrics and not organic, fibrous materials. However, they have been known to hold its color longer, when pieces are properly cared for and maintained by avoiding direct sunlight and water. Kanilehua also offers a reweave (includes reshaping and polishing) on its products for a fee of a minimum of $20 (dependent on the item).

CAN I GET A PARTICULAR SHADE OF DYE?

Each dye process is different and shades will vary. Please understand that a particular shade cannot be selected. You are encouraged to purchase an item with a particular color that you like at the time you see it, due to this variation in shades. Each leaf absorbs the dye differently, and we are unable to guarantee particular shades of particular colors.

CAN MY KANILEHUA PIECES BE REPAIRED OVER TIME?

Yes, we offer reshaping, repolishing and reweaving on Kanilehua products only. Minimum fee starts at $20.