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Bead Weaving Techniques: Herringbone Stitch

This bead weaving technique is easy to learn and very versatile. The stitch is also known as Ndebele. The angled line of the beads is like a fish bone. Hence the name herringbone stitch. There are several forms of this bead weaving technique: flat, tubular and twisted or spiral. Achieve different looks by varying the size and type of bead you use.

Bead Weaving Flat Herringbone

Flat herringbone stitch
Flat herringbone stitch

This form of the stitch is ribbon-like and can be as wide or narrow as you want. It is usual to work with an even number of beads because each angled pair makes a column. Once you have learned flat herringbone, other forms of the technique are easier to grasp. The wonderful Jill Wiseman has a very good video tutorial on the basics. If you want to try something more, how about this tutorial on braided herringbone.


Bead Weaving Tubular Herringbone

Tubular herringbone stitch
Tubular herringbone stitch

This form of the stitch is rope-like but hollow. Be careful not to make the circumference too big else the structure may flatten. I would suggest no more than 6 beads in a round. Use smaller seed beads with this technique to make great ropes for pendants. Use Superduo beads to make chunky chokers or bangles. This Artbeads Mini Tutorial with Leslie Rogalski has some good tips and instructions. Using Superduo beads is more challenging, but if you want a tutorial go here.

Bead Weaving Twisted or Spiral Herringbone

Twisted herringbone stitch
Twisted herringbone stitch

This form of the stitch is very like tubular herringbone, but with a twist. As such, the structure is less likely to flatten than tubular. Use different colours to enhance the twist, but still stick to 6 beads in a round. If you have gotten to this stage, consider yourself advanced in this technique. Kelly Dale from OffTheBeadedPath has a great tutorial using size 8/0 seed beads.

I hope I have whetted your appetite to try this stitch. There are also written tutorials available on the internet. Explore, try and if you want to share with us, post a comment below. Be happy in your beading bubble!

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