Whip Up A Herringbone Stitch Rope With Some Texture!

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm totally head over heels for these new striped seed beads from York Beads. Perry Bookstein, the owner of York, has done a pretty good job keeping me supplied with them, and I'm finding all kinds of uses for them, from my favorite bead-weaving stitches like herringbone stitch and right-angle weave to things like kumihimo and spiral ropes.

These striped seed beads are wonderful for tribal-inspired jewelry, a hot trend right now.

While I was trying to come up with a necklace strap for a wonderful, bold tribal pendant, I realized that making a textured herringbone rope using these striped seed beads was perfect. The colors and texture of the seed beads and the herringbone rope accented the pendant without overpowering it, and because the seed beads are so large, the herringbone rope works up fast. Give it a try!

Here's what you'll need:

  • 5 grams size 15o seed beads (A)
  • 5 grams size 11o seed beads in two colors (B, C)
  • 7 grams size 8o seed beads (D)
  • 10 grams striped seed beads in size 6
  • Tribal mask pendant
  • 18 gauge wire
  • Button for clasp
  • Beading thread of your choice, but Fireline 6lb. test recommended


  • Size 12 beading needle
  • Scissors or thread cutter
  • Wire cutters
  • Chain nose pliers or combination pliers

Step-by-step instructions:

On a comfortable length of thread, pick up 4 B and use ladder stitch to make 4 stacks of 2 beads each. Join them together and pass through the first stack again so that you have the tail hanging down from the bottom of the same stack that the working thread is exiting.
Work the first segment of tubular herringbone stitch: 5 rounds using C, 1 round using B, 1 round using D, 1 round using B, and 3 rounds using C.

To add a bump, work 1 round using B and 1 round using D. Add 2 striped seed beads, then pick up 1 A before stitching up through the next bead to add the second pair of stripes. Add 1 A before finishing the round.

You'll add 1 A between each pair of seed beads until you add a pair of C as you work your way back down the herringbone rope.

Work 2 rounds of C between each bump.

Continue working in this manner until you have a herringbone rope of your desired length.

To finish my herringbone rope necklace, I added a button clasp and a seed bead loop, then made a wrapped loop to attach my mask pendant. The whole thing took me less than three hours to make, start to finish! (Which, in the world of bead-weaving, is as close to instant gratification as I'm going to get.)

Do you love herringbone stitch in all its many forms and variations? Check out the Best of Beadwork: 12 Flat and Tubular Herringbone Stitch Projects eBook. You'll find beading projects for herringbone stitch with a twist, herringbone stitch that sparkles, and herringbone stitch that will take you on a wild ride! Best of all, this eBook is an instant download, so you can start stitching right away! Download your copy of the Best of Beadwork: 12 Flat and Tubular Herringbone Stitch Projects eBook and spend some time with one of my favorite bead-weaving stitches.

What's your favorite variation of herringbone? Flat? Twisted? Tubular? Share your thoughts here and leave a comment on the Beading Daily blog!

Bead Happy,


Related Posts:


Beading Daily Blog, Herringbone Stitch, Kumihimo
Jennifer VanBenschoten

About Jennifer VanBenschoten

Born in New Jersey in 1974, I escaped to the Adirondacks for the first time in 1995, making it my permanent home in 2000.  I have been interested in beads, buttons and making jewelry as long as I can remember.  It's probably my mother's fault - she was a fiber artist and crochet historian, and whenever she ordered supplies from one mail order source, she would order a huge bag of assorted buttons and beads for me and my sister!    

10 thoughts on “Whip Up A Herringbone Stitch Rope With Some Texture!

  1. Dear Jennifer,
    When you “add a bump” in your instructions the “a” or 15° bead is added when you decrease or use the “d” beads. But NOT on the increase into the bump. Did I read this correctly? Is it because of the slant of the beads in the herringbone stitch?

  2. Hi Jennifer,
    This is not the first time York Beads has been mentioned as the supplier of some majorly cool beads. But the webpage I found for them made ordering impossible if you don’t have a wholesale license. Where can we find the wonderful York beads that seem to be popping up in some great patterns? Thanks!

  3. York Beads does carry some very unique beads. However I don’t find their pricing to be what I’d consider wholesale, but nonetheless they do carry some very fresh looking and different beads that can help one’s jewelry designs to stand out above the rest.

    I’ve never tried using different size beads in a tubular herringbone stitch, love the way it looks and am definitely going to give it a try. Thanks for a great post.