How Do You Like Your Herringbone?

Jul 25, 2012

When it comes to versatility in bead-weaving stitches, you can't beat herringbone stitch. I can't think of another beading stitch that offers so much variation! The thread path of herringbone stitch (also called Ndebele stitch because of its origins in the beadwork of the South African Ndebele tribe) makes for both soft and supple beaded ropes as well as a strong and sturdy base for flat beaded necklaces and bracelets.Herringbone stitch can be shaped without lots of complicated increases and decreases, and for years, it's been my go-to stitch when I need a simple and sophisticated beaded rope.

There are lots of other reasons why today's best beadwork artists choose herringbone stitch for their designs! Here are four fabulous beading projects that use herringbone stitch in some very surprising and innovative ways:

Sometimes, herringbone stitch works behind the scenes to create a spectacular piece of beaded jewelry. In Nancy Cain's beautiful beaded ring, Empress's New Jewels, the dazzling triangle crystal stone is held in place by a herringbone stitch bezel. Using herringbone stitch not only creates a secure beaded bezel that shows off the sparkling facets of the crystal stone, it protects the back of the crystal from scratches.
Lynn Davy's Cairo Collar shows off the classic herringbone stitch zig-zag pattern. This herringbone stitch necklace is as easy to create as it is sophisticated and elegant -- the large gemstone and crystal drops contrast nicely with the muted colors of the seed beads used in the necklace base.
At first glance of Kelli Rae Burns' Pearlvecent bracelet, I thought, herringbone stitch? Really? But yes, the secret to the construction of these beautiful beaded bangles is herringbone stitch! By cleverly combining Tila beads and herringbone stitch, Kelli has created a beaded bracelet with both structure and strength.
Cristie Prince's Chain of Jewels takes your basic herringbone rope to new levels with the addition of sparkling crystal beads! Herringbone ropes make quick and easy beaded necklaces, but because they're so supple and flexible, they can easily be adapted for endless variations on the classic beaded rope.

See for yourself how much fun it can be to work a little bit of herringbone stitch into your next beading project! Check out the new Favorite Bead Stitches 2012 and get the patterns for all of these beading projects, plus thirty additional projects using netting, peyote stitch, right-angle weave, and square stitch. Plus you'll get six brand-new, never-before-seen beading projects from some of today's most talented new beading designers! Order your copy of Favorite Bead Stitches 2012, or if you just can't wait to get started, it's also available as an instant download in the Beading Daily Shop! (Same great content, but no waiting!)

What do you love about herringbone stitch? Do you have a favorite herringbone stitch project? Are you learning how to do herringbone stitch, but need help or have questions? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and let's talk herringbone!

Bead Happy,


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RMBO wrote
on Jul 25, 2012 6:53 AM

While I don't use this stitch regularly, I preferred the tubular version of herringbone to create a feather like look on a sculptured peacock collaborative I did with lampworker, Mary Ann Helmond. It was perfect for his head and neck, especially when I used a matte blue seed bead!

AFB wrote
on Jul 25, 2012 11:27 AM

Sure, Herringbone is a great stitch and is everything you have stated - but this statement - "without lots of complicated increases and decreases" - well there's no need to say that about other techniques like peyote stitch, is there? my spiral variation on peyote stitch is not complicated, and, as the results are very different, they are no less than the herringbone stitch. I think all stiches have their uses, and all bead artists and craftspeople should investigate and use according to what they want to achieve -

Claire@55 wrote
on Jul 26, 2012 3:29 PM

Herringbone is definately my favourite stitch.   I taught myself to do this one, finding the instructions difficult to follow (lotsof sighs)   It is so versatile, increases & decreases OK.  And works up quickly.  

marruquita wrote
on Jul 29, 2012 3:20 PM

me gusta bastante esta puntada abrazos