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Herringbone, also known as Ndebele stitch, is an interesting seed bead weaving technique that is easy to learn. The weave is created with pairs of beads, lying in a V-shape pattern.
Seed Beads (We used 3 colors of size 8 seed beads)
Fire Line size B, 4lb
Size 12 English Beading Needles
Beading Scissors 1-1/4 in. Blade
Perfect End Thread Burner
For a basic flat herringbone design, choose the colors you want to work with. For this technique, we have choosen three colors — color A, color B and color C.
Cut a piece of thread about 5 feet long. Thread your needle.
Add a mini bead stopper about one foot from the end of your thread. Squeeze the two loops to open the bead stopper.
Add thread to the mini bead stopper and release the loops. This will help prevent beads from falling off your thread.
To begin, start by making a bead ladder. We are creating a 2-row bead ladder which is easier to hold onto. Begin by stringing four A beads.
Go back through all four beads. The four beads should be stacked two high.
Go back up through the first two beads.
Go back down through the last two beads.
String two A beads. Go down through the previous two beads.
Pass the needle back up through the last two beads.
String two A beads. Go up through the previous two beads.
Pass the needle back down through the last two beads.
Pass the needle up through the last two beads.
String two A beads. Go up through the previous two beads. Repeat pattern until you have a bead ladder equal to the desired width of your piece. In this piece we have a two-row bead ladder that is three columns wide. (Each column will equal one stitch made up of two beads.)
You may need to turn the ladder so that the thread is exiting from the second bead from the end and your needle is pointing down.
To begin the herringbone stitch, go up through the last bead in the first row.
String two B beads.
Skip the first bead in the second row and go down through the next bead in that same row.
Go up through the next bead.
Go back down through the next bead.
Go up through the next bead over in the same row.
String two B beads. Go down through the last bead in the same row.
To turn and begin a new row, go back up through the last added bead.
String two C beads. Go down through the next B bead.
Go up through the next B bead.
Repeat steps 18 through 30 until you have reached your desired length.
To finish off the thread, go down through several beads.
Loop the needle around the thread between two beads. Tie a surgeon's knot around the thread and pull taut.
Cut the thread.
Clean up the ends of your thread using a Perfect End Thread Burner. Burn or melt the end of your thread until the end is no longer visible.
To add a new piece of thread, tie a surgeon's knot around one of the threads between two beads.
Go up through the beads until you exit through the last added bead.
String 2 beads.
Continue working the pattern.
Congratulations, you have learned Basic Herringbone!