Herringbone might be the most descriptive name for this lovely bead stitch but Ndebele does credit the originators. The ancestors of the Ndebele people in South Africa were introduced to colorful glass beads back in the 16th century by Portuguese settlers. Their distinctive geometric bead work is seen in their jewelry, garments and head wear.

Celebrating the Ndebele stitch is this new book collection Stitch Workshop: Herringbone Stitch of the best projects from Bead and Button.  There are just a couple of earring projects as the emphasis is on necklaces and bracelets where the stitch can be used to greatest advantage.

The projects range from easy to much more involved ones.  One of the designs I really liked is the Fire Blooms one where bicones rather than seed beads are used to great effect.

Indeed this book does often remind me that other types of beads can be used.  Coin shaped lentil beads feature in the Lentil Herringbone Weave.  The offset approach is very bold indeed.

It's easy to spot the Ndebele stitch in many of the projects such as the one below which uses bugle beads as well.

But in other projects, the stitch is less obvious. In the Fall Leaves design for example, the Ndeble stitch is the backbone with fringe details.

My most favorite of all the 26 projects in the book has to be the Queen of the Sea. The meandering beads reminds me of ocean waves with the pearls representing sea foam.

A lovely inspirational book for bead work lovers of all levels!


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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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