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Spotting the Difference: Herringbone Stitch vs Square Stitch

Improve upon your beadweaving stitches with Allie in Better Beaders Episode 129, where she shows the differences between a simple Square Stitch and a simple Herringbone Stitch. Although these stitches may look similar, you'll be interested to know the varying qualities that make them unique in their own rights. Get ready to clear up and clarify any prior confusion you may have had when dealing with these different two-row stitches to help you become a better beader!

Episode Transcript


Herringbone stitch and square stitch are two popular beading techniques that create stunning, woven-like patterns. While they may look similar at first glance, each stitch has its own unique characteristics and creates a distinct texture. In this article, we'll explore the differences between herringbone and square stitch, and learn how to create a beautiful bracelet using the herringbone stitch technique featured in the Better Beader episode from Potomac Beads.

Materials Needed

  • Size 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads in two colors (DB0010 - Duracoat Galvanized Yellow Gold, DB0034 - Duracoat Galvanized Pewter)
  • Beading thread (Fireline 6lb)
  • Size 11 beading needle
  • Scissors
  • Beading mat
  • Bead stopper
  • Clasp of your choice (toggle clasp used in the video)

Step-by-Step Tutorial

  1. Begin by threading your needle with a comfortable length of Fireline, about 5-6 feet. Secure the tail end with a bead stopper.
  2. Pick up 2 Delica beads in your first color (DB0010) and slide them down to the end of the thread, leaving a short tail.
  3. Pick up 2 more Delica beads in your second color (DB0034) and slide them down. You should now have a total of 4 beads on your thread.
  4. To create the first herringbone stitch, pass your needle back through the last bead you added and the bead next to it. Pull the thread tight.
  5. Pick up 1 Delica bead in your first color (DB0010) and pass your needle through the next bead in the opposite direction. Pull the thread tight.
  6. Continue this pattern, alternating between your two colors, until you reach your desired length. Make sure to keep your tension consistent throughout.
  7. To add the clasp, pick up enough beads to fit your clasp and pass through the loop. Reinforce the connection by passing through the beads multiple times.
  8. Secure your thread by weaving it through several beads and tying off with a half-hitch knot. Trim any excess thread.

Customization Ideas & Inspiration

One of the great things about the herringbone stitch is its versatility. You can easily customize your bracelet by experimenting with different color combinations or even adding in additional bead sizes for a more textured look. Try using a gradual color change for an ombre effect, or mix in some metallic beads for a touch of sparkle.

If you want to create a wider bracelet, simply start with more beads in your initial row. You can also try using the herringbone stitch to create other jewelry pieces like earrings or necklaces.


With this step-by-step guide, you now have the skills to create your own stunning herringbone stitch bracelet. Remember to take your time and maintain consistent tension throughout your beadwork for the best results. We'd love to see your finished creations, so feel free to share photos in the comments below or tag us on social media.

If you enjoyed this tutorial and want to learn more beading techniques, be sure to check out other Better Beader episodes from Potomac Beads. Happy beading!

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