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All about ribbons

All about ribbons

All about ribbons

Learn about ribbons

Ribbon Styles

Ribbons create a feeling of elegant opulence and feminine flights of fancy by softening angular shapes, gathering supple folds, nestling in small places and making sweeping gestures of texture and color. Advanced technology has made a wide range of incredibly beautiful, affordable ribbons, ribbons that hold their shape while draped in graceful curves; ribbons that can be woven into exquisite shawls or elegant placemats, outdoor, indoor ribbons. The use of ribbons has been multiplied many times with the increase in variety and style. 

There are different ways of weaving ribbons of various and similar fabrics for different effects. Iridescent ribbons have a rainbow effect. When the ribbon moves the colors of the prism appear. A jacquard weave has an intricate, variegated pattern, and an ombre is a weaving technique that gives a shaded appearance.

Black and white ribbons take on a graphic dimension, especially when different patterns are combined to make one bow. Black and white ribbons come in both natural and polyester fabrics. Outdoor ribbons are ribbons that have been weatherproofed. Unless they are made out of plastic they will not withstand direct weather, but they are perfect for protected porches.

Cotton Ribbons

Casual, comfortable cotton is cut from bolt fabric and sized to maintain its shape. Prints are usually one-sided. Many stripes and plaids are considered to be two-sided, because they are woven. Craft ribbon is mainly cut edge cotton. It can be cut lengthwise for narrower widths. Pleated cotton ribbons make interesting bows. Cottons are the most popular craft ribbons because they come in many beautiful patterns and colors.

Velvet Ribbons

Elegant, rich velvet ribbons are made of flock material. Some velvet ribbons are made of silk that is woven on a cotton back. The colors and printed or embossed designs evoke images of celebrations, holidays and festivals. Velvet has a matte finish and is water resistant. We carry double face Italian Velvet Ribbon, which is difficult to find.  

Satin Ribbons

The most fluid of all ribbons, soft satins come in both cut-edge and woven-edge styles. Cut-edge satin is less expensive, but it ravels along the lengthwise edge. Woven-edge satin ravels on the ends but not on the side. Woven-edge ribbons are usually washable, but may shrink. They are water resistant.

Crisp, shiny,  watermarked ribbons, very finely woven from silk or rayon have a cut -edge. They make shapely, full -of energy bows that hold their shape until you are ready for new ones.

Moiré Ribbons

Moiré ribbon has a shimmering watermark finish. Stiff and substantial, it is well suited for large bows.

Burlap Ribbons Coarsely woven and heavily stiffened burlap can be fashioned into bows that are subtle textured accents. Made of jute fiber, they lend a sturdy comfortable, country feeling to a project.

Grosgrain and Faille Ribbons

Richly hued grosgrain an faille ribbons are made of woven blends and polyesters. Heavier than taffeta, they have delicate crosswise ribs, wider in grosgrain than in faille. creating a very subtle elasticity. Often used for trimming apparel, they both make shapely, lazy bows.

Lace Ribbons
Floppy, lace bows have a mood of their own. they have finished edges and patterns that are often floral. Some ribbons have  perforations. Narrow ribbons can be threaded through with a smaller ribbon to add extra sweetness and a color effect. 

Piquot-edged Ribbons
Piquot or feather edging is delicately looped threadwork. It appears on all types of ribbons an comes in prints or solid colors with lace edging or small trim on both sides

They are silky and usually single-faced. A wonderful ribbon to incorporate into a wedding theme, use it for wrapping favor boxes, or tying sachet bags, use it for the ring bearer pillow, and even weave it through the flower girls hair or head garland.

Woven Felt Ribbons

Perfect for holiday indoor decorating.  Makes wonderful lazy bows

French Wire Ribbons

Patterned and plain, opaque and silky, sheer ribbons with tiny wire along the edges gives a new dimension to your bows. Delicate bows can hold their shape and heavier fabrics can be sculpted into dramatic designs. 

Organdy Ribbons  

Gossamer, organdy ribbons are soft, thin, transparent ribbons made of silk, cotton or rayon. They can be either floppy or crisp. Some have beautiful silk pattern trims.

Brocade Ribbons  Made of silk and woven with figures and flowers, brocade ribbon is usually used for trims, drape sashes or large, sculptured bows.

Chiffon Ribbons

Chiffon is a soft, lightweight, very thin and supple taffeta.

Metallic Mesh Ribbons

Great for gift wrapping and decorating Christmas trees. It is a stiff mesh ribbon that easily holds its shape and is wonderful for making large bows for wreaths etc.

Care and Storing of Ribbons 

All ribbons should be protected from direct sunlight. This is especially true for lames and metallics. They will lose their color completely. Save all ribbons and bow. You can change a bow on a wreath, an arrangement, a tie back or a Christmas tree topper. Whether it's a change in decor, a change in a look or a change of mind, whatever the reason, remember to always save the or ribbon. 

To save bows from season to season or year to year, stuff the loops with tissue paper, and lay them in boxes. If you have the space, hang them on coat hangers by wire loops pulled through the centers. Woven ribbons can be taken apart and folded. If you save and care for your bows, whatever your project, there is always a ribbon available and perfectly suited to your needs. 

The accomplished bow maker, like any artist, will find many opportunities to practice her or his skill. Eventually the question of where and how to keep the growing number of beautiful ribbons purchased on rolls is bound to come up. A good way to keep them safe, orderly and readily available is to hang them on a wall in a dry place away from sunlight. Their decorative appearance will be both pleasing and inspiring. 

See how to tie bows


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