Learn about ribbons
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Made of silk and woven with
figures and flowers, brocade ribbon is usually used for trims, drape sashes or
large, sculptured bows.
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
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
See how to tie bows