Once upon a time, Ribbons were affordable only to the very rich . Thankfully this is not the case now. Cannot imagine my sewing drawer without all those shiny effervescent ribbons
Ribbons bring good fortune. I am not fibbing or finding excuses for my ribbon splurges. See how they are mostly used for celebrating – be it wrapping birthday presents, tying a Christmas ornament, wrapped around a wedding cake, or even surrounding a ceremonial chair or hanging onto gold medals or used to make ribbon flowers in a congratulatory bouquet. Convinced?.
Our clothes, gifts and home decor all enjoy ribbon embellishments and thus get something of their grace and beauty by association.
Due to their low cost and availability of an excellent variety of colors and designs ribbons are used all the time for making sashes, bows, garlands, wreaths, chair ties, wrapping presents, doing ribbon embroidery, making fabric trims – so many uses of ribbons in sewing.; they decorate pillows and quilts; they are used a great deal in home decor crafts. They make beautiful ribbon flowers and they are made into bouquets and used as centerpieces. The narrow ribbons known as trim ribbons are used in making corsages and boutonnieres. On gift baskets you see ribbons fill the space with lots of cheer.
As a fashion embellishment ribbons have been used both by men and women from a long long time ago. Even now a ribbon bow tie is not amiss in men’s wear. You can make such pretty trims with ribbons.
In ribbon embroidery ribbon replaces embroidery thread to make beautiful floral designs – french knots, leaves, buds and flowers like daisies. Ribbon roses and bows are used to decorate clothes and accessories like hats and purses; ribbons are also attached to dresses and gowns as trims on their own or manipulated to look more elaborate and beautiful.
Ofcourse without all these I would still buy ribbons for their sheer beauty.
When you go to a shop to buy ribbons it is easy to get utterly confused by the whole array of beautiful ribbons there. For me there is no confusion. For me all the ribbons are basically categorised as wired and nonwired & woven & nonwoven.
Wired ribbons have fine wire attached to the edges .The thin flexible wires are attached to the sides so that when folded they hold their shape. These wires can be removed at will.
Woven and nonwoven ( synthetic) – woven ribbons are those which can be washed just like any fabric & nonwoven ones are craft ribbons which are not suitable to be washed. Wovens have a tied edge where as the synthetic ones have a cut edge.
Then there are the different names given to these ribbon mostly according to their make.
Different types of Ribbons available for sewing
1. Satin ribbons
These are very soft and pliable silk, cotton or nylon ribbons with a very shiny surface. Sometimes the shiny surface is only on one side and sometimes on both sides. The one sided satin has a matt side on the back. You will choose the double sided ribbon when you have a project in which both the sides will be visible like a sash.The satin ribbons are readily available in varying widths like all ribbons and in solid colours or printed. These are inexpensive ribbons and used for all purposes
2. Taffeta ribbons
A woven ribbon that is made of lightweight and translucent silk, rayon , or polyester; most of them are wired. Even without wire, they have crispiness which makes them hold their shape somewhat. Silk taffeta ribbons are the most pretty but not easily available. Rayon taffeta ribbons are also very pretty.
3. Picot Edge ribbons
These ribbons have fine decorative loops called picots on either edge; Usually it is satin ribbon /grosgrain ribbons with fine loops along the edges.
4. Grosgrain ribbons
These are very sturdy durable and supple ribbons with a matt surface / coarse texture. They have distinctive crosswise ridges on the surface
5. Twill ribbons
These are cotton/polyester woven ribbons
6. Brocade ribbons
These are ribbons with designs woven into them. They have a right and wrong side and the intricate designs on the ribbon make it very suitable for elaborate projects especially the home decor. Earlier this ribbon was painstakingly handmade on a loom but nowadays it is made on special machines.
7. Sheer & shimmery ribbons
These are sheer translucent ribbons in Chiffon, Organdy or Organza, which are lightweight and feature an open weave
8. Tulle ribbons
This is a mesh ribbon
9. Velvet / chenille ribbons
These are ribbons with a cut pile on the surface(just like the fabrics – velvet and chenille). Velvet ribbons have a pile throughout and chenille ribbons have pile tufts
10. Silk ribbons
These are soft and smooth ribbons and the ultimate in beauty. Hand-dyed silk ribbons in variegated and edge dyed looks are splendid. It is mostly used in silk ribbon embroidery
11. Metallic ribbons
These are ribbons made of metallic threads . Some are made entirely of golden threads some are mixed with other fibers
12. Curling craft ribbons/ poly ribbons
These are very shiny ribbons made of synthetic materials . They are mostly used for gift wrapping
13. Jute/ burlap ribbons
Burlap is a coarse cloth made of fibers of jute, flax or hemp. The ribbon made with this fabric is used to create a rustic charm.
14. Zari ribbon
This is a ribbon in which zari thread ( metallic thread) is woven in beautiful patterns. They are available in golden and silver colors
15. Acetate Ribbon
This is a somewhat stiff Ribbon with a satin finish. It is woven from acetate thread in a satin weave. It is used in packaging.
16. Petersham ribbon
This is used as a decorative trim as well as facing for waistlines in skirts/dresses. It can look very similar to grosgrain ribbon but this one has a little more give.
Related post : Make beautiful ribbon flowers.
Checkout the other 9 types of fabric trims you can use to decorate clothes.