All About Ribbons

Ribbons are decorative as well as very useful fabrics which are almost infinite in their texture, variety and color. Modern ribbons are being manufactured form different sorts of fabric, from satin to velvet and event to synthetics like rayon and nylon. They are printed, patterned, braided, woven and are decorated with sequins or pearls or shaped like ric-rac. Some are also edged with metal so that they can be easily molded and shaped and then crafted into motif ribbons. Ribbon is usually classified by the textile industry as narrow fabric.


Ribbons appeared when people started to create fabrics. They are considered to be among the oldest adorning or decorative materials. People always have looked for ways in order to personalize their household goods and clothing. When all of the textiles were handmade, those materials with the finest threads were considered to be the most expensive. However, the simplest and most coarse textiles that are made from plain colors can actually be made very elegant and that it can also be used in decorating. During the Middle Ages, various peddlers travelled across Europe in order to sell exotic ribbons. Renaissance and Medieval patrons bought ribbons that are woven with silver and gold thread and made from silk as well as other rare fabrics from the East. During the 1500s, the modern ribbon used today came into being. At first, ribbons were identified with luxury especially during the sixteenth century when the English Parliament tried to make wearing ribbons a thing of the nobles only. The ribbons were also identified with different orders of merit. The Knights of the Garter wore broad blue sashes even up to this day while the Knights of Bath wore red.

During the seventeenth century, the ribbons tool over the fashion world. Both the clothing of women and men were also extravagant and that every accessory from bonnets to gloves was full of ribbons of different forms. A length of silk ribbon could be given as gift in decorating clothes and are used in curling and braiding hair, for brightening linens, for ornamenting furniture and baskets.