What is Silk Ribbon Embroidery?
A decorative needleart embellishment for use on all kinds of fabrics,
clothing, berets, pins, hat bands, gloves, pictures, quilts,
wallhangings, pillows - the list is endless.
Why should I learn Silk Ribbon Embroidery?
It is a simple and very forgiving needlework style, but produces great
results. It requires minimum supplies, can be taken anywhere and is
adaptable to a wide variety of projects. No experience is needed to
start and is a great skill for children. The project completion rate is
also very high.
What supplies do I need to start?
A 2" to 7" plastic spring hoop, tapestry or chenille needles,
embroidery scissors, marking tools (water soluble and disappearing
pens, white pencil for dark fabrics), pincushion, cotton floss or silk
thread, needle grabbers (to pull needle through), 100% silk
ribbon in a
variety of widths,
fabric project, books or patterns, and beads, buttons and laces for
How much does it cost?
2mm and 4mm ribbon is about 35 cents and up per yard. 7mm ribbon is 80
cents and up. Some pre-packaged ribbon is available, or it must be cut
How many colors needed to start?
Three yards each of six to eight colors. 4mm is the most common size.
Since green is a very useful color in this kind of needlework, have
several shades available.
What needles should be used?
Most people use tapestry (blunt end for weaving stitches) or chenille
(sharp for getting through denser fabrics).
What fabric can be used?
Any fabric will work, as long as you can get a needle through it. If
the fabric is dense, an awl can be used to make a starter hole. Size 13
chenille needles can also be used.
Can I use knit fabrics?
Knits are very stretchy, but can be used. It can be stablized by using
fusible or sew-in interfacing on the wrong side of the fabric.
Can I use a synthetic ribbon instead of 100% silk
100% silk ribbon is easier to use (it cooperates
with you!) than synthetics, but we use rayon
ribbon and other synthetics which add variety in texture and
appearance to embroidered designs.
How do I launder a finished project?
Gently hand wash finished projects in cold water with a mild soap. Hang
or dry flat. To iron, put a terry cloth towel on your ironing board.
Turn project face down and iron around the flowers. If you have to iron
the embroidered area, don't press too hard. If the flowers were
flattened, lighty mist with water, and they'll regain shape as they dry
What do I do when my project begins to look "drab"?
Spritz it with a water using a spray bottle. The silk will perk up and
have a nice sheen.
What needles would I use for beading with silk ribbon
For beads with a very small hole, a size 12 applique or long beading
needle works great. Seed beads are a beautiful addition to silk ribbon
Where can I learn how to do Silk Ribbon Embroidery?
Many books and videos are available (see following question). Classes
are also a wonderful way to learn. If you're online, check out our Ribbon
What are some books on silk ribbon embroidery?
Shadows to Sunshine in Embroidery,
Ribbon & Friends,
Ribbon Embroidery From Clothing to Quilts, by Piecemakers
Ribbon Embroidery Guide 3, by Berrin Sengoz (English version)
- Kaplan's Ribbon Embroidery Guide 2 - Crazy
Technique, (English version)
Form Embroidery, by Judith Baker Montano, C&T
and Embellished, Christen Brown
A to Z of Silk Flowers, byAnn Cox
Memories, by Brian Haggard
Art of Embroidered Butterflies, by Jane E. Hall
What are some DVD's on Silk Ribbon Embroidery?
What are some good books on Machine Silk Ribbon
- Silk Ribbons by Machine, by Jeannie Sexton
- Ribbon Embroidery, by Marie Duncan and Betty
How do I contribute to this FAQ?
This FAQ is put together by Piecemakers Country Store. If you have any
questions or would like to contribute, please contact us at:
Piecemakers Country Store
1720 Adams Avenue
Costa Mesa, California 92626 USA
phone: (714) 641-3112
fax: (714) 641-2883
home page: http://www.piecemakers.com