Ribbon Embroidery

Ribbon Embroidery

I recently  bought a book on Silk Ribbon Embroidery.  I saw something on Pinterest and it caught my interest.

I thought I had some silk ribbon but couldn’t find it. If I did, I would have had to dye it anyways.  So, I decided to use regular satin ribbon just to see how well it worked.

I originally wanted to use a  cotton type doily that I had dyed with indigo several years ago.  But no matter what size needle I tried I couldn’t get the ribbon thru the tight weave.

I purchased some cotton/linen material and used that instead.

I was concentrating so much on the technique I forgot to take pics at each step.  It was a bit harder than it looked. No surprise I chose Irises.

I used the Daisy stitch to make the Iris flowers.  The trick is to use the needle to position and fluff out the flowers and leaves.  I used my own design, so I tried to make each flower unique.

The stems were next.  I used some green floss that I positioned pulling it thru at each end, then couched the stem with the same color floss to give a bit of texture.

After I added the leaves, I felt something was missing. Then I added a bit of a bulb under each flower. The final touch was to add a little acrylic yellow paint for the beard on the petals.

The next challenge was to frame it.  Since the ribbon was so brightly colored, I wanted a more subtle mat.  I tried several and settled on a pale green with light specks.  I had to wrap the cloth around a board and secure it with double sided tape before putting the backing on.  That proved to be tricky getting the flowers centered in the mat. The picture colors are not true, the wall is a pale yellow, the mat a pale green.


Here are some closeups:

Then I caught a little sunlight on the couch which gives a different perspective.

In the future, I may make a series of flower pics and try the silk ribbon which I think will be a bit easier to work with.  But I’m pleased with the result even though at times the ribbon was a bit unruly.

Have you tried any new techniques lately?


16 thoughts on “Ribbon Embroidery

  1. I really like your 3d irises and your choice of colour for the framing was absolutely right. The acrylic paint to form the beard was a good idea.
    It’s a lovely addition to your growing art collection!
    btw, the doily is unusual and interesting.

    1. Thanks Lyn! In the end, I’m glad the doily didn’t work out. I’m not sure how I could have framed it and because there is ribbon underneath it wouldn’t lie flat. I will just have to find something else to do with it.

  2. Wow, that’s really nice, Marilyn! I hadn’t seen ribbon embroidery until I saw Marion use it, and one of our felting group members does it too.

    1. Thanks Zed! It is different. I didn’t realize Marion does it, too. It’s definitely a different look, feel and process. And it’s possible to do other things besides flowers.

    1. Thanks Karen! I used a cotton linen and a #24 chenille needle. There are plenty of instructions on Pinterest and You Tube. The book I used didn’t have the best instructions so I winged most of it.

  3. Hi! Your irises are lovely. I feel like we have the same curiosity! I purchased a couple of ribbon embroidery books recently as well, but I haven’t tried them yet. I can’t find any silk ribbon where I live, so it will have to be ordered online. I love looking at the pictures in the books though–just gorgeous. I hadn’t given much thought to the thickness underneath the fabric of all the tied off ribbons… that would make it a little challenging to frame. Do you cut your own mats and do your own framing? Your framing choice looks perfect with it–are you collecting, gifting, or selling your ribbon work? Sorry for all the questions! ~Terri

  4. Thanks Terri! Great minds think alike. 🙂 You can get the silk online, but they usually sell them on big spools which is why I would buy white and dye my own if I were to go that route. There are also different sizes. I’d try the polyester first to see if you even like doing it. I actually hadn’t thought about the bulk underneath when I started and it really wasn’t an issue. I just buy premade mats. I would have liked an oval mat, but the stores here don’t carry them. Next time I’ll plan better and order online or go to an art store. I look forward to seeing your embroidery when you get around to it.

  5. Marilyn, the irises are so elegant and beautiful! I admit I had a hard time imagining the result when we discussed your plan, but it evolved so well and the 3-D effect is stunning! Framing is just right–love to see what you do next with ribbon embroidery.

    1. Thanks Cathy! It came out better than I imagined using polyester which is stiffer than silk, but I’m pleased with the result. And I always love the 3D effect on anything. :-). I imagine I’ll do more down the road. Right now I’m anxious to get back to wet felting.

    1. Thanks Ann! I think you’re right. You should give it a try. While I don’t have patience for a lot of embroidery, I found this very satisfying.

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