Today I’d like to share a simple and very popular technique for folding silk ribbon to make a rose. Quite a lot of roses on silk ribbon embroidery pieces you’ve ever seen are made using it. The technique is called, unimaginatively, the Folded Rose.
Any silk ribbon from 7mm and wider generally can be used for folded roses. It is possible to do so with narrower ribbon, but it gets quite fiddly. A lot of patience advised if you do that. I am using a wider ribbon to make it easier to follow.
I’m totally in love with my new textile postcard. It’s stitched on one of those fabric backgrounds I stock. I’m still not sure if it’s a cherry or an apple blossom. First I thought it’s an apple, but pink stamens made me a bit suspicious and now it looks more like a cherry for me. Anyway, flowers of both species are similar in shape and it’s the same way to go about stitching them. I used my favourite silk ribbon embroidery technique to brighten up the print.
Ribbon stitch is easily the most important stitch in silk ribbon embroidery. If you learn how to do it, it means you know almost everything there is to know about stitching with ribbon. The stitch is used in great many silk ribbon designs and patterns, mainly for stitching petals and leaves. It is very hard to create a pattern without this stitch, so you can hardly find one. There are are slight variations of the technique if you need a pointed petal or a slanted leaf, but all of them use the same steps as for a regular ribbon stitch. Here is a small tutorial on how to make a regular ribbon stitch with silk ribbon (click on the images to enlarge):
There are a few ways to end a stitch in silk ribbon embroidery. There aren’t any strict rules which method to use in any particular design or with any particular stitch, so you can pick out the one you like the most and stick just to it, or you can alter them whilst stitching. Some methods work only for narrow ribbons, so the options are quite limited with 13mm ribbons, but as for the most popular 4mm silk ribbon any method works. All in all, it’s a good idea to look through all the ways of ending stitches with silk ribbons, so you are fully armed with the basics.
Method One: Securing with Sewing Thread
This method works well for all ribbon widths, and it is recommended especially for wide silk ribbons (7mm and 13mm width). Using sewing thread that matches background fabric and an embroidery needle, stitch the tail of the ribbon with tiny stitches to the back of the fabric (see photo on the left). If you use two layers of fabric to support your ribbon embroidery, try to pierce only the lowest layer of fabric, so the stitches holding the tail in place are not visible on the front. In case you use only one layer of fabric, position the stitches so that they are hidden under the embroidery on the front.
It might be a good idea to secure ribbon tails only after the whole embroidery is finished. If you decide to go for this option and leave all the fastening off to the end, try not to leave long ribbon ends dangling on the back. Clip them short, about 1 to 1.5 cm (1/2 inch) in length. Otherwise you’ll be catching and pulling those tails accidentally all the time, whilst stitching. You can also ‘weave’ those tails over and under the stitches at the back, so they are out of your way, but be sure to secure them with a sewing thread after you finish.
Straight stitch is very common technique in ribbon embroidery, and there is a good reason for it. It’s one of the basic stitches which is very easy to make. Once you get the idea, you can embroider flowers, leaves, shrubs, and trees. The photo below might give you an idea of what good use you can put straight stitch into. Note that even the flower middles are tiny straight stitches here.
Straight stitch with ribbon is made in a similar way to a stitch with embroidery floss, but there are a few things you need to keep an eye for. The general sequence of steps for the stitch is shown below. You can click on images to take a closer look if needed. Continue reading
Today I wanted to share one simple but very handy hint about stitching with silk ribbon, that is how to thread a needle.
If you’ve already started making your first stitches, you might’ve spotted that silk ribbons are very slippery and are always trying to escape from needle’s eye, which can be very annoying! Good news that there is a smart way to tackle that little maddening thing! You can take a sneak peak at the image below, I’m going to show you how to do it in a minute. Continue reading
Cannot stress it more that it is very important to pick out the right needle when you stitch with silk ribbons as it affects not only on a final result, but helps you to use the ribbon wisely. Using a wrong needle not only could make it difficult to work with it, but also may actually damage the ribbon. We don’t want that to happen as natural silk ribbons are not exactly a cheap commodity and require careful handling.
As a general rule use a chenille needle for ribbon embroidery. The chenille needle isn’t like your everyday sewing or stitching needle, it’s rather large, with a big eye and a sharp tip. Please look at the picture below to get an idea.
There are three chenille needle sizes that are commonly used in ribbon embroidery:
- Size 24 is for 2mm wide silk ribbon
- Size 18 is perfect for 4mm and 7mm wide silk ribbon
- Size 13 is for 13mm wide ribbon
If you have never done any silk ribbon embroidery, you might feel confused about stitching with ribbon. They do not look like floss, so how could one stitch with it? Actually, stitching with silk ribbon is almost the same as stitching with embroidery thread. Many of the stitches are exactly the same, and, similarly, you would need a needle and a piece of fabric to stitch on. Of course, there are some features and techniques that apply only to ribbon, but, in general, the process of stitching with narrow ribbon is similar to the one with thread. In the next few posts I’d like share some basics of the technique, such as how to start and end stitching, how to take care of silk ribbon, what needles and fabric to choose, and so on.
To start stitching, thread a needle with ribbon and tie a simple knot on the ribbon end.
I had a blog previously, had been blogging about needlework stuff for five years and got quite a few readers. I had been tweaking the design of the blog every now and then, and one day after suspending the blog for a couple of days for another of those refurbishments, I realised I cannot bring myself to open it again as it takes so much of my time. So I left the things where they were (with the abandoned and closed down blog) and jumped into setting up my craft business, designing kits, and dying ribbons. Now that has been definitely taking all of my time up until now, but I got nostalgic about the times of blogging and even though I still don’t feel like I can write very often, there is an urge to share things and news. So here I am, starting blogging again! The new blog has been created, and the plan is to share ideas, projects, and tips about silk ribbon embroidery or ribbon craft here. You are always welcome to ask questions or suggest subjects to discuss. I’d be delighted to hear from you by email or, alternatively, feel free to leave a comment here.
It’s always hard to pick up a subject as there are so many things I’d like to share! What about some basic stuff? Do you fancy stitching woven spider’s web roses? It’s soooo easy and it’s such a quick way to make a lovely rose! There’re many other ways to create those pretty flowers, but this one is my true favorite.