Glossary of Ribbon Terms

Ribbon Glossary:


Acetate Ribbon a stiffer satin ribbon used for floral
arrangements, pew bows and bridal applications  
Argyle a geometric pattern of diamonds woven into a
Brocade Ribbon ribbon cut from fabric woven with an
elaborate design often featuring a raised floral pattern with
metallic threads 
Check Ribbon a ribbon with woven squares 
Chevron Ribbon a ribbon woven with a “V”-shaped repetitive
Chiffon Ribbon a sheer ribbon made from nylon or rayon
filaments in a plain weave  
Colorfastness a material’s degree of resistance to the
fading effect of light
Cord a slender length of flexible material usually
made of twisted strands or fibers  
Crushed Velvet Ribbon velvet ribbon that has been processed to an
uneven, slightly wrinkled surface  
Curling Ribbon a narrow ribbed synthetic ribbon that will
curl into ringlets when pulled firmly across a sharp edge
Cut-edge Ribbon ribbon made from wide fabric that is cut into
narrower strips.
Sizing is applied during the manufacturing process to prevent
fraying (which gives this ribbon a stiff or crisp feel)
Double-faced Satin Ribbon

a satin ribbon woven to have
the same finish and color
intensity on both sides  

a process of coloring yarns or fibers with
either natural or synthetic dyes.  Artistic Ribbon offers a
custom ribbon dyeing service
Eco Ribbon ribbon made from 100% post consumer recycled
Embellished Ribbon ribbon featuring decorative
edges enhanced with materials
such as pearls, lace or other detailing  
Elastomers synthetic polymers having properties of
natural rubber (such as
stretchability and recovery)  
Feather-edge Ribbon a satin ribbon with a series of very tiny
evenly woven twisted
loops along its selvage  
Flammability the measurement of material’s performance
when exposed to specific sources of ignition
Florist Ribbon ribbon unique to the floral industry
characterized by a firmer hand and often utilizing either
wire-edge or monofilament edge treatments 
Foil Stamping using a die to place an opaque metallic image
on a ribbon
Gingham Ribbon a yarn dyed and woven ribbon featuring checks  
Greige/Grey Goods undyed, unbleached, unprinted and unfinished
woven textile as it
comes from the loom
Grosgrain Ribbon a heavyweight closely woven ribbon with
crosswise ribbing 
Hand touch, drape or “handle” of a textile
Heat Transfer a technique used to transfer colors from
paper to ribbon
Hot Stamp Printing foil pressed with heat and high pressure to
print images or words
onto a ribbon
Houndstooth Ribbon ribbon with a broken twill four-pointed star
check pattern

Iridescent Ribbon ribbon displaying a variety of lustrous
colors when exposed to light at different angles
Jacquard Ribbon ribbon woven on a Jacquard loom with
intricate and elaborate
patterns resulting in a tapestry-like effect
Jute a fiber obtained from the Corchorus
capsularis and Corchorus olitorius plants 
Loom a weaving machine that produces textiles by
interlacing warp and weft yarns
Merrowed Ribbon ribbon with wire encased along the cut edge
by matching or
contrasting threads
Mesh Ribbon any ribbon woven with an open texture, fine
or coarse 
Metallic Ribbon shiny ribbon woven with metallic fibers
giving ribbon a sparkly look 
Moiré Ribbon ribbon with a wavy or rippling pattern
Monofilament-edge Ribbon a ribbon with a synthetic fiber (a “fishing
line”) running
along its edges to give the ribbon body.  When used by
florists in their floral coolers, the monofilament
resists the effects of condensation so that ribbon bows
don’t droop
Ombre Ribbon ribbon with color gradually shading from a
lighter color to a darker one across its width
Organdy Ribbon a sheer and often iridescent ribbon with an
ethereal look
Organza Ribbon a lightweight see-through ribbon usually made
of nylon 
Paisley Ribbon ribbon displaying a swirled pattern of
abstract curved shapes 
Paper Raffia a narrow fibrous-appearing ribbon made of
Picot-edge Ribbon a satin ribbon with a series of tiny evenly
woven twisted loops
along its selvage  
Plaid Ribbon a ribbon whose pattern is made by lines and
bands crossed at a right angle  
Polka Dot Ribbon ribbon with a pattern of evenly spaced large
Polypropylene Ribbon a synthetic ribbon excellent for outdoor or
floral usage
Printed Ribbon ribbon embellished by printing techniques  href=””>
Put-up the number of yards of ribbon on a spool
Raffia a fiber obtained from the leaves of the
raffia palm; rayon wraphia is a synthetic variation of this
Rattail a cord manufactured with satin-like qualities
Raveling the fraying at the cut edge of ribbon
Reversible Ribbon a ribbon in which both sides are finished,
distinct (different color
or pattern) and usable
Ribbon Sizes the industry uses a numerical approach to
ribbon width designations; #1 = 1/4 inch; #1-1/2 = 3/8″; #2 =
1/2″; #3 = 5/8″; #5 = 7/8″; #9 = 1-1/2″; #16 = 2-1/4″
Saddle Stitch Ribbon a ribbon that has a thread woven through each
Satin Ribbon a warp faced weave that produces a smooth
“glossy” surface
Scalloped-edge Ribbon a ribbon with a border that is shaped to
resemble a
continuously repeating half circle 
Selvage the selvage or selvedge is the term for the
self-finished longitudinal edges of a ribbon.  Selvages are
the edges that run parallel to the warp and are created by the
weft thread looping back at the end of each row; they prevent
fraying or raveling.
Sheer Ribbon semitransparent ribbon such as chiffon,
organza or organdy ribbon  
Single-face Ribbon ribbon with a glossiness and color intensity
only on one side
Spool what ribbons are packaged on
Stripe Ribbon ribbon with lines or bands (that can vary in
size or color)  
Swiss Dot Ribbon ribbon with a pattern of evenly spaced tiny
Taffeta Ribbon a closely woven ribbon with a crisp hand, a
smooth slightly lustrous surface and a slight ribbing effect (it
tends to have a matte finish)   
Tartan Ribbon a ribbon weave replicating the patterns
originally worn by Scottish Highlanders  
Top Stitch Ribbon ribbon that has a thread woven through the
Tulle a thin netting with a hexagonal mesh  
Twill in ribbon parlance this is usually a “tape”
with a diagonal ribbed weave  
Variegated Stripes stripes that are uneven in width and varied
in color  
Velvet Ribbon velvet ribbon is a tufted weave with a short
dense plush pile, a cut
warp-pile in which the cut fibrous ends of yarn form the surface
of the ribbon  
Velveteen Ribbon ribbon cut from short-pile goods that
resemble velvet but have a
shorter nap
Warp The set of
yarn in all woven fabrics that runs lengthwise and parallel to
the selvage
Weft the horizontal or crosswise element in a
Wire-edge Ribbon ribbon with fine copper wire woven along its
edges to hold the
shape of bows or blooms 
Woven Ribbon ribbon with two selvage edges
Yarn Dyed a term used to describe a weave colored by
means of pre-dyed yarns