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Ribbon Glossary

Martha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2000

Most ribbons are made from silk, cotton, rayon, or nylon; it's the way they are woven that defines them.

Types of Ribbons
Satin ribbon's smooth, glossy look comes from a weave with a greater quantity of warp fibers -- the ones running the length of the ribbon; it's either single-faced, meaning shiny on one side, or double-faced.

Organdy ribbon is sheer and often iridescent -- look it gets from two contrasting colors of yarn being woven together.

Taffeta is all-purpose with a tight weave and almost always matte finish.

Nearly any type of ribbon can have a picot edge, a feathery effect made by tiny, twisted loops along the selvage.

Tightly woven velvet ribbon has a soft plush pile on one side.

Wire-edge ribbons rely on fine copper wire to hold the shape of bows or coiled blooms.

Sturdy grosgrain ribbon is woven with a greater quantity of weft fibers, giving it a crosswise pattern.

Metallic ribbon is made from thin metal fibers, alone or with other materials, giving the ribbon a sparkly look.

To create the shiny, watery appearance of moire, a heated roller is passed over the surface of the fabric.

Jacquard has patterns and images incorporated into the weave.

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