Before you start silk ribbon stitching, there are a few simple, but essential, techniques that you need to become familiar with to get the maximum effect from silk ribbon embroidery.
1- Preparing the ribbon:Silk ribbon is quite strong, but its structure deteriorates slightly each time it passes through the fabric, so always work with short lengths - 33cm or less is ideal.
Use small, sharp scissors to cut the ribbon at an angle; this will help prevent fraying and make threading the needle much easier.
Although it's not always necessary to remove any creases, pulling the ribbon under a medium hot iron will increase the lustre of the ribbon.
2- Working the needleTo make the most of the silk ribbon it is important to keep the full width of the ribbon on the front of the fabric. It is essential that the needle is taken right through the fabric every time a stitch is worked.
3- Anchoring the ribbon:The end of 2 and 4mm wide ribbons can be anchored at the back of the fabric with a knot, but 7 and 13mm wide ribbons should be taken down through the fabric, then anchored with a strand of embroidery thread behind the first stitch to be worked.
Fasten off all widths of ribbon with a strand of toning embroidery thread, sewing a few small stitchies into the back of the last stitch worked with ribbon.
4-Turning the ribbon:Having anchored the ribbon, turn the fabric over to the front and look at the shape of the ribbon where it comes through the needle hole. The ribbon will be compressed at this point and its edges will either curl downwards, in a convex shape or upwards in a concave shape.
This will happen whenever the ribbon is brought through the fabric, so turning the ribbon will become a habit.