Katherine Gustafson’s copper ribbons running through trees at the Gardens of the Imagination in Terrasson, France are pure delight.
1. A long, flat and narrow strip of anything that can be used for wrapping, to decorate and to create design.
2. Fabric ribbons are made in a variety of weaves including grosgrain, satin and velvet,and usually from silk, linen, cotton, sometimes wool, hessian or jute types and often one of the synthetic fibres.
Whether as closures or as design elements, ribbons may be more or less formal depending on the project, the room, and the item of furnishing involved. Ribbons and bows do tend to contribute some element of femininity, usually with some sort of flourish: thin ribbons with long tails, double bows, oversized bows, or pretty tiny bows; wider ribbons that concentrate on the centre knot and perfected bows and tails.
Ribbons for decoration:
* Ribbons come in widths from 2 mm to 18 mm. The same colour is often available in a multitude of widths, which can make for interesting monochromatic decoration.
* Silk ribbons are the most beautiful type, used for ribbon embroidery, couture, in appliqué and fine furnishings.
* Petersham and grosgrain ribbons ( think medal holders and formal hat bands ) is made in a stiffer, ribbed weave. Petersham ribbon is always completely reversible, showing the same texture, colour or stripes on both sides.
* Wired edge: fine wire woven into the side of ribbon allow bows to be set perfectly using the strength of the wire, or scrunched up informally, using the wires to form and to hold random shapes.
* Fun: rows of ribbons in multi colours, widths and finishes add a lively child-like sense to decoration.
* Recycling: Ribbons are most useful to conceal joins of two fabrics added together, or one fabric patched by seaming, in rows to hide fading colours, to create borders or design strategy to direct the eye.