Any length of any material such as ribbon, tape, rouleau, torn lengths or strips of lace, raffia or other fabric long enough to tie into knots, used for decorative and/or practical purposes.
Ties serve practical purpose to hold one thing to another in the place we want it to remain – i.e. bed valances are tied to each of the four bed ends or legs; slip covers or loose covers are tied to prevent them slipping – criss crossed beneath the chair, and around the legs. For these hidden ties, we use a bought tape – a herringbone woven heading tape or the standard India tape. These are tied into a bow or loosely knotted so that they can be easily un-tied and re-tied for cleaning or seasonal change; they are also inexpensive and easy to replace.
Decorative ties can be made of literally anything that can be tied, including the practical basic materials of woven heading tapes and India tape, anything that can be bought, and anything that can be made. They might be chosen to match or contrast, or complement, to make statement or disappear… offering many possibilities for experimentation and design.
The width and the length of these ties is determined by, and to some extent determines, the style of the thing. In most cases and on the face or it, narrow ribbons that tie into long dangling bows, or short ties just long enough to knot, or wide sash style ties, seem designed for three very different types of furnishing.
On the other hand a single seat pad can be fitted to the back leg of the same chair by any of these three, plus other options such as ties laced around the legs, or double bows…. The choice is determined as much, if not more so, by the style of the furnishings in general, as the type of furnishing it is.
Decorative ties are used as closures at the back of things – loose covers and chair seat cushions, scatter cushion and box cushions, but also at the top, to hold curtain headings to poles or rings.