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Beginners' Silk-Ribbon Embroidery: Five Easy Stitches

Vests come to life with asymmetrical floral designs embroidered with silk ribbon.
The basic straight stitch can be used for numerous effects.
Ribbon stitch makes great leaves or petals.
Vests come to life with asymmetrical floral designs embroidered with silk ribbon.

Vests come to life with asymmetrical floral designs embroidered with silk ribbon.

Photo: Sloan Howard

by Karen Kieppe
from Threads #92. pp. 56-59

Silk-ribbon embroidery is a romantic, old art that uses ribbon, embroidery floss, and perle cotton to work beautiful floral motifs and decorative stitch patterns by hand on garments and accessories. Don't miss other stitching tutorials like this one by purchasing a print subscription of Threads magazine which comes with FREE access to our tablet editions.

I love the antique quality of this form of embroidery, and I use it to embellish crazy-quilted bags and purses, as well as contemporary garments cut from a single fabric. Silk-ribbon embroidery is easy and fun to do, and even a novice embroiderer can create elegant floral arrangements and beautiful patterns with some simple stitches.

There are many different embroidery stitches, but I've found that just five basic stitches, used alone or in various combinations, can create a large array of floral motifs and stitch patterns. The ribbon stitch is for ribbon only, but the lazy daisy, straight stitch, French knots, and stem stitch can be made with ribbon or thread. Try them, and you'll see that the ribbon produces a different effect with each stitch.

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Comments (9)

kayem818 kayem818 writes: I have a ribbon embroidery quilt that has been damaged by my pet (long nails caught the ribbons). Is there anyone in Washington County, Maine who would be interested in repairing this quilt? It was very expensive and is still very beautiful. I don't know how to repair it, but hoping there is someone out there to do it.
Posted: 12:07 pm on January 12th

LoritaGable LoritaGable writes: Nice embroidery
Posted: 4:40 am on December 5th

WillowMchenry WillowMchenry writes: This is so pretty and i like this embroidery
Posted: 6:21 am on November 13th

user-3606258 user-3606258 writes: I have just joined. I see questions here that I would like to know the answers to also but, I do see any answers. Where can I find them?
Posted: 5:17 pm on July 17th

kpop_princess kpop_princess writes: this is so helpful!!!!!!
Posted: 5:43 am on June 1st

shifa shifa writes: hi! i love embroidery works very much i would like have more of these and ofcourse its really helpfull thanx
Posted: 11:48 pm on June 12th

dearly dearly writes: thanks its really help me
Posted: 5:05 am on February 20th

Peeshy Peeshy writes: I have never done SRE but would love to learn - what kind of a needle should I use?
Posted: 6:31 pm on November 17th

SusanGayle SusanGayle writes: I would love to take this up again but I can't find the ribbons anymore. I see some 2, 4, & 7mm but not 9 & 13 and no organza. I used Bucilla last time. That was all the was available in our area. Now the isn't any. Even the ones that pop up an a search don't seem to have many (or any).
Posted: 4:17 am on October 2nd

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