Ribbon Embroidery How To

Learn how to create various ribbon embroidery stitches with our simple tutorial and diagrams.


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Straight stitch
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Straight Stitch

    Always use a chenille needle for ribbon embroidery. Be sure the 4mm silk ribbon is needle-locked into the eye to prevent it from slipping out of the large eye. Trim ribbon end at a 45-degree angle before threading. Use any tight even-weave fabric, including moire, douppioni silk, linen, cotton brocade, velvet, and denim.

    -- Bring your needle up at A, and pull it through.

    -- Insert your needle down at B, about 1/4 inch from A, and pull it through.

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Ribbon Stitch

    -- Bring your needle up at A, and pull it through.

    -- With the ribbon flat on the fabric, insert your needle at B, piercing the ribbon, and slowly pull it through. The ribbon will curl where the needle was inserted so don't pull tightly or you'll lose the effect. To vary the curl, pierce the ribbon to the right or left of center.

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Stem Stitch

    -- Bring your needle up at A, and pull it through.

    -- Insert your needle at B, about 1/2 inch from A. Holding ribbon below your stitching line, bring your needle back up at C, about 1/8 inch from B, and pull it through. Continue in the same manner, making sure the ribbon is always held below the stitching line.

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French knot

    -- Bring your needle up at A, the point where the knot is desired, and pull it through.

    -- Holding the needle parallel to the fabric, wrap the ribbon around it two to three times. Insert the tip of the needle at B, a thread or two from A. Gently slide wrapped ribbon down the needle to meet the fabric, and pull the needle and trailing ribbon through.

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Lazy Daisy Stitch

    -- Bring your needle up at A, and pull it through.

    -- Form a loop of ribbon on the fabric surface. Holding the loop in place, insert the needle at B, a thread of two away from A. Bring the needle tip out at C and cross it over the trailing ribbon, keeping the ribbon as flat as possible. Gently pull the needle and trailing ribbon through until the loop lies flat against the fabric. Push the needle through to the back at D to secure the loop.

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Loop Stitch

    Bring your needle up and pull it through. Insert your needle tip into the fabric about 1/8 inch from where it came up. Form a loop of ribbon on the surface of the fabric and hold the loop in place as you pull the needle and trailing ribbon through. Continuing to hold the loop in place, bring the needle back up through the ribbon at the base of the loop.

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Woven Rose

    -- Thread a needle with sewing thread that matches your silk ribbon. Stitch a foundation of five straight stitches in the pattern of wheel spokes.

    -- Thread a needle with the silk ribbon. Working from the center out, bring the needle up at A, and pull it through. Weave the ribbon through the thread spokes by sliding the needle and ribbon alternately over and under the thread without piercing the fabric. Continue weaving until the spokes are full. Pull the ribbon loosely, allowing twists in the ribbon here and there.

    -- Insert the needle at D, pull it through, and knot.

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