When it comes to ribbon embroidery, Sophie Long is a real authority in the craft. She regularly teaches the skill for the Royal School of needlework, having graduated from there herself in 2008 and has taught at our Craft Sanctuary events.
Ribbon work embroidery is such a fun technique, technically it is simple to work and effective. The key is getting used to working with silk ribbons – they are very delicate and easily damaged but it is these characteristics which mean the results are so beautiful. Have a play with ribbons before you start a design. My best tip is to ensure that your needle is the right size for the ribbon you are working with. The ribbon should fit easily into the eye of the needle, this means that when the needle passes through the fabric it creates a hole in which the ribbon can fit – meaning it does not get damaged. You may also find that attaching your ribbon to your needle means that you do not have to keep rethreading it and you will not end up crawling around on the floor when it comes off the ribbon (as the silk ribbon is so soft and very easy to unthread). Thread the ribbon into the needle and then with the tail of ribbon, pass the needle through and pull the needle so that the loop goes down and is knotted onto the needle. When you come to finish off the ribbon (this is generally done by weaving in on the back of the embroidery), you will probably need to cut the ribbon knot to release the needle.
Flowers are a very popular subject matter for ribbons, but ribbon embroiderers including myself are now trying to push the boundaries a little, to show that ribbons lend themselves to most designs and not just floral ones like they historically use to be used in.
The most important part with ribbon embroidery is that you enjoy stitching it, have fun and experiment, there are very little rules 🙂
We have a new range of new Ribbon Embroidery kits from PANNA in store now. Full of beautiful florals that have a heritage feel to them. On off white, folksy green and purple fabric, these kits are reminiscent of a time gone by, which is why they have so much charm and appeal to them.
PANNA have also included kits which are sewn onto black Aida. This makes the flowers really stand out and the colours pop.
Whether you are new to Ribbon Embroidery or a pro, there is a kit for everyone and with Sophie’s expert tips above you will soon be creating stunning flowers in your sleep!