Ribbons. Ribbons! It seems like ribbons have been around forever. Haven’t they? From the 19th century English women’s dresses, to 17th century French nobles who used the textile to adore their garments. Ribbons have and in my humble opinion, will always, be in fashion to some degree.
Which makes one wonder, where did they originate? Thin strips of fabric woven tightly together can be found as far back as the Neolithic period. These bits were often, if not exclusively, used for practicality and funcatinonaliy. Around the Bronze Age, evidence of ribbon prototypes being used to edge garments and decorate can begin to be found.
During the 14th and 15th centuries ribbons were started to be used for more decorative purposes on modern fashion. Both men and women began using the items to trim and embellish their clothing. As it gained popularity different types of ribbon began to circulate, suck as linen, satin, silk, cotton and velvet.
While ribbon work began to loose popular favor in men’s fashion, especially with the somber suits of the era gaining steady popularity, the ribbon continued to flourish in women’s fashion. All the way into todays fashion, ribbon can be seen as influential components, as trim, detailing, or vocal points. The three major power houses for ribbon textil production continue to be France, Germany and England. These three areas were where ribbon production originated in Europe, and eventually rooted themselves as the production spots for the fabric.
While ribbon’s history is not as grand or cascading as other textiles, it’s steady crawl into the masses has left a lasting impact. And it’s slow and steady that wins the race right?