The Six Basic Types of Ribbon

Did you know that there are actually six different basic ribbon texture categories?  These are: , Organza, Satin, Velvet, Grosgrain, Metallic, and Natural.  Within these fabrics, though, there also three specific cuts. These are: cut-edge, woven-edge, and wire-edge.


Perhaps the most common type of ribbon, Organza is thin, sheer, and lightweight. Typically it is made with open, plain weave, [very fine and tightly-twisted] fabric of single yarns.  Traditionally organza ribbon was made from silk, as it was common to regions like China, India, and France (where silk was popular for hundreds of years).  Now, of course, it is perhaps more common to find organza ribbon made from just about any other popular type of fabric material; to include cotton and polyester.

This delicate ribbon is, perhaps, best suited for wrapping ornate, but fashionable, items like a bombonier or a party favor.  You can also find this type of ribbon, commonly, on greeting cards and paper invitations.  Some might even use larger organza ribbons as decorate statements on the back of a chair or down a ceremonial corridor.


Satin ribbon is polyester-based and is, generally, regarded as the most “flexible” type of ribbon.  Of course, it is less expensive than silk [organza] ribbon, so that helps to boost its popularity a bit.  Satin ribbons work well for logo and for text printing, which means it is typically preferred for things like corporate marketing.


Velvet is also a common ribbon material, but it can definitely add a bit more luxury or elegance than some of its cousins.  It is an extremely popular choice for the more festive occasions like major holidays (Christmas, of course) since nylon-based velvet is about as versatile as it is classy.  And it is pretty darned classy.


Grosgrain ribbon is made from woven polyester blends which result in a ribbing effect. As such, grosgrain ribbon is probably most commonly used in greeting card and paper invitation accent applications but is also popular among scrapbooking enthusiasts.


Metallic ribbon is generally more stiff and sturdy so it is not quite so commonly used. Still, it makes a bold statement, so when you find the opportunity to use it, you will definitely be happy to have it.


This category can pretty much encompass just about anything that you can tie up with a natural fiber. Most notably it includes ribbon fashioned out of burlap and jute.