Can I do hand embroidery on ribbon?

by Jamie louttit
(New Zealand )

The ribbon I have

The ribbon I have

I am new to embroidery. I couldn't even sew a button to a shirt 6 months ago. I don't own a sewing machine, and I want to embroider a message onto a piece of ribbon. Is it possible?

I thought that I could attach the ribbon to a small embroidery hoop to keep it taut. But will it work, can you only embroider on a ribbon by machine? And does is have to be a very fine thread and needle?

I am a self taught amateur artist and when I discovered embroidery it opened up a whole new world. It's like painting with needle and thread.

I appreciate your response

Thanks and regards
Jamie louttit

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What is the best kind of ribbon?
by: Anonymous

Hi there,

I have just noticed your question about hand embroidery on ribbon - i am exploring this also, and am wondering how you went with this project? Also is there any other kind of ribbon, other than satin, that can be used? Interested in more organic natural fibres, rather than synthetic.

Thank you so much!

Awesome response
by: Jamie

Wow Carol.
Thank you so much. That is exactly the advice I was looking for. It is polyester ribbon. I got way more that I will need so I can 'trial and error' to my hearts content. Yes I was planning on using 1 strand of in embroidery thread in the most contrasting colors so it stands out. And I think I will try your description of doing it by hand first. Thank you for your encouragement, This is all very new to me. And alot of the things I make are far from perfect, but being creative and making things keeps me sane and happy. I will post some pictures of how it goes. Because it might be helpful if other people want to try it.
Thank and warm regards

It should be possible
by: Carol

Welcome to the world of hand embroidery, Jamie.

I have stitched WITH ribbon before, but not ON it. However, I love the idea of personalizing a length of ribbon with an embroidered message.

I can see from the photo you submitted that your ribbon is 5/8ths of an inch wide. However, I cannot read what it is made of.

You may have some difficulties if it is organza (too flimsy) velvet, or a thick ridged ribbon. However if it is satin you should be fine.

Yes, I would recommend a fine, pointed needle so that needle holes won't show if you need to reposition where you insert the tip. I assume you will be using stranded embroidery floss? If so I would try to stick to one or two strands only, to avoid a bulky looking result.

Have you decided which stitch you are going to use? There are plenty on my basic embroidery stitches page that could work. Perhaps stem stitch or chain stitch?

You asked about an embroidery hoop. If I were doing this myself I would probably opt to sew it "in the hand" without a hoop. You could hold the ribbon spread over the back of your fingers, moving index finger and middle finger apart to give you a space to stitch.

It could be possible to use a hoop if you prefer, but this would entail taking two pieces of firm scrap fabric and sewing one to each long edge of the ribbon. You would then insert the "fabric" you have created into the hoop. You can then stitch onto the ribbon as it is held in place. I do think it would be firmer between your fingers though.

I would not recommend tying a knot in your thread to start. Instead, leave a long "tail" and come back and weave that under the stitches once you have some in place.

I hope this helps and I would love to see your end results.

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