Ribbon is used to add a dressy and festive touch to corsages, bouquets and arrangements.  It can be used to create bows, loops, or streamers.  Years ago it was used mainly to hold stems together.  Now ribbon can be functional but it is mostly decorative.  It comes in many widths, fabrics, styles and colors.

Ribbon comes in some standard widths and each width is assigned a number.

  • #100 is 4″ (101 mm) wide
  • #40 is 2 11/16″ ( 68 mm) wide
  • #16 is 2″ (50 mm) wide
  • #9 is 1 7/16″ (36 mm) wide
  • #5 is 7/8″ (25 mm) wide
  • #3 is 5/8″ (15 mm) wide
  • #2 is 7/16″ (11 mm) wide
  • #1 is 5/16″ ( 8 mm) wide

Most commonly used are #3, #9, and #40.  Corsages, bouquets, bud vases and average floral arrangements usually have #3.  Number 9 ribbon is used for larger designs and for decorating potted plants.  Very large designs for such as funeral easels use #40 ribbon.

You can get almost any color or texture.  You can also use wired, paper, shimmering, metallic, printed, lace or seasonal ribbon.  The most common and least expensive is satin acetate.  many trends come and go but this one seems to be timeless.

Ribbon can be used to create a bow to add just that little extra finishing touch or it can even be the focal point.  Be careful that you don’t over power your design with it though.  The color and size must be planned.  It can either make or break your bouquet.

The ends can be finished off or cut in several different ways –

  • cut it at a diagonal from one side to another
  • cut it into an inverted “V” with the point in the center
  • cut it into an inverted “V” with the point a little off-center so one leg of your “V: is longer than the other
  • cut it into a “V” so the end of your ribbon looks like an arrow head
  • cut in in a zigzag pattern across the bottom edge

Bows need to be in proportion to your corsage or bouquet.  They can be placed at the rim of your container or at the point where all your stems come together.  This will then become your focal point.

Whether your ribbon is functional or merely decorative, it adds texture and beauty.  Use it well and it will help create harmony and unity in your wedding bouquets and corsages.

Source by Nadine Visscher