A ribbon or riband is a thin band of material, typically cloth but
also plastic or sometimes metal, used primarily as decorative binding
Cloth ribbons are made of natural materials such as
silk, velvet, cotton, and jute and of synthetic materials, such as
polyester, nylon, and polypropylene.
Ribbon is used for innumerable
useful, ornamental, and symbolic purposes. Cultures around the world
use ribbon in their hair, around the body, and as ornamentation on
non-human animals, buildings, and packaging. Some popular fabrics used
to make ribbons are satin, organza, sheer, silk, velvet, and
3 For printers and typewriters
5 See also
The word ribbon comes from
Middle English ribban or riban from Old
French ruban, which is probably of Germanic origin.
Along with that of tapes, fringes, and other smallwares, the
manufacture of cloth ribbons forms a special department of the textile
industries. The essential feature of a ribbon loom is the simultaneous
weaving in one loom frame of two or more webs, going up to as many as
forty narrow fabrics in modern looms. To affect the conjoined throwing
of all the shuttles and the various other movements of the loom, the
automatic action of the power-loom is necessary, and it is a
remarkable fact that the self-acting ribbon loom was known and
extensively used more than a century before the famous invention of
Cartwright. A loom in which several narrow webs could be woven at one
time is mentioned as having been working in Dantzig towards the end of
the 16th century. Similar looms were at work in
Leiden in 1620, where
their use gave rise to so much discontent and rioting on the part of
the weavers that the states-general had to prohibit their use. The
prohibition was renewed at various intervals throughout the century,
and in the same interval the use of the ribbon loom was interdicted in
most of the principal industrial centres of Europe. In 1676, under the
name of the Dutch loom or engine loom, it was brought to London, and
although its introduction there caused some disturbance, it does not
appear to have been prohibited. In 1745, John Kay, the inventor of the
fly-shuttle, obtained, conjointly with Joseph Stell, a patent for
improvements in the ribbon loom. Since that period, it has benefited
by the inventions applied to weaving machinery generally.
Ribbon-weaving is known to have been established near St. Etienne
(dep. Loire) as early as the 11th century, and that town has remained
the headquarters of the industry. During the
St. Etienne settled at Basel, and there,
established an industry which in modern times has rivalled that of the
original seat of the trade.
Krefeld is the centre of the German ribbon
industry; the manufacture of black velvet ribbon being there a
specialty. In England
Coventry is the most important seat of
ribbon-making, which is also prosecuted at
Norwich and Leicester.
While satin and other sorts of ribbon have always been used in
lingerie, the usage of ribbon in the garment industry, while subject
to fashion trends, saw an upsurge in the mid to late 90's. This
upsurge led to increased ribbon manufacturing as well as new and
improved manufacturing techniques. Due to more competitive production
rates, as well as past experience in this field, companies in the Far
East – especially those in China – gradually secured themselves to
be the major ribbon suppliers in the world and improved both the
quality and the variety of their merchandise to match those of their
established European and North American competitors.
Presently, the North American continent remains the largest importer
of ribbon and ribbon derivative products (such as bows, rosettes, and
other garment accessories made from ribbon). However, due to
outsourcing of production of garments by North American garment
manufacturers, countries in Asia and South America have started to
contribute to the change of the statistical figures of ribbon imports.
Inspired by European silk ribbons obtained through trade, Great Lakes
and Prairie Native American tribes created art form of appliqué
For printers and typewriters
Typewriters and dot matrix printers use a cloth or plastic ribbon to
hold the ink.
Pieces of ribbon are used as symbols of support or awareness for
various social causes and are called "awareness ribbons". Ribbons are
used in some ceremonies, such as in a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Look up ribbon in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ribbons.
^ a b "Ribbon". The Free Dictionary By Farlex. Retrieved
^ Berlo, Janet C. and Ruth B. Phillips. Native North American Art.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998. ISBN 978-0-19-284218-3.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in
the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Ribbons".
Encyclopædia Britannica. 23 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
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