Silk Ribbon Embroidery

These are some photos of a silk ribbon embroidery sampler I made once when I was home sick and bored out of my mind. I didn’t plan out what the final piece would look like; I just took my ribbons, thread, and beads and started stitching together a bouquet, so to speak, one ribbon flower or leaf after another, practicing as many different stitch techniques as I could.

Beneath the flowers I made something of an abstract flower pot — or maybe it’s a trellis? — by couching the silk floss and ribbon. Couching is a technique where a thicker thread or ribbon is affixed to the top of the fabric by tiny stitches of fine thread from the back of the fabric. I love the juxtaposition of the rigid geometry of the couched silk thread with the organic, voluminous shapes and textures of the floral embroidery.

Call me crazy, but I fantasize about embellishing a whole dress with this stuff! I think it’s the most beautiful type of embroidery, not just because it’s so delicate and enchanting, but also because it cannot be duplicated by machine, making it extremely rare.