Ribbon Embroidery Designs and Stitches

It should come as no surprise that crafting and art work have always been a big part of my life.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I decided to try ribbon embroidery on a rocking chair seat back cover for her room.  I had no ribbon embroidery design to work from.

Something simple was definitely my plan. I had pink, blue and pale green ribbon to use and, with experimentation, made a few ribbon embroidery stitches that became a rose petal design with green petals and blue ribbon vines twisting from it.

My ribbon embroidery design was very experimental, having had no lessons or tutorials to help me. I’ll add that it was very rudimentary, yet I loved that seat back cover and was so proud of my work.

If I were to try it again, I would be sure to view some ribbon embroidery tutorials before I got started. The free ribbon embroidery projects would be a great place for ideas!

What is ribbon embroidery?

Ribbon embroidery is mainly swapping out embroidery thread for silk ribbon!  The usual embroidery stitches are used, along with the ribbon stitch specific to ribbon embroidery itself.

When using silk ribbon to embroider, the finished piece is 3D and has a lovely texture.  It’s just simply exquisite to see.  Most motifs are botanical since ribbon embroidery lends itself well to making flower petals, vines and leaves.

What are the origins of ribbon embroidery?

Although many historians estimate that the art of ribbon embroidery is only about 300 years old, most agree that it probably was long before that when threads and ribbons were used for embroidery.

It must be noted that ribbons themselves are also fairly new, being produced about a few hundred years ago beginning in Italy. Silk was the fiber that was usually spun into the soft, silky narrow strips that we call ribbons.

Soon after, in the 1600s, the technique of making ribbons was passed along to the French textile producers.  This new fashion statement of wearing silk ribbons was only afforded by those who were wealthy.

In the early 1700s, ribbon embroidery became popular with the wealthy in France.  Rosettes were the most common motif, embellishing shoes, dresses, capes, corsets and parasols.

Ribbon embroidery designs made their way to England during Queen Victoria’s reign (1837-1901).  Ribbon embroidery stitches could be seen on quilts, women’s hats and bags, and many other places where the 3D embroidery would make a fine embellishment.

What is the best fabric to use for ribbon embroidery?

The use of ribbons for embroidery needs a relatively strong background fabric, and natural textiles like cotton and linen are usually the best options. Cotton in white or cream is best for beginners.

Along with the ribbon and background fabric, an ordinary embroidery hoop and a needle with an eye big enough for the ribbon, yet sharp enough to get the ribbon through the fabric, are also necessary.

Scroll down this page to find several beginner’s guides to ribbon embroidery techniques, embroidery stitches, and ribbon embroidery designs and tutorials.

The beautiful patterns and ribbon embroidery designs of lovely florals will take your breath away!

Ribbon Embroidery Designs and Stitches

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 Ribbonwork Gardens

Ribbonwork Gardens #ad

Learn to make 122 exquisite floral elements with ribbon, using just 7 basic knots and stitches by Christen Brown - Paperback - Published 2012

A Beginner's Guide to Ribbon Embroidery

This post has the nine most commonly used stitches in ribbon embroidery along with information on threading the needle. Sew Guide

Beginner Ribbon Embroidery Techniques

This comprehensive guide will walk you through some silk ribbon embroidery techniques. Even if you’re a complete beginner, you’ll be stitching in no time. Crwel Ghoul

Beginners Guide to Ribbon Embroidery

This guide shows five basic ribbon embroidery stitches along with tips to help with locking and ending off stitches as well as ways to keep the ribbon flat while stitching. Threads Magazine


A tutorial on how to make a cosmos flower with ribbon. Silk Ribbon Embroidery


Delphiniums are a hardy perennial, beautiful and tough. Here is a tutorial on making a delphinium flower with silk ribbon. Silk Ribbon Embroidery

Easy SRE Rose

Here is a very easy version of a silk ribbon embroidery rose that only requires 2 stitches. Kitty and Me Designs

Free Ribbon Embroidery Designs

This post has some free ribbon embroidery designs along with all the necessary stitches and step-by-step photographs showing how to embroider them. Owl Crafts

Guide to Ribbon Embroidery

Get ready to learn how to ribbon embroidery and stitch a gorgeous flower hoop with the free template. Gather How

Lavender In Silk Ribbon

This silk ribbon lavender design would work well on sachet bags, pillows and gift bags. Silk Ribbon Embroidery

Ribbon - Ribbon Bazaar - FREE SAMPLE

Complete form to received free ribbon sample. Ribbon Bazaar

Ribbon Rose Tutorial

For this technique, the rose is made with a twist and tack method. Kitty and Me Designs

Rosebud Tutorial

In this tutorial learn how to do a rosebud using a twisted chain stitch method. Umi's Embroidered Gift

Stitch - Colonial Knot

Photo tutorial for the Colonial Knot. Honey Bee's Bliss

Stitch - French Knot

Stitch - French Knot #ad

Instructions and illustration for making a ribbon embroidery french knot. Affiliate Link to Annie's Craft Store

Stitch - Knotting the End

Stitch - Knotting the End #ad

Learn how to knot the end of the ribbon in ribbon embroidery with these instructions and illustrations. Affiliate Link to Annie's Craft Store

Stitch - Lazy Daisy

Stitch - Lazy Daisy #ad

Instructions and illustration for the lazy daisy stitch in ribbon embroidery. Affiliate Link to Annie's Craft Store

Stitch - Loop Stitch

Stitch - Loop Stitch #ad

Instructions and illustration in the loop stitch in ribbon embroidery. Affiliate Link to Annie's Craft Store

Stitch - Loop Stitch

Loop stitch flower tutorial. Silk Ribbon Embroidery

Stitch - Ribbon Stitch

How to instructions with pictures. Honey Bee's Bliss

Stitch - Ribbon Stitch

Stitch - Ribbon Stitch #ad

learn to do the ribbon stitch with these instructions and illustrations. Affiliate Link to Annie's Craft Store

Stitch - Spider Web Rose

Stitch - Spider Web Rose #ad

Instructions and illustrations for the spider web rose. Affiliate Link to Annie's Craft Store

Stitch - Stem Stitch

Stitch - Stem Stitch #ad

Primarily an outline stitch. Learn how to make the stem stitch with these instructions and illustration. Affiliate Link to Annie's Craft Store

Stitch - Whipped Stem Stitch

Stitch - Whipped Stem Stitch #ad

Instructions and illustration for doing the ribbon embroidery stitch, whipped stem stitch. Affiliate Link to Annie's Craft Store

Stitch Instructions - Starting and Stopping

Information on how to start and stop when ribbon embroidering. River Silks

Stitches - Ribbon Embroidery Stitches

A glossary of instructions of various types of ribbon embroidery stitches and ribbon embroidery flowers. SRE Deluxe


On this blog page is a step-by-step tutorial on embroidering a silk ribbon sunflower. Silk Ribbon Embroidery

Sweetheart Rose

A video tutorial with tips on ribbon embroidering a rose. Honey Bee's Bliss


This tulip is constructed in a simple ribbon stitch. Learn how! Carol Daisy

Viola Silk Ribbon Embroidery Design

Learn how to make violas in ribbon embroidery with these step-by-step instructions. Silk Ribbon Embroidery

Wheat Ears in Ribbon Embroidery

With this free photo tutorial, learn how to make ribbon embroidered wheat. Crochet Knitting Handicraft

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