Thread Thursday - Silk Ribbon

Thread Thursday - Silk Ribbon



Silk ribbon is an incredible specialty thread and when used on a needlepoint project, can create some pretty amazing effects. There are two main distributors of silk ribbon that you'll find in needlepoint stores, Treenway Silks and River Silks {1,2} Both offer hand-dyed, 100% silk ribbon. Treenway Silks offers silk ribbon in 2mm, 3.5mm, 7mm, 13mm and 26mm and River Silks offers ribbon in 4mm, 7mm and 13mm. {1,2} The size refers to the how wide the ribbon is (ex. 4mm is 4mm wide). Both offer ribbon in a wide variety of colors. Treenway Silks and River Silks are sold in 5 and 5.5 yard cards, respectively. {1,2}  


The size ribbon you use really depends on the stitch and the effect you are trying to achieve. Most commonly, 2mm, 3.5mm, 4mm and 7mm ribbon are used on needlepoint canvas. Serendipity Needleworks has a great introductory post about getting started with ribbon, so definitely check that out! {3}


Since both ribbons are hand-dyed, this means they are both subject to dye lots. It can be important to take note of the dye lot when purchasing the ribbon (especially if you are purchasing multiple cards) and it is important to keep the tag with the ribbon, in case you need to reference it later. Different dye lots can look quite different from each other so it is important to take note of these, especially for large projects. Fortunately, most projects that I have used ribbons on, the ribbons have been used sparingly, so dye lots have not been as important.


River Silks ribbon is only available to purchase through a vendor (you cannot directly purchase from them). From their site, it looks like you can purchase Treenway Silks directly from them.{1} As noted on 5/15/2024, we found Treenway Silks priced between $9.00-$9.95 for 3.5mm ribbon and $12.50 for 7mm ribbon {1,4-5}

As noted on 5/15/2024, we found River Silks priced between $5.85 -$7.25 for 4mm ribbon and $8.15-$10.50 for 7mm ribbon per card via various online needlepoint stores. {6-11} 

(Please note, these were non-exhaustive searches. This is only to provide a few of the vendors who sell Treenway Silks and River Silks online and to provide a general idea of the cost of a card. We recommend searching on your own/visiting your local needlepoint store.


Below are some examples of pieces stitched with silk ribbon. I personally prefer to stitch all decorative stitches with silk ribbon on 18 mesh. I find the effects you can create from the ribbon to be truly show-stopping. I hope this inspires you to try it out sometime!


Canvas: Lupine Geo Canvas by Fire and Iris
Stitching: The Lupine are stitched in ribbon loops using Treenway Silks
(Canvas is 13 mesh)
Canvas: Floral Wreath by Fire and Iris
Stitching: All of the florals are stitched in silk ribbon using a variety of techniques (ribbon roses, daisies, french knots and bullion knots) using River Silks
(Canvas is 18 mesh)


Canvas: Elf Tool Box by Fire and Iris
Stitching: The ribbon coming out of the box is stitched in River Silks
(Canvas is 18 mesh)


Canvas: Lupine Scissor Case by Fire and Iris
Stitching: The Lupine are stitched in ribbon loops using Treenway Silks
(Canvas is 18 mesh) 



1. Treenway Silks. Accessed May 15, 2024

2. River Silks. Accessed May 15, 2024

3. Accessed May 15, 2024

4. Accessed May 15, 2024

5. Accessed May 15, 2024

6. Accessed May 15, 2024

7. Accessed May 15, 2024

8. Accessed May 15, 2024

9. Accessed May 15, 2024

10. Accessed May 15, 2024

11. Accessed May 15, 2024

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