Ribbon Weaving

This is a technique I first saw being used with flat-locking at the serger.  I was never able to try it out. My first serger would not flat lock. The 2nd would, but the flat locking was so narrow I couldn’t run a ribbon through it.  I haven’t tried flat locking  with the HV S21 and after this project, I never will. The CS makes the best flat locking with the least effort.

Ribbon weaving at the CS (or serger) is a lovely technique of creating ladders with the stitching and then weaving ribbons through the ladders.   The trick is to cover stitch on the wrong side of your fabric.

I tested several different threads in my looper and different stitch lengths as well as adjusting the differential feed. The goal was to avoid tunneling while creating a variety of ladder samples to test for my next project Ribbon Weaving.

I didn’t want to use  a thread or yarn that I would struggle with.  One of my test threads was a soft yarn similar to the chain produced at the serger.  It turned out to be a better selection for pin tucking then ribbon weaving as it drew the fabric together sharply.

There’s really a lot of choices.

Ribbon can be woven through every other ladder, every third, fourth, etc.  The CS creates a ladder of two threads. Ribbon can be woven under both those threads or only one.

For my project I chose to use a size 20 cordonnet in a bright green.  I have two balls of this cordonnet. I remember buying it but not why. While I was experimenting I decided upon the orange-yellow ribbon (at the top of the above sample) and this cordonnet (not the thread the ribbon is woven through in the sample) because I liked the orange-yellow against the bright orange of my fabric and I liked the bright green against the orange-yellow.  Besides, it was time this cordonnet made it into a project of some kind.

The cordonnet flows through the machine easily.  I was able to tie it on and draw through but had to cut the knot just before the looper’s eye and manually thread the eye. For most of the stitching, the cordonnet unwound from the ball smoothly. However at one point it started getting caught.  In future uses, I’d probably want to manually unwind the cordonnet.

I wanted to try ribbon weaving at the CS but I didn’t want to affect the stretch or fit of my next project, a knit tank top.  I chose to make 3 rows of ribbon weaving in a diagonal across the tank top about 1″ apart.  I wove the ribbon every 7th ladder because while stitching, the cordonnet did not feed evenly in 2 places, each exactly 7 ladders long.

Finished Weaving

Finished garment is shared at sdBevOttobreDesign (scroll down when you get there).

Now honest opinion about Ribbon Weaving.  It’s doubtful I’d do this again. Ribbon weaving through flat locking is harder then it sounds.  “They” tell you to keep the ribbon flat and feeding evenly. No such luck here.  I spent more time carefully lining up my needle and  untwisting ribbon than making the whole dang garment. I know I had the ribbon smooth from needle to previous ladder and still the ribbon twisted when drawn through. I used a 1/8″ ribbon and could have much more easily fed this through at the SM using a blanket stitch. At the SM I could have used wider ribbons and more decorative stitches. But this is a technique I had to try, at least once.


Whats In the CookBook

Summary of technique and samples.

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2 Responses to Ribbon Weaving

  1. Cherie says:

    Bev, this is awesome! You are so adventurous, love your CS Cookbook, and this technique is brilliant! Would you mind moving to Phoenix so you could teach me? Oh yeah, it’s 100 degrees warmer than SD. Never mind!

    Cherie in Phoenix

    • sdbev says:

      Glad you approve! The beauty of the internet is that we don’t need to be close together. We can learn from each other wherever we are.


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