At the time, I ordered a sampler pack and the material I received was quite nice.
I can vouch for their warning that the hand-dyed ribbons do not have the dye set. So be sure to soak it in some type of fixant first (and even then I may have done it wrong, the colors got muddled before they got set).
About 20 years ago, silk ribbon embroidery was all the fashion and most sewing / embroidery / needlework stores would have a big display of all different types of colors of thin silk ribbon in the same section they had the cotton thread and floss used for cross-stitch, needlework and crochet.
That disappeared from most stores sometime in the last 10 years, and I was very relieved to find that silkribbon.com / Cam Creations has those small colored silk ribbons still in stock.
silkribbon.com / Cam Creations also has a very extensive selection of small silk ribbon flowers, priced very reasonably. And they have silk petersham ribbon, which I’ve not run into anywhere else (more on petersham farther down).
[If you’re reading this and wondering why I’m bolding certain items, it’s so I can skim back through this post later and find the links I’m looking for. This will be a rather long post.]
Another site I found a while back is Thai Silks (ThaiSilks.com). I ordered a swatch kit from them. The swatch kit was fantastic, and had tons and tons of samples. I’ve not ordered anything since, but it’s a nice site to browse on at times, and if you get on their mailing list they have regular sales.
Also, if you ever need solid-color or white silk scarves, this would be the place to check first.
Another silk site I found while looking around is Oriental Silk Co. Imports (OrientalSilk.com)
No, I’ve yet to order any swatches or fabric from them. However, it’s another fun site to look around on. In addition to a wide selection of silk, they also have some nice wool cloth, some various weights of linen, and some truly beautiful embroidered silk ribbon.
Fabric.com is another good site, link is just fabric.com.
Unfortunately, they have almost TOO much choice. It’s a bit daunting to get 300+ hits on a search term, something which happens frequently when I’m looking there.
However, what they do have (and not in 300+ varieties, thank goodness) is Bemberg Rayon. I wanted to figure out what would be a good lining fabric to look for (since anything lined with acetate becomes instantly dry-clean only, and I don’t really like the way some polyester or nylon linings feel). Some reading in various books turned up Bemberg rayon as a good (washable!!!) lining fabric, and looking around on the internet, fabric.com was the place where I found the widest selection of colors.
On a side note, I did buy a yard and then washed it, to see what would happen. It survived!
I also later found some Bemberg rayon fabric at the local Joann fabric store.
Clicking around on the internet a few days ago, I ran across the site Farthingales Corset Making Supplies. (http://farthingalescorsetmakingsupplies.com/)
No, I don’t wear corsets.
No, I don’t intend to start.
However, I’m happy to look at pictures of what other people have made. And there are some stunning corsets depicted in Farthingales Corset Making Supplies photo gallery, and also in the photo gallery for their U.S. branch, Farthingales Midwest Corsets and Supplies (Farthingalesla.com).
Looking around on the Farthingales parent company site (they are Canadian), I found some twill tape for sale, and also a good explanation on their blog of the differences between petersham and grosgrain ribbon.
I’d read about twill tape a while back, and what I’d read said it was a good fabric stabilizer (now that I know what it looks like, I realize some of the nicer polo shirts I’ve had over the years have twill tape along the neckline), but that most of what was available in stores was nylon or polyester, while the good stuff was made of cotton.
A quick search to see if there was any places to find cotton twill tape in the U.S. came up with Twill Tape (TwillTape.com). The prices and color selection look good to my admittedly uneducated eye.
They also have a blog and there they have lots of pictures of what users have done with their twill tape. They can do an amazing amount of different types of company logos on twill tapes, and there are other projects there (wall art, sword hilt wrapping, and apron ties) that are all worth checking out.
And then that gets us to petersham.
They also have a nice selection of rayon and cotton lace edgings.
The one drawback to Ribbon Connections is that they sell only in wholesale quantities.
So, that led to the question, are other places I can get petersham (in smaller quantities)?
There’s rayon and cotton petersham at Soutache (SoutacheRibbons.com), as well as a stunning array of other ribbons (including some very nice silk ribbon).
Soutache is another huge site, with interesting little bits of historical trivia on the sidebar of different pages – for instance, I was not aware there was a collection of glass flowers at Harvard which were used to show the various flora of the United States.
There’s also some nice 1″ rayon petersham at The Button Emporium and Ribbonry (buttonemporium.com).
And a huge selection of buttons . . . including some sterling silver buttons set with semi-precious gems?? I’ve never even heard of that (they look nice!!).
And lastly, my perambulations around Farthingales home site led me to some discussion about coutil, a tightly-woven and highly durable cotton (or cotton-blend) fabric used to make corsets.
I’m always happy to hear about anything highly durable.
You can find coutil for sale at Farthingale’s Canadian site.
And for U.S. sources — quite frankly, prices seem to vary for this stuff a lot. And some places require a minimum of 5 yards per purchase, which is no joke when the base price is $30-$60 per yard. But here we go:
Farthingale’s U.S. store points to Vogue Fabrics (VogueFabricStore.com). Vogue Fabrics is another huge site, with all types of fabrics, patterns, etc. It is one of the better sites I’ve seen for letting you search by fabric content, weave, or use.
There’s also some available at CorsetMakingSupplies.com (CorsetMaking.com). CorsetMakingSupplies is also linked to and shares a site with BraMakingSupplies.com and HatMakingSupplies.com, in case I’m ever looking for information about that.
And additionally at Richard The Thread (RichardTheThread.com). Another interesting site to peruse, if you’re looking for their coutil you need to look under Order Info –> Corset Essentials, their coutil is not under Fabrics.
However, Richard The Thread’s Fabrics section does have ice wool, something I’d not heard of, but as light batting that is 80% wool and 20% viscose, it’s an interesting fabric.
And just add in a couple more random links, I also found Fashion Fabrics Club Online (FashionFabricsClub.com), which has some nice silk fabrics, and some wool fabrics too.
And Rye And Ginger (RyeAndGingerKits.com)is a site that has some interesting and beautiful corsets, if you’re still in the mood to check out really complex sewing that has a lot of boning, lacing, channels, piecing and other things to hold it all together, and with which sewers can do some really amazing things based on how they mix and match fabrics and trim.