The Many Different Types of Ribbon

The Many Different Types of Ribbon

We use ribbons to top gifts for our loved ones, showing them how much we care with our creativity. The many different types of ribbons come in all sizes, materials, textures, patterns, and colors. They’re not just pretty—they’re imbued with a history of meaning, too. Here’s a guide to gift wrapping ribbons that will take your present to the next level.

Ribbons have been used over the centuries to create high fashion garments, draw attention to a cause, reward a champion, and distinguish a military uniform. In 1980, trees were decorated with yellow ribbons to support the hostages in Iran; in 2013, a 5.5-mile blue ribbon was cut to reopen the Jersey Shore after the ravages of Hurricane Sandy.

Do you need to take all that into account when you’re choosing a gift wrap ribbon? Absolutely not. What makes your ribbon selection special is that it comes from you.


Maybe you’ll understand the wonder of grosgrain when we tell you that it’s the official “go-to ribbon” for Martha Stewart’s crafting department. Let that sink in. Ribbed and matte, this classic choice has a good grip and preppy vibe in any width.


One of the secret weapons of accomplished gift-givers, a wired ribbon can help you achieve the impossible. You can bend it, sculpt it, and even defy gravity if you want, and the wire isn’t even detectable at first sight.


The thick, shiny, smooth surface can be a little slippery to work with, but there’s nothing more luxe than a satin bow around a box. Just take it from Tiffany’s.

Metallic Glitter

Sometimes, we just need to create a little shock and awe, and since we can’t use fireworks, we turn to sparkly ribbon. This choice is especially festive at the holidays and on gifts for wide-eyed kids.


The perfect complement for kraft paper, burlap has the unmistakable spirit of rustic authenticity. You may not have woven it yourself, but it definitely adds a personal touch.


What makes curling ribbon curl with one sweep of a scissor blade? Whatever secret magic is involved, it creates irresistible tendrils that drape down your box.


Organza ribbon indicates one thing—sheer elegance. The bridal favorite gives any present a dreamy, fairy-tale aura. Add some wired edges, and you can achieve absolutely ethereal volume.


Plush, warm, and pure indulgence to touch, velvet ribbons are a traditional staple. You can decorate a gift at the holidays with a decadent bow that the recipient can wear afterward in their hair.

Of course, there are endless more variations and forms of ribbon, from twine, lace, and iridescent, to infinity and beyond. Which is right for your gift? Some of the many different types of ribbon are better suited for certain projects, but the choice may come down to which ones are easiest for you to work with and create the best effects. Give them all a chance because it’s an inexpensive way to give your creativity dimension and texture. Take a look at our selection at LaRibbons & Crafts—you might never buy another premade bow again.