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Glossary of Ribbon Terms

Acetate Ribbon A stiffer satin ribbon made with acetate used in Floral arrangements and inexpensive pew bows and other bridal work. This is different than "Soft Satin" woven polyester.
Bengaline Moire A type of ribbon that has ridges (like grosgrain) and a watermark on it like Moire ribbon.
Clr Abbreviation for Color
Cut Edge Ribbon A bolt of fabric is sliced into ribbon widths. The ribbon can be fed to a sewing machine to add wire edge to each side by wrapping it with thread to hold the wire. The ribbon can be left unwired. Acetate satin, craft moires and cotton prints are made this way.
Goods Ribbon, Trim or Fabric
Hot Stamp Printing A foil is pressed with high pressure and heat into a ribbon like satin or grosgrain to print words or pictures on the ribbon.
Jacquard A ribbon with embroidery on it
Metallic Shiny gold or silver ribbon
MM Abbreviation for millimeters - ribbon width
Moire A type of satiny like ribbon that has a watermark look to it
Monofilament Edge A very thin "fish" line in the ribbon edge. It gives the ribbon body but it is not wire edge.
Organdy Any sheer ribbon
Poly Polypropylene ribbon. This is a "plastic" ribbon that does not look like plastic but is excellent for outdoor use or for floral use.
Put Up The number of yards on the spool
Reel What the Trim yardage is packaged on
Spool What the Ribbon yardage is packaged on
WE Wire Edge - the ribbon has a wired edge
Width The size of ribbon or trim as measured across it.
Ribbon Manufacturers use numbers for ribbons as shown below:

  Inches Millimeters
#1 1/4", 5/16" 8 MM
#2 3/8" 9 MM
  7/16" 11 MM
#3 5/8" 15 MM
#5 7/8", 15/16", 1" 25 MM
#9 1 5/16", 1 3/8, 1 1/2" 38 MM
#16 1 7/8", 1 15/16", 2", 2 1/4" 50 MM
#40 2 3/8", 2 1/2", 2 5/8" 78 MM
#100 3 7/8", 4" 100 MM
Wire Edge Wire in the edge of the ribbon to allow the ribbon to be molded and hold its shape. Wires can be very thin and have the material folded over the wire or the wire can be thick wire covered with a thread to match the ribbon. Gold, Silver or iridescent thread is also used and that is when you see the words gold wire edge ribbon.
Woven Ribbon Looms are used to weave the ribbon from the center to the outside. In this process, and if the ribbon is wired, the wire is added as one of the last threads to finish the weave. Soft Satins and Grosgrains are made this way.
YD or YRD Abbreviation for Yard