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The Art of Decoration: Ribbons through the Ages

Custom logo ribbons may be all the rage in marketing circles, but the art of crafting a ribbon itself dates back to ancient times.

For centuries, people have actively searched for new and innovative ways to embellish their personal commodities, including clothing, household goods, homes—even hair!

Today, the scope of ribbon manufacturing has gone beyond household items to influence corporate branding strategies in the shape of custom logo ribbons, available in a range of textures, sizes and materials.

Here’s a brief look at the evolution of this smart and quirky “modern” marketing tool.

The Origins

The creation of ribbons started with the creation of fabric.

As civilization began to develop a greater interest in clothing, more and more people began to explore unique ways to personalize their garments, with finer threads being reserved for the aristocracy.

While the earliest ribbons were plain and coarse in texture, they were also used as decoration for personal gifts and special items. Soon, they began to appear in European markets, thanks to peddlers and merchants who marketed them as “exotic products”.

Thanks to an increase in silk trade, textile merchants began experimenting with new and creative ways to reintroduce ribbons into the mainstream society, and developed new ways to manufacture different types of ribbon.

Interest in innovation led to the birth of ribbon mills, where silk spinning and wool carding became common techniques to produce luxury ribbons.

Ribbons around the World

Trade and commerce contributed massively to the evolution and popularity of ribbons.

At the dawn of the Renaissance, high-quality ribbons were already being produced, thanks to authentic textiles being brought from distant colonies and spun with gold and silver thread.

This was particularly popular in the Victorian era, where ribbons weren’t just used as hair accessories, but triggered a massive ribbon boom due to the overwhelming demand and versatility of ribbon.

Hats, bags, dresses, coats, and gift-wrap, the product became one of the most sought-after accessories in the market and led to greater innovation and styles of ribbon weaving.

As society began to show a greater interest in uniforms, ribbons also began to appear in institutions like the military as well as representations for social movements.

Ribbons Today


With the aid of modern machinery, ribbons have a place for every business in every industry.

However, the most important and “modern” role they serve today is generating brand visibility and brand recall with an emphasis on custom logos—something that ribbon manufacturers of the past could not predict.

With so many possibilities with a modern day custom ribbon, we’re excited to see what the future of the ribbon industry has in store. We remain on the cutting edge of new styles and combinations and versatility of customized ribbon for specialty needs.  We specialize in the unique.  We put your hat on and enjoy helping you with your unique presentation and branding.  One customer recently inquired, “Are you sure you are not a professional designer?” Put a smile on my face.  One does not need to have a degree in design to have a flair and passion for fashion!

Thirty Seven West is a leading manufacturer of custom ribbons and personalized clothing labels in Woodstock, Georgia.

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