2009 Weave of the week #18: Ribbons, ribs, and repps

Ribbed ribbon

Ribbed ribbon

The striped ribbon shown above is a rib weave and, like all rib weaves, is a modified tabby.

It has evenly spaced groups of warp threads that have been woven as a single end to create the vertical ribs. The warp is white but has been completely covered by very tightly woven filament wefts that create the crisp stripes.

Turning the ribbon horizontally made me think of battle ribbons,


British regimental stripes,

regimentalmandsand silk repp ties,

bb_reppall of which have ribs going across — instead of down — the fabric, like the ones in the mat shown below.


The mat, handwoven in the Philippines, has a fine, dense, striped warp (approx 100 epi). Several picks of the heavy white weft are inserted into each tabby shed to create even ribs across the fabric. This time it’s the weft that is completely covered by the tightly spaced warp.

As far as I can tell, true repps — heavier plain weave fabrics with prominent ribs — were once woven with two warps and two wefts. But since that construction is not commonly used anymore, rib and repp can be used interchangeably for any corded fabric.

All of the examples in this article happen to be striped, but rib weaves can be solid colors, too. They are versatile: the hand can be stiff or drapey, the fiber natural or synthetic, and the uses as varied as upholstery and ribbons.


2 Responses

  1. I feel like you’re guiding me through a weaving museum that has such an amazing variety of traditional weaving as well as textile art – classic and modern, ethnic, and your own lovely work. I always look forward to the next visit. Thanks Fern!


    • Wow, thank you so much.


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