Using Ribbons: Dictionary & Glossary

A glossary is helpful when making your next ribbon choice!

With so many different custom ribbon types to choose from, selecting the perfect ribbon for your event or project can be difficult. This simple ribbon glossary is helpful when picking the perfect ribbon for your next ribbon project or event.

a simple and easy to use custom ribbon glossary and quick reference dictionaryMost of these terms refer to our custom ribbon rolls. However, some of them are for printing processes and other ribbon types.


This is a fabric made from a polymer which is usually formed by polymerizing a polyhydric alcohol with a polybasic acid. These fabrics are colorfast and will not shrink. They are the most durable.

Grosgrain (pronounced gro-grain):

This is a heavy ribbon which has a ribbed, or corded texture and appearance across the width of the ribbon, typically made of silk or rayon.


This is a sheer fabric of silk, nylon, or rayon in plain weave.


Also called acetate rayon. This is a synthetic filament, yarn, or fabric composed of a derivative of the acetic ester of cellulose. It differs from viscose rayon in having greater strength when wet and greater sensitivity to high temperatures.


A ribbon or fabric which has a smooth, shiny appearance, and often has a glossy face and a soft, slippery texture. The term “satin” is a type of weave which results in the shiny appearance on one side and “flat” appearance on the other.


Referring to a yarn or fiber made partly or entirely of metal or a reflective film or ink and having a metallic appearance. This is also in printing and makes lettering and logos slightly reflective to light.

Hot Stamp:

A dry printing method of lithography in which predried ink or foils are transferred to the ribbon surface. This is done at high temperatures and is efficient for quick runs and simple designs.

Hopefully, these terms will help you to understand what are the differences in our ribbon. And, as always, we’re here to help. And we are only a click or a phone call away!