The idea to start River Silks Ltd was inspired by the need for high quality silk ribbon. In 2002, while I was working at a fiber arts store in Washington, disappointed customer had brought her project in. She had spent good money on silk ribbons which had become frayed and dull. My first thought was, "I bet we can solve this."
Silk production has a long and celebrated tradition in China. It just so happened that Paul and I had traveled extensively in China and made some wonderful connections. We asked our friends in China if they could find artisan weavers who could meet our specifications. The challenge was that the ribbon had to be 100% silk, not fray, not run, be durable and be able to be dyed to the Pantone for Texiles. After experimenting with techniques, the artisans met and exceeded our expectations. We stitched with the ribbon immediately, using traditional needlepoint stitches and applying embroidery stitches to canvas for three dimensional effects, many examples of which can be found in the website's gallery. We sent ribbon samples to numberous national authors, stitchers and designers who returned instant superlative responses. Not only did we love our ribbon, but others did too. The dream was realized!
In June 2003, we brought 154 colors in 4mm and 7mm widths to Columbus for our inaugural TNNA market. It was an inspiring experience to be surrounded by all the creative people of the fiber arts world. Energized by the response to our ribbon, we have continued with our goals to educate stitchers about silk ribbon through classes, "OOOOOH!" the book, show and tell at markets, in stores, newsletters, through the website and on the phone.
What started from a seed of an idea has blossomed into 300 plus colors in 4mm, 7mm and 13mm widths, with customers around the globe. It's about having fun with your project and having the ribbon look as glorious in the finished piece as it does on the spool. We appreciate your ongoing enthusiasm and support. Keep stitching!
River Silks, Inc