Gros-grain is a plain weave where the weft (tram) filling is thicker thread than the warp (organzine). Modern gros-grain ribbons lacks much of the variation it previously saw in the 19th century. The three antique ribbons represent a vary small sampling of what was available. Gros-grain ribbon varied according to the thickness and twist of the tram filling. The tram was also on occasion cotton instead of silk.
A – Antique silk gros grain with a moiré finish.
B – Antique silk gros grain with a satin edge. (I have a matching dark green still on the roll.)
C – Antique silk warp and cotton weft gros grain weave with a moiré finish.
D – Modern 50/50 cotton/rayon gros grain.
E – Polyester gros grain ribbon
The silk ribbons have more body than the modern ribbons. The rayon/cotton has some body. The polyester ribbon just flops. The brown ribbon has a silk warp and a cotton 2 ply tram. The cotton is not visible on the surface of the ribbon but give the ribbon firmness. If the edges of this and the cream silk to the left were held, the cream could be squeezed together while the brown would arch firmly. In contrast the poly ribbon just folds. If you zoom in, you can see the difference in the width of the ribs of the gros-grain created by the thickness and ply of the tram. The satin edged silk has a narrower rib than either on its left or right. In a zoom, you may also be able to see how flat the ribs are in the poly compared to the rayon/cotton. The rayon cotton has more shading in the depth of the ribs even in the scan.
Gros grain is a plain weave where the weft (tram) filling is a thicker thread than the warp (organzine). Gros-grain ribbon lacks much of the variation it previously saw in the 19