Moiré is a finishing method done after the ribbon is weaved. The ribbon or fabric is rolled between rollers while damp causing the watered appearance. There are references to watered and clouded finishes in contemporary literature.
A, B, & C – Antique silk ribbons with a moiré finish.
D1, D2, & D3 – German rayon moiré finish ribbons (from The Ribbon Store)
E – Polyester plain weave ribbon with moiré finish (from Joann Fabrics)
F – Satin edge taffeta with a moiré finish, polyester (from Timely Tresses)
G – Vintage rayon with a moiré finish (from Pam Robles.)
The moiré finish photographed and scanned differently. The silk moiré ribbons tended to be thicker than the plain taffeta or satins. Several of my original silk moiré ribbons have a hint of a ribbed feel likely due to a thicker organzine. The vintage rayon ribbons (G), the German rayon ribbons (D1,2,3) and the poly ribbon (F) are all thinner than the original silk ribbons. The German rayon ribbons are closest in body and hand to the original silks. These ribbons drape beautifully. G is rather stiff and crisp, though not all vintage ribbons are this way. Pam sent me some that are much softer with a nice drape. F does have a rather nice feel. E is slumpy and its bow droop. Again, the shine from silk, rayon and polyester are different. The silks have a shine without reflecting the light. The rayon does some reflection but retains the intensity of color. The poly reflect more light This may be why much of the moiré finish distorts in the scan.