Vintage Knitting & Crafts

1950s Knitting and Crocheting with Ribbon

A popular knitting and crochet technique in the 1950s was ribbon knitting. Not the ribbon yarn we know of, but actual ribbon. The ribbon was about 3/16″ wide (about 1/2 cm) and was knitted keeping the ribbon as flat as possible. It was used to make anything from a beret to a dress and was knitted fairly loosely on large knitting needles, or crochet hooks, to give a lacy look to the garment.

A close-up of ribbon knitting
A close-up of ribbon knitting

In my search for instructions for ribbon knitting and crochet, I have only managed to find a small amount in an American 1960s knitting booklet. I’ve added the pages here for those interested to read it. Also, large spools (or skeins) of knitting ribbon don’t seem to be made anymore. The occasional vintage knitting ribbon can be found on etsy and few other websites and tend to be located in the USA. The only knitting ribbon I have heard of in the UK is Ribbonknit which came in 50 yard cards/skeins. The one used in the USA was Ruban d’Art.

I have four ribbon knitting and crochet patterns coming in my shop in September. The knitting patterns are a sleeveless top and a bolero. The crochet patterns are for a ladies dickey/blouse front in hairpin-crochet, and a beret. Add a new dimension to your knitting and crochet and give one of them a go!