Why Choose Locally Sourced Silk Ribbon vs. Hand Dyed Silk Ribbon

Whether you’re planning your wedding day or you’re a wedding professional, one thing is certain. Textiles, like ribbons, play a bigger role in this milestone event than one might think. 

And for such a small element, incorporating ribbons that match the aesthetic creates an incredible, elevated look for any wedding day’s details.

Believe it or not, though, there are many different options when it comes to selecting the perfect silk ribbons. We’ll discuss one of the major choices: choosing locally sourced silk ribbon vs. hand dyed silk ribbon.  

What Is Locally Sourced Dyed Silk Ribbon?

Dyed silk ribbons are made from textiles that are dyed using reliable manufacturing techniques. Often, that involves a sustainable process that produces textiles of the highest quality. 

Our process involves purchasing silks from artisans that practice sustainability, both in how they weave and dye it. We invest in 3 meter by 6 meter silks. We then cut and fray them by hand to make our signature ribbons!

What Does Locally Sourced Silk Ribbon Mean?

Locally sourced dyed silk ribbon refers to silk textiles that have been sourced and produced from a crafter that lives close by. Usually, that distance is kept within 16-20 kilometers (10-12 miles). 

At Allegoria Textiles, we are in an incredibly fortunate location. Italy, as a whole, is known for its rich history. Part of that history includes silk production, which can be traced back to the medieval ages. 

Ever since then, silk ribbons and other textiles have been crafted in the cities of Lucca, Venice, Florence, and Genoa. And those fabrics have been sent all over Europe to some of the top fashion ateliers! 

But one of the largest areas for dyed silk ribbon is none other than Como, where Allegoria Textiles is located. Some of the most well-known designer names rely on Como’s silk production, including Chanel, Hermes, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, and Versace, according to Discover Como. 

Well, we can add Allegoria Textiles to that list, too. Because we use local crafters and producers to source our hand-frayed, 100% pure silk ribbons.

Dyed pink silk ribbon from local vendors in the Como silk district
Image from Allegoria Textiles​​

The Advantages of Using Locally Sourced Dyed Silk Ribbon On Your Wedding Day:

In the last few years, there has been a push to only purchase “handmade.” While we love that idea, we believe we need to clear the air.

For example, choosing not to purchase something like hand dyed silk ribbons doesn’t make you a bad person. 

Instead, there are plenty of wonderful advantages to choosing locally sourced silk ribbon:

1. Consistency in Colors

First and foremost, when you opt for silk ribbons woven by the finest producers, such as the artisans in Como, you’ll have more consistency in colors. Because of the nature of hand dyed silk ribbon, there is more variation in the shade and vibrance. 

If having consistent colors is meaningful to you, whether you’re planning your own wedding or you’re creating designs for someone else’s, then a locally sourced dyed silk ribbon may be the better choice.

2. Purchased Dyed Silk Ribbon Wholesale

There are plenty of reasons why you might need your hands on a lot of silk ribbon. Whether you’re hand-tying invitation suites with them, or you’re accenting each floral piece with a swath of it, ribbon can play a large part in a wedding’s design. 

And because of that, you may need to invest in wholesale. That’s another one of the beauties of choosing locally sourced silk ribbon. Because most producers have the right equipment and space, they can create large batches of textiles at any one time. 

That allows smaller businesses, like Allegoria Textiles, to keep a wide inventory of many different silk ribbon types and colors. And, of course, that means you can purchase them at a better price.

3. Support the Tradition, Culture, and Economy of Local Producers

Often, there’s a misconception that non-hand dyed silk ribbons are not as sustainable as its counterpart. However, that’s not quite true! 

At Allegoria Textiles, we love both Italy and the whole planet. We want to continue to treat it with kindness through our consumer choices, just as much as makers of hand dyed silk ribbons. 

When you decide on locally sourced dyed silk ribbon, like our collections, you’re more than likely supporting a small business. For us, we hand-select our textiles and fabrics from local crafters in the Como silk district. 

You’re also supporting the age-old tradition and culture of Italy. Not to mention, you’re boosting the local economy of the textile producers!

4. Incorporate a Unique, Exclusive Touch Into Your Event and Creations

As we mentioned, our locally sourced dyed silk ribbon comes directly from crafters in the Como silk district. So when you purchase your ribbon, you’ll have a unique, exclusive element to your wedding or your design.

Honestly, you can tell everyone that your ribbons are hand-frayed and locally made in Lake Como, Italy!

Navy and merlot dyed silk ribbons for a Villa Clara editorial session in Rome, Italy
Image from @elisabettalillyred, ​​
Locally sourced orange, yellow, and pink dyed silk ribbon spools from Allegoria Textiles
Image from Allegoria Textiles​​
Bride holding bouquet with locally sourced dyed silk ribbon around stems
Photo: @elisabettalillyred , Flower design: @artemisiafioristi , Nastro: Zefiro Tabacco , Planner: @emagiangrecoweddings ​​ 

What Is Hand Dyed Silk Ribbon?

Hand dyed silk ribbon, on the other hand, refers to crafters who dye their textiles by hand. After mixing their dyes, they then dip the fabric into it. Many of these crafters have figured out a technique for how long to keep the fabric in the dye and how much pressure to apply to get the color and vibrance to seep into the textile. 

While “hand dyed” sounds lovely, the reality of it may take you by surprise.

The Drawbacks of Using Hand Dyed Silk Ribbon:

There are some clear disadvantages to opting for this type of ribbon. Make sure you consider these before you make your decision between the two major methods:

1. Your Ribbons More Than Likely Won't Be Consistent

If you’re looking for the same exact shade and vibrance for every piece of ribbon you receive, then the hand dyed method may not be for you. There is variation tied into handcrafting anything. So you can expect anything from small, subtle differences to wide variances with hand dyed silks.

2. You Might Not Be Able to Get Them In Bulk

Smaller operations mean fewer hands-on workers and limited workspaces. Both of those combined means small businesses may not have the quantity you need on hand.

Consider this if you’re looking to purchase a large order of textiles.

3. Turnaround Time Might Be Slower

Similar to the previous drawback, with a limited inventory, crafters will have to work diligently to fill your order. That means the turnaround time between placing your order and receiving it can be multiple days, if not weeks. 

Many locally sourced dyed silk fabrics, such as at Allegoria Textiles, are in stock at a moment’s notice. That means within the next 1-2 business days of placing your order, it will more than likely be shipped.

4. The Dye Isn't Sustainable or Eco-Friendly

Sometimes, the term “hand dyed” has a “green washed” connotation. That means that it sounds sustainable and eco-friendly. But often, it’s not. Most synthetic dyes contain harmful chemicals that aren’t good for the environment. 

Chlorine and other harmful chemicals are used to create the dye for most of those who choose to dye by hand. Then, unfortunately, the dye is often dumped into yards or into sewers, which causes more environmental harm than good. 

One of the only ways to safely discard synthetic dyes is by using significant amounts of water to dilute it. Ultimately, it’s a major water waste issue that causes strain on the planet.

5. The Ribbon May Not Be Eco-Sourced

Unfortunately, many shops that offer hand dyed ribbons don’t talk about where their silk comes from. Sourcing the silk itself is just as important as the “dye” aspect of the product.

And all too often, businesses claim their products are “eco-friendly” because they are hand dyed. In reality, the silk is usually not eco-sourced, meaning it’s still part of a massive supply chain. 

For example, many vendors buy their silk in bulk ribbon spools, which includes harmful plastics. Then, they cut and dye the ribbon as they need to, to get their desired end product.

What Types of Locally Sourced Dyed Silk Ribbon Does Allegoria Textiles Have?

We have a large collection of pure silk, hand-frayed ribbon in a variety of colors. All of them are sourced from local vendors in the Como silk district. No matter what the event or wedding color palette is, we more than likely have something that will work for you!

Sustainable, Eco-Sourced Ribbons and Textiles

While we may not dye silk ribbons with our own two hands, we still make a promise to sustainability and eco-friendliness to do our part for the planet. For one, we insist on supporting our local economy and artisans here in Como. 

We hand select our fabrics from textile producers in the Como silk district, and then we transform it into silk ribbon pieces. We also handle the packaging and labeling ourselves by only using local Italian paper, reducing packaging materials to a minimum, and making sure everything is plastic-free. 

We work hard to ensure our ribbons and textiles come from the finest producers with sustainable practices in Como. And we only work with producers who can guarantee us that they create beautiful colors made from dyes that respect the environment and sustainability.

Pink and burgundy locally sourced silk ribbons from Allegoria Textiles
Image from Allegoria Textiles​​

The Allegoria Textiles Collections

Believe it or not, there are different kinds of silks. Usually, they fly under the radar, unless you’re in the fashion industry. To make everything simple, we’ve separated our three types of silks into different collections: Sinfonia, Sfumato, and Zefiro.

Sinfonia Collection

One of our most popular types of silk ribbon, the Sinfonia Collection is reminiscent of the classic Crepe de Chine. Each swath of fabric is opaque and matte in color, so very little is visible through it. It has a velvety aspect, although it’s not fully velvet silk. And each of them is just slightly shiny.

They’re gorgeous for a lush, opulent aesthetic in wedding designs.

Sfumato Collection

For the Sfumato Collection, each swath of fabric is semi-transparent. You can somewhat see through it, although when layered, it creates beautiful dimension for any design. 

With its slightly ruffled, almost gauzy appearance, it’s a wonderful element to add to a romantic, ethereal wedding day aesthetic.

Zefiro Collection

Finally, the Zefiro Collection is our most textured silk ribbon option we have. It’s another semi-transparent ribbon, similar to the Sfumato Collection. However, it’s much more wrinkled in appearance. 

They’re perfect if you’re looking to add texture to flat pieces, such as flat-lay photo designs or invitation suites!

Ultimately, the choice between hand dyed silk fabrics and those that are locally sourced comes down to what you need for your wedding or event design. 

And if you’re looking to make a larger order, whether it’s for your wedding or to help a client design theirs, don’t forget to join our VIP Club to receive discounts.

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