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How To Make Korker Ribbon for Hairbows

Posted by Kimberly on October 26, 2007

Korker Ribbon from The Ribbon ShoppeKorker ribbon hairbows seem to be all the craze these days!  Cheerleaders love them because the bounce from korkers while tumbling and stunting gives the appearance of more spirit.  Gymboree fans love them because they add flair to those adorable outfits.   Korker bows are made for every holiday, every occasion because they are just so darn cute!

Korker ribbon is actually very simple to make.   It just takes a little patience and practice to get it perfect.

The first thing you need to make korker ribbon, of course, is the ribbon.  You can make korker ribbon from any type of ribbon (grosgrain, satin, jacquard, etc.) with the exception of wired edge ribbon or outdoor ribbon.  For starters, I would recommend using 1/4 inch or 3/8 inch grosgrain ribbon.

Next, you will need wooden dowels.  You can purchase these at home improvement stores, hardware stores, or craft supply stores.  I recommend using a 1/4 inch or 3/16 inch dowel.  (As you get more practiced with making korker ribbon, you can use different sizes to get get the curl you want.)  In addition, you’ll need clothespins.  While many people use the tiny craft size clothespins, I recommend using the regular sized clothespins found in the laundry section of your local department store.

Chances are the dowels purchased are one yard in length.  If so, you will need to cut these in half to fit into your oven.

Now that you have all the items needed to get started, let’s begin!

First, you will need to cut your ribbon.  For beginners, I recommend cutting your ribbon into one yard lengths (36 inches).   Cut as many pieces as you would like to practice with. 

Preheat your oven (making sure that it is clean to avoid getting any “leakage” on your ribbon) to 200 degrees.  (If the heating of your oven is off, you can adjust this up or down as needed.)

During preheating, begin twirling your ribbon around the dowel.  Begin by take one end of your ribbon and clothes-pinning it to the dowel.  Then proceed downward in a spiral pattern around the dowel until you’ve reached the end of your ribbon; then clothespin this end to the dowel.

Once you’ve completed the “twirling” step with all of your ribbon, you’re ready to bake!

This is where I will differ in opinion from other korker ribbon makers because I recommend thoroughly soaking your ribbon with water.   Once the ribbon is wet, spray the ribbon with starch.

I recommend placing your korked ribbon on a large cookie sheet.  If you don’t have a cookie sheet available, then line your oven shelves with aluminum foil.  Place the ribbon in the oven.   Allow to bake for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, carefully remove one dowel from the oven (it will be hot!) and allow to cool for about one minutes.  Then, using your hands to feel the length of the dowel, check for any remaining wetness.  If there is none, remove the clothespins and, in a downward motion, slide the ribbon off the dowel.  (Newer dowels will not allow ribbon to slide easily and make take a little more effort to remove, but this will change the more times the dowels are used in the oven. ) 

If the curl of the ribbon does not seem tight or any wetness remains, return to the oven and repeat the above step every ten minutes until ribbon has a dry, tight curl.

That’s all there is to it!  Keep in mind when making your korker ribbon that lighter color ribbons will take longer times in the oven.  In addition, your lighter colors, such as white or light pink, are more likely to show burn spots from being in the oven too long; so keep a close eye on them, allowing them to air dry after the 20 minutes if necessary.

Have fun making your korker ribbonfor korker bows!  As always, when using ovens or other electrical appliances, use precaution and never leave the house with ribbon in the oven.  :)

Korker Ribbon in Solids, Stripes, Dots, and M2MG Themes 
available at The Ribbon Shoppe!

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