How to Measure Silk Ribbons

How to Measure Silk Ribbons

If you are a stationer or a bride-to-be looking to DIY, bookmark this now! You can apply this tip for measuring silk ribbons, any other ribbons, twine and or fine twine. Which will save so much of your time and easy to learn and repeat just like that!  

What you will need:

  • Silk Ribbon
    We offer beautiful silk ribbons featuring frayed edges which you can purchase from our shop. We highly recommend ordering samples so you can colour match and see it in person. Otherwise, this can be applied to any other ribbons or twine.

  • Scissors, Pencil & Measuring Tape
    Any scissors and pencil will work. Measuring tape is usually at least 1 meter which will be better to measure with compared to a ruler. 
  • Calculator
    Most smartphones today have a calculator installed within the phone especially iPhones. If you can't find one, you can also Google search the word, "Calculator". 

  • String or Sewing Thread
    This is if you have not purchased silk ribbon or twine for your project and want to calculate and budget for it. If you don't have string, sewing thread also works!

  • Invitation or the item you are tying your silk ribbon to
    If you are tying the silk ribbon around your wedding invitation, you will need a sample of it in order to measure the length of the silk ribbon. Otherwise, if you are tying it around an envelope, vellum wrap, box, etc you must have it on-hand.


Follow these steps:

Please note the following steps are based on measuring the length of silk ribbon around an A5 handmade paper wedding invitation. A5 measurements: 148mm by 210mm or 5.8 inches by 8.3 inches. As mentioned earlier, you may substitute silk ribbon for string or thread.

  1. Tie the silk ribbon to the invitation.

    Very important! Please ensure you are tying the silk ribbon or string to the desired item as this will affect the measurement. For instance, if you need it to tie around an A5 invitation, you cannot use an A6 invitation.

    You will also need to tie it to the desired style. For example, a large bow or double-knot, etc. Changing the style will affect the total length especially if it's a longer length where you will not have enough to use.

  2. Cut the silk ribbon once tied to desired length.

    Once you have the silk ribbon tied to the specific style and length, cut the silk ribbon and trim any excess if needed. 

  3. Untie the silk ribbon and measure.

    Before you untie it, remember to take a photograph of it first if you want to refer back to the style or specific way you have tied it. Otherwise, doing it a second time on another A5 invitation also works. Having a reference will help if you need to go back to it.

    After untying the silk ribbon, measure the length of the silk ribbon with your measuring tape. In this example, the length is 50 cm. 

  4. Calculate the total length.

    Now that you know you require 50 cm of silk ribbon per invitation, you will need to multiply it by the total number of invitations. 

    The Details
    Length per invitation = 50cm
    Total invitations = 100 

    The Equation
    Length per invitation * Total invitations = Total Length
    50 cm * 100 = 5,000 cm or 50 meters

  5. Calculate the number of spools. 

    Our 25mm width silk ribbons are sold in 5 meters with wooden spool which means you will need to calculate the number of spools you require. See the following for a breakdown:

    The Details
    Total length = 50 meters
    Length per spool = 5 meters

    The Equation
    Total length / Length per spool = Number of spools
    50 meters / 5 meters = 10 spools 

    Number of strands
    5 meters or 500 cm / 50 cm = 10 strands of silk ribbon per invite 


    If you have a length such as 80 cm per invite, you will need to find out how much more you will need to purchase.

    For example: 

    Length per invitation * Total invitations = Total Length
    80 cm * 100 = 8,000 cm or 80 meters

    Total length / Length per spool = Number of spools
    80 meters / 5 meters = 16 spools 

    But wait... this is where it gets interesting! 

    5 meters or 500 cm / 80cm = 6.25 strands of silk ribbon per invite
    This leaves you with only 6 strands to use per silk ribbon spool since you will have 20 cm left each spool (quarter 80cm).

    Okay, bear with me... here's a more visual explanation:

    ––––––– = silk ribbon strands representing it's length

    Total of 6.25 strands of 80 cm in 5 meter spool
    –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 80 cm
    –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 80 cm
    –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 80 cm
    –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 80 cm
    –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 80 cm
    –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 80 cm
    ––––––– 20 cm

    Total length you can cut per 5 meter spool = 480 cm
    480 cm * 16 spools = 7,680 cm (total length you can cut)
    8,000 cm - 7,680 cm = 320 cm (length you still need)
    Total number of spools you should have on hand is 17 quantities = 85 meters

    So in summary, if you need 80 cm or any length make sure you calculate thoroughly so you have enough. Although 80 meters / 5 meters is 16 spools, you have to account for the additional 20 cm left per spool.

  6. Order your silk ribbons.

    Amazing! Now you know 10 is the total quantity of 5 meter spools you will need, you can then budget for it. Most importantly, before you purchase, we highly recommend you purchase at least 11 or 12 quantities.

    We cannot stress enough for all the creative procrastinators, finding out last minute you need more silk ribbon can be a disaster. You will end up spending more on priority shipping, and if you are an international customer, having to pay for express shipping can be a nightmare and not budget friendly.

    To save time and cost, just remember to ORDER MORE and ORDER EARLY. Ordering a little more in case you end up cutting a little too much and not have enough silk ribbon. You can also keep the extras as keepsake. Ordering early will save so much headache, heartache and trying to find alternatives last minute. Ordering early also means there's a better chance the silk ribbon colour you require is in stock.

    If you found this tip helpful, share it with a friend or tag us on Instagram!

Do you have a chart I can refer to?

Look no further, here's a chart just for you! It is an example of what I covered with the same lengths/calculations. You are more than welcome to use this for reference. 

measuring chart for silk ribbons - kethstudio

Do you have a video I can refer to?

The answer is usually a YES! If you are a visual person, you can scroll down and watch the reels from my Instagram. Make sure you bookmark it on Instagram so you can watch it back later. 


I hope this blog post was helpful. Bookmark this blog so you can always come back to it. 

Much love, Keth ♡




If you follow me on Instagram or Tiktok, you would be familiar with videos I share. Below is the Instagram reel that feature a quick tip on what we covered today in this blog. Watch it a few times or get in touch if you have any questions! 



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