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Chris,

I absolutely 100% agree with you. I have managed to keep a small stock of old ribbon (as I collect medals to Indians finding a medal with the original ribbon is as likely as dating two supermodels in one night). What is even worse I know people who have bought Great War groups with, albeit grubby, original ribbons and have removed them and replaced them with these synthetic blasphemies. I know a dealer who does have original silk ribbon, but unless you want it for a very small number of medals the price is totally prohibitive. Surely someone with a bit of nous could get industrial quantities of Great War Ribbon close to the original specification made in Asia at an affordable price. (there you are Chris a superb business opportunity for you).

Al the best,

Paul

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Though I have sold almost all of my British medals, this is one I've kept, not because it is so valuable, but because it moves me.

A 1914-15 Star to a Bhistie (water carrier), attached as a servant, no military number) to the 1st Bn. Durham Lt. Inf. when they were stationed on the NW Frontier of India, during the Great War.

Obviously, this recipient had such pride in his medal, that when the ribbon wore out he repaired it with a piece of local linnen (probably cut from some waist material).

B.t.w. if any of you have a need for original Great War Ribbons (watered) I still have some small stock mostly from old medals (so used and folded) but usable still. I'm selling off this stuff, so if you are interested send me a pm (first come first served).

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Why do collectors of British medals settle for that horrible, terrible, disgusting modern ribbon for the 14-15 star and victory medal?

:-(

Why not simply boycott it ?

Force them to make the good stuff?

Two reasons, the first it's all you can get now unless you are very, very lucky, the second, Brit collectors of ODM's are far less fussy about "Original" ribbons for some reason, on the basis that over 100 years or more and remember Victorian campaign medals were frequently worn, the "Original" ribbon may well have been replaced already several times unless it's been mounted on a bar all that time. Just my thoughts. I do fortunately havea good few original ribbons from the 14-18 war for British medals which I hang onto

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Alex makes good points - the original ribbons were made to be changed with wear. Just like silver plated items which are made to

be re-silvered every so many years.

I see a lot of medals - I would certainly buy original ribbon - or, modern if it was silk and properly coloured. Unfortunately, this market

seems to be dominated by the Chinese and Indian manufacturers - and their only interest is selling in bulk.

This could be a good opening for a small specialist company. Mervyn

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Hi Mervyn, I am thinking correctly that the actual "Watering process" of original ribbons was more to do with the finishing of the ribbon and not just its manufacture. As you state the call for this type of ribbon is actually quite small, mostly for collectors, now, since Vets are no longer around, it's a scale of economics.

regards

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Certainly in the UK there would be a strong demand for good quality non-synthetic Great War ribbons at a realistic price, you only have ot see the numbers of people attending medal fairs. I think collectors would pay up to a pound per ribbon (£3 is not a lot to make a trio look nice). If it could be produced in sufficient quantity it might drive the horrible nylon ribbons out of the market place, the same could be done for WWII ribbons where there are also some abominations in the market place.

Paul

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I personally agree, it's a case of finding a manufacturer willing to set the whole manufacturing process, with no guarantee of financial reward for their investment.

One manufacturer I believe is "Toye Kenning Spencer" who have been producing uniforms, ribbons for over 300 years, perhaps they could provide an answer as to the Viability

regards

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TKS's big money spinning operation is masonic badges and jewels although I presume they produce the ribonns for them and the masonic sashes whether the ribbon side is done by them or farmed out I am not sure, all I can say is that modern masonic material have reasonable quality ribbons. Good thought Alex.

Paul

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There is a company in the north of England, Wyedean Weaving, who make 'lace' for uniforms. That is, both the individual worsted tape with various coloured 'worms' in it which British regiments wore in the 18th and 19th centuries - a unique pattern for each of the 100+ regiments of foot. They also produce metallic lace in silver and gold and the worsted tape worn as rank chevrons by corporals and sergeants in the armies of the Empire and Commonwealth for 100+ years. They provide lace and other items for the bands of the Brigade of Guards, for example

Wyedean's regimental lace runs about L300 for 100 yards I believe - remember it is specifically woven when ordered by regiments or re-enactors. Not a huge cost if one lined up a few fellow enthusiasts to split the cost. They would likely have the expertise to weave medal ribbon as well. If anyone is interested in making enquiries, the y are to be found here: http://www.wyedean.com/index.php

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There is a company in the north of England, Wyedean Weaving, who make 'lace' for uniforms. That is, both the individual worsted tape with various coloured 'worms' in it which British regiments wore in the 18th and 19th centuries - a unique pattern for each of the 100+ regiments of foot. They also produce metallic lace in silver and gold and the worsted tape worn as rank chevrons by corporals and sergeants in the armies of the Empire and Commonwealth for 100+ years. They provide lace and other items for the bands of the Brigade of Guards, for example

Wyedean's regimental lace runs about L300 for 100 yards I believe - remember it is specifically woven when ordered by regiments or re-enactors. Not a huge cost if one lined up a few fellow enthusiasts to split the cost. They would likely have the expertise to weave medal ribbon as well. If anyone is interested in making enquiries, the y are to be found here: http://www.wyedean.com/index.php

I have actually sent them an e-mail enquiry to see if they do or they are in a position to manufacture "Original watered silk" ribbons for WWI British medals. I'll wait and see if I get a response.

regards

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I would seriously pay 10-15 pounds for "original" ribbon, maybe more....

And i would rather leave medals without the terrible modern 14-15 star or victory ribbon...

So if there was good copy ribbon... something in between?

What i cannot understand is, buying a DSO or MC group.... then mounting it with terrible modern ribbon....

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I have looked into stocking ribbon for a ribbon bank at GMIC not just for British Medals, but which would include sourced original as well as reproduction.

I have previously spoken with several manufacturers about this including Toyne Kenning and Spence, but I never took it forward as I didn't want a lot of expense for few sales. If it is something that is a demand I can chase things up again out of interest.

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Lets differentiate here.... when we speak of "modern" we are speaking of the terrible nylon or whatever ribbon where the colours are not watered... if it was of WW1 Quality, we would not care if it is Modern or not.

Here is a question.... when could you need "nice" Ribbon?

1) When you get medals without ribbon

2) When you get medals with Modern Ribbon

3) When you get medals which have been remounted by someone who as done a crp job....

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If it was possible to produce decent modern ribbons I would certainly purchase several yards (or metres what ever your preference), especially WWI and WWII and these on a fairly regular basis (but if any one thought about IGS 08 and 36 I would buy quite a few yards of that (alas most of my Indian purchases come from the sub continent or nearby and they very rarely come with ribbons) have several other friends who would certainly buy reasonable quantities of decent ribbon, especially the ones I have mentioned. As a member of a local society with over 30 active members I am sure that some of them would be very interested in purchasing decent quality ribbon. I would be happy to plug it and hopefully recruit a few more GMIC members

Paul

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IMHO, original ribbon will not get cheaper, unless there is modern stuff that is just as good.

I see no problem paying 8-10 GBP for original ribbon, if the only other choice is the nylon stuff. For me "my guys" deserve the best on their medals.

Having said that, some medals I balk at doing that, but then again, what do you want, a macdonalds menue... or a medal in the collection you dont have to say "EWWWWW!" when you look at it.

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I was lucky enough about 7-8 years ago to visit a surplas store in Pretoria that used to be a tailor.... he had a box of original ribbons and stuff and i right away bought small rolls of Vic, star, and other ribbons... them i wanted more and he at the same time phoned a Johannesburg auction house to enquire what ribbon cost.

I was actually paying the going rate, but all of a sudden (I assume the auction house said "dont sell! I will come pick it all up!") he would not sell me any more than I had already bought.

Stupid, as I was not low balling him at all.

But I have enough star, Victory, etc. to meet all my needs....

But I think, any collector needs a few meters of each, packed away for a rainy day.....

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what i do is i pick up ANY original ribbon i find (even if i dont have the medal)while at a show or while on ebay!iv a nice stock of lots of different ribbons and its come in quiet handy when i get a medal without a ribbon!personally i wont pay over E5 for an original length of ribbon!i have to agree though some prices out there are nuts and in fact when all is said and done they arent THAT hard to find!its just that people put a (in opinion) unjustified high price on them!

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what i do is i pick up ANY original ribbon i find (even if i dont have the medal)while at a show or while on ebay!iv a nice stock of lots of different ribbons and its come in quiet handy when i get a medal without a ribbon!personally i wont pay over E5 for an original length of ribbon!i have to agree though some prices out there are nuts and in fact when all is said and done they arent THAT hard to find!its just that people put a (in opinion) unjustified high price on them!

Unfortunately, the seller decides the price on it's desirability :angry:

Edited by Alex K
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  • 1 year later...

I can assure you that Toye, Kenning and Spencer do still weave ribbon at their factory in Bedworth, Warwickshire. Regarding the water effect, it is called a Moire process and the effect is added to the ribbon after weaving by a special machine. This pulls the ribbon through a block that affects the warp and weft and creates the watermarked effect.

 

Also they have far much more than Masonic items, offering medals, orders of state and many other items of uniform accoutrements.

 

Hope this is of some use!

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