Hair Bow types come in all shapes and sizes!
Hair bows are fashion accessories that are usually made of ribbons and fabrics attached to clips. The varieties seem endless thanks to the craft movement, media and more accessible shops and tutorials found on the internet. Not only are crafters able to produce past designs from old patterns and publications, they are coming up with new ways and techniques to produce other types of hair bows. Both simple and elaborate designs became popular during the Victorian days and have remained fashionable since (for the most part). While some makes and models are more age proper than others, women and little girls of all ages wear different types of hair bows.
Types of hair clips available:
- Single prong alligator clip
- Double prong alligator clip
- French clip
- Pony O
- Plastic snaps
Types of ribbons and materials bows are made from:
- Grosgrain ribbon
- Ric rac
- Duct tape
Popular Styles of Hair Bows:
Headbands can come in several different types and made of many types of materials. Plastic and metal headbands are usual for older children and adults, but are not used for infants. Infants headbands are usually made from ribbed stretchy fabric and knits (the type that sleeve cuffs are made from), nylon (like tights), elastic, elastic lace and fold over elastic. Fold over elastic is used to make the higher quality, reusable diapers. It's a very soft elastic and doesn't make the line in the baby's head like the regular and lace varieties.
Boutique Hair Bows
The boutique hair bow is one of the most common and popular styles for little girls. It's most commonly made from grosgrain ribbon and comes in every size from itty bitty 3/8" ribbon to a massive 3" ribbon. The tails can be cut in a variety of ways giving the design a slightly different look. A straight angled and dove tail cut are the most popular. Some don't even have tails. However, these are used more often for layering than alone.
Crafters can also use several different folding methods on the ribbon to achieve variations in the way the bow lays. Some have looser loops and some lay flat with hardly any separation. Some crafters use templates, some will wing it by sight, some will tie their middles and others will sew them. When it comes to making boutique hair bows, there is a no ends techniques. These differences are usually not too noticeable to the average hair bow buyer. The centers can come either flat or knotted. One advantage of the flat centers is the ability to add other clips to the center. So you can change the appearance and gain more use from the accessory.
Pinwheel Hair Bows
Pinwheel hair bows are the next most popular type of hair bows you'll find in a shop. These are called pinwheels because they resemble the shape of the famous wind blowing toy. Depending on the folding method used to make pinwheel hair bows, they can appear loopy or flat. These also come with flat and knotted centers. They can be single or layered in different colors for a more dramatic statement. This kind should not be confused with the newer type spiked bows that are being made. Many people are also calling these pinwheels. (see pictures for notable differences in these types of hair bows)
Loopy Hair Bows
While a person might think there is only one type of loopy hair bow, there are several different types. There is the regular, funky and more of what I would call a loopy puff. Then of course, there are variations of those 3 types. The regular and funky are made pretty much the same way. One just has more cuts, more bling and just really more everything added, thus giving it that "funky" style. The loopy puff is made entirely different. It usually requires sewing.
These type of hair bows are rightfully more expensive that the boutique or pinwheel styled. Loopy bows require a great deal of labor and more yardage of ribbons and trims. While some people are hesitant to pay the greater price, some of funky bows can take several hours to complete.
Korker Hair Bows
Korker hair bows are made from ribbon that is curled by methods of applied heat or some sort of liquid starch. Several cuts of curled ribbon are sewn or tied together to form one hair bow with lots of curly ends. It's common for at least 60 or more ends to stick out all around. Some people refer to this style as looking like a pompom or puffs. The pompom styled design makes the korker hair bow perfect in sets for pigtails and to express team spirit. One of the best advantages of korkers is the ability to mix several colors and/or patterns together. Many have different colors, prints, stripes and polka dots all mixed together, yet the bow can still be as small or large as you can imagine.
Tuxedo Hair Bows
Tuxedo hair bows get their name sake from their bow tie like resemblance. These bows are less drastic with loops, making them more subtle. Of course, fancy materials and embellishments can turn the simplest bow from modest to obnoxious. Some will be a single loop with a band around the middle, while some will have tails. From my experience selling hair bows, these are more popular with the preteen and teenagers. The less dramatic nature makes a more adult style bow. This type of bow is one of the few made from varieties of material like, ribbon, fabric and even duct tape. Can you imagine? Hair bows made of duct tape!
Yo-Yo Hair Bows
Yo-yos were popular in the late 70s, early 80s thanks to a Simplicity Pattern that used these little things to make animal dolls. Yo-yos have made a huge come back in the past few years and hair bows are one of the many crafts constructed from these little drawstring like fabric packs. Tools are available to make these, but even the most novice crafter can make one from scratch. Place one on clip for a simple bow, or make a collage of them. Add buttons or embellishments in the middle to make them fancy or even layer them. A great advantage of the yo-yo clip is the ability to utilize fabrics into hair accessories.
Hair Bow Sculptures
Hair bow sculptures are an artistic type of bow. The maker sculpts the ribbon to take on the shape of an item, like a flower, butterfly, mermaid, princess, frog etc.. Crafters have raised the bar and are making all sorts of creations. It has really become an art.
Over the Top Hair Bows
Over the top hair bows contain a variety of hair bow making techniques to produce one large hair bow. This hair accessory usually will contain spikes, boutique bows and even pinwheel bows layered in all different combinations of solids, prints, dots and stripes. An over the top will usually have a theme and might have a matching button or bottle cap in the center. To hold the massive shape, an over the top hair bow, might need stiffening. There are several ways to stiffen ribbon.
Sky's the Limit
Vast amounts of hair bow varieties exist to match any traditional or heirloom outfit. In addition to the ones described in this article reversed and tails down are just a few that come to mind. With the variety of ribbon and techniques, the sky's the limit when it comes different types of hair bows.