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A book that will have you entwined

   Gorgeous. Sumptuous. Dessert for the eyes.
   The book is "Ribbon: The Art of Adornment" (2008, Gibbs Smith) by Las Vegas native Nicholas Kniel and associate Timothy Wright. Lavishly and beautifully illustrated with photos, this coffee table book is a decorative history of the colorful strip of fabric.
   Kniel owns a ribbon store in Atlanta and Wright teaches classes in making ribbon roses. (If you’ve never seen a blossom made from fabric, they’re lovely.)
   Ribbon happens to have a lengthy and elegant history, for all its simplicity. Humans, it seems, have always had the urge to embellish themselves with fabrics and leathers and whatever else happened to be available. Egyptians wore narrow bands of leather or fabric around their heads and cinched their linen garments with more bands. Ancient Grecian women also wore ribbons in their hair. And then, as now, Olympic champions received ribbons marking their athletic achievements.
   The ribbon, whether narrow strips of wool or cotton fabric or shimmering satin or regal velvet, plain or studded with jewels, has wound its way through the ages, from the Romans to the Byzantines, through the Renaissance and the Elizabethan age on to the Victorians — ah, those romantics, with their yards and yards of trim — to the present.
   Nowadays, ribbon adorns brides, holds back curtains, adds the finishing touch to pretty packages, and honors the valor of soldiers. It circles the brim of cowboy hats. It trims Christmas trees. Tied around a handle, it helps you find your luggage on the airport baggage carousel. Bright, vivid or soft and sweet, the simple fabric makes the world prettier and helps people place their individual mark on it.
   The book has terrific ideas for decorating oneself and one’s environment with ribbons, in all their variety — including directions for making those gorgeous ribbon roses. It’s a pleasure to turn the pages and peruse the photos. Beauty is food for the soul, and this book contributes to the cause.

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