Ribbon Shopping in Paris – Part One


Paris is my favorite city in the world.  I love the architecture, the color of the buildings, the various neighborhoods, the gardens.  A recent opportunity brought me back to Paris, a dream come true. Only there for a few days, I knew I had to make the most of my time.  Forget about seeing the typical tourist sites. I was going shopping!

Top on my list was to explore the various neighborhoods, searching for items I could incorporate into my wedding designs. Ribbons seemed like the perfect item to search for. In talking with friends who know the city well and through my own research, I ran across one shop that seemed like the perfect place to start.  Ultramod is a mercerie, located in the 2nd Arrondissement. A shop that has been around for over 100 years, they have two store fronts directly across a quiet street from each other.


Stepping into the main store, I was immediately transported back in time. The large wooden counter and hand crank cash register remind you of an old-world general store. The floors make soft creaking noises as you move across them.  Your eyes can’t settle on just one item to look at, as the store is filled from floor to ceiling with boxes and drawers filled with buttons, ribbons and thread. Customers come and go, making purchases for their sewing and crafting projects.


A mix of new and old, there seems to be a ribbon for every need.  When the current owner took over the shop in the 1990’s, he uncovered a hidden treasure of vintage wonders stored in the shop. This is exactly what I was looking for! My aesthetic is to mix new with old in my designs. I move to the back of the store, to start my search for just the right ribbons.

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I probably should have had a plan before coming to Ultramod, a color palette to search for or a type of ribbon.  But I didn’t. Instead, I just dug around until I found pieces that caught my attention. I found a great collection of iridescent and shear ribbons, some of my favorite types to use. Bringing my pile to the counter, the clerk starting cutting my lengths and wrapping the ribbon in a lovely figure 8 pattern. Unbeknownst to me, I did have a color palette after all! Here are the ribbons I purchased, a mixture of warm fall tones:


Having paid for my ribbons, I asked about entry to the other shop. Having looked through the windows already, I knew this was the shop where the real treasures lie. See what I found in my next post: Ribbon Shopping in Paris – Part Two