French Ribbon Cockades

This weekend I will be teaching a little class on French ribbon cockades.  These little gems really peaked my interest when I read an interesting article about them a few years ago. It is historically speaking an embellishment…and I am an embellisher!! A cockade is defined as a knot of ribbons or other circular or oval shaped symbol of distinctive colors which are usually worn on a hat. Various forms of the cockade appeared on military hats and civilian lapels in the latter half of the 18th century in France during the French Revolution.


Today, the cockade remains a military and secular adornment in Europe.  It is also used for medals and adornments worn with the Scottish National costume.  

First Lady, Jaqueline Bouvier Kennedy, brought them back into style in the 1960’s when she had a version of the cockade made to match all of her day suits. After all, she was of French heritage.


    I always love delving into a little history with all of my favorite embellishments.  The cockades that we are making in class are quite ornate and will be made from beautiful spring colored ribbons. The centers of the cockades will feature old brooches, new brooches, antique buttons or a center that is beaded. I have also used a cockade on one of my designer purses.  There are many modern uses for this old, old, technique.  


Everything old is new again!!!!



By Ginger Mangie