Is A Ribbon Choker?
A necklace made from fabric ribbon (lace, velvet, satin, organza,
etc.) which fits very snug against the throat.
It Look Good On Me?
Choose a design that highlights your individuality -
are you trendy, eclectic, or refined? If you're not sure or
if it depends on your mood, try something basic to start with:
a choker with a single stone for example. Consider a neutral
colour (white, ivory, grey/silver or black) since it can be
worn with many different coloured outfits and still look great.
Cameos are very popular right now (actually they never really
went out of style - women have been wearing them for centuries,
and they were very popular during the Victorian era), and
now come in a rainbow of colours. They look especially romantic
with wedding gowns.
I'm too old to wear a choker". Says who? We mentioned
that cameo chokers have been worn for centuries. The thousands
upon thousands of women of ALL ages wearing them in vintage
photographs and paintings through the ages couldn't possibly
Narrower widths (under 1 1/4" or 3.2cm) tend to
look more flattering on shorter, heavier necks than wider
ribbons, because they allow more skin to show and make the
neck appear longer and slimmer. Consider a deep or muted colour
(grey, dark brown, navy blue, burgundy, black - or ivory,
dusty blue, antique rose pink, moss green, etc.) over a bright,
vivid colour (bright red, neon pink, lime green, electric
blue, lemon yellow, white). Here's why: vivid colours draw
the eye and often create the illusion that things are wider
or larger than they really are - so a shorter, heavier neck
may look exaggerated. If you have a long, slender neck, a
wider ribbon (over 3/4" or 19mm) is ideal. Very narrow
ribbon chokers can sometimes look "lost", making
a long neck appear even longer - especially with very muted
colours (powder blue, ivory, pale pink, light grey, soft peach,
etc.). Long necks seem to look their best with strong colours
(emerald green, ruby red, jet black, rich bronze, bright purple,
hot pink, etc.).
Will It Fit?
You need to measure your neck accurately since
chokers fit snug against the skin. Use a dressmaker's measuring
tape or a piece of string which you can mark off and then
measure while flat. Just measure tightly enough so the tape
or string doesn't slip. Look for a choker that can be adjusted
to fit your size, for comfort. When you put the choker on,
it should be quite tight but you should still be able to slip
your finger between the ribbon and your neck without too much
difficulty. A good test to see if you are wearing it right
is to try to rotate it around your neck. If you can still
move it, but it takes a fair bit of effort, you are wearing
it correctly. The choker should not sag unless it is suspending
a very large pendant (making a nice "V" shape close
to the neck).
Can I Be Assured Of Quality?
Generally there is greater quality control with professionally
hand-crafted items, since the artisan inspects each one for
flaws. Since their reputation as a craftsperson is at stake,
they are more likely to ensure it is very well constructed.
Also, the materials play an important role: French and Swiss-made
velvet are among the highest quality, and are usually softest
against the skin. Double-faced satin is superior to single-faced,
since it is a slightly denser weave and tends to be more durable.
Lace varies a great deal. An open-weave lace such as Battenburg,
venise/guipure or crocheted lace looks delicate but is usually
quite strong. However any lace which does not have a fine
visible "mesh" binding itself together could possibly
stretch out with wear, and not stretch back (see "How
Do I Take Care Of It?" below for how to deal with this).
Organza/organdy ribbon (that pretty, transparent, shiny stuff)
can easily snag - so be careful when storing these chokers.
A ribbon choker with metal*
bars ("crimps") at the very ends of the ribbon is
the most durable: the metal ends keep the ribbon rigid so
it won't crumple at the back, keep the ribbon ends from fraying,
and give the choker a professionally finished look. An S-hook
type clasp may be easier to use than a lobster-claw shaped
clasp (which has a springy catch) if you have to take the
choker on and off by yourself frequently, or if you have large
fingers. We use lobster claw clasps on our chokers by default,
but can switch to an S-hook upon request.
parts can sometimes contain nickel. Nickel allergies are
common, although most people can wear it for a few hours
without problems. Any nickel-plated metal components have
been noted in our product descriptions, if used on that
item. Most of our choker clasp hardware can
be upgraded to sterling silver for a small fee (see any choker listing for details).
Do I Take Care Of It?
Put your choker on after applying perfume and hairspray, and avoid contact with make-up as best you can. These substances build up and can cause dulling,
staining, tarnish and discolouration, and trap dirt and dust.
If you are rough with your jewelry, even the most sturdy fabric pieces
can scratch, snag, or break - avoid casually tossing your
choker in your purse or jewelry box. Store each piece separately: you can fold it neatly
and put in a plastic bag, just don't close the bag completely. Although total exposure to open
air will attract dust and cause tarnishing, trapping air and dust in the bag with it can be just as bad. If possible, store flat in a drawer.
Wrinkled or Folded
Satin and Velvet:
Press satin and velvet chokers from the back using the lowest steam setting.
Do not iron over any metal parts (they'll get awfully hot!) or glued components as this could weaken the bond. Press quickly, don't linger
too long in any one spot or you could make a scorch mark through to the front.
Warped or Wrinkled Lace:
Most lace can be re-shaped with a little water. Place the choker face down on a clean colourfast towel and dab the back with a damp cloth. Remove the choker from the towel
and place it flat, face-up on another one. Shape the lace gently; arrange
any warped areas by working in those spots only. If you pull on it horizontally you can stretch
the length a little if needed, but be careful: wetting the fabric near the ends weakens it where the metal clamps
attach, and if you pull too hard you could rip the material there. When dry, "flat" lace (very thin, smooth and fairly
transparent lace) can be ironed on the lowest steam setting, but be sure to avoid
ironing over any metal or glued components.
All of the ribbon and lace materials we use are colourfast
and washable, but still require care. Generally, cleaning
should be a last resort since you risk making water stains,
puckering the ribbon, tarnishing the metal, and damaging the fabric
- so don't do it until absolutely necessary. DO NOT DRY CLEAN - for all of the fabric examples given below, dip a cloth in very diluted mild detergent
(the same type you use for lingerie/delicates, eg. Woolite), follow instructions below,
and allow the choker to dry flat on a clean colourfast towel.
dab cloth gently in a downward motion, do not "sweep" horizontally across the lace or scrub, or you may pull it out of shape.
gently brush the cloth back and forth horizontally in long sweeping
motions across all of the ribbon (avoiding any metal parts), even the clean areas to ensure you don't make a "worn"
dab ALL of the exposed satin equally or you could
get watermarks when it dries. Will likely require ironing
afterwards (iron from the back using the lowest steam setting - avoid ironing over metal, plastic and glued components).
avoid contact with household cleaners, talc, and abrasive
materials (bristle brush, steel wool, sand paper, etc.) as they
will damage the finish. Polish with a chamois or special jeweller's cloth (we sell some
here). DO NOT use chemical cleaners or "impregnated"-type
polishing cloths unless specifically designed for costume jewelry. A commerically available liquid cleaner we recommend is Empire's Instant Tarnish Remover dip (avoiding contact with fabrics
and glued components), usually available from department stores, jewellers and bead shops. Unfortunately we cannot sell it here as it is a toxic liquid and cannot be shipped by post.
Smells and Heavy Soiling:
odours such as tobacco, perspiration and perfume penetrate all of the fabric, so spot-cleaning is
ineffective. Try a fabric refresher
liquid (eg. Febreze) that is safe for applying directly to fabrics. However do not use the spray nozzle; soak part of a clean colourfast cloth with the liquid,
and dab only on the back of the choker, avoiding any metal, plastic or glued components. For very stubborn odours or heavy
soiling due to cosmetics, food stains etc., fill a sink with cold water and add a capful of mild detergent (the kind used for lingerie/delicates, eg. Woolite). This is a last resort and
should only be done if no other cleaning efforts work! Drop the choker
in, swish back and forth a few times, and leave it to soak for 5 minutes. Swish a few more times then rinse carefully under a cold tap. DO NOT scrunch, squeeze or wring the fabric at any point! Allow
it to dry flat, face-up on a clean colourfast towel, patting dry any metal parts as soon as possible. While the choker is wet you can gently arrange any lace so it will dry in the correct shape,
but do not pull too hard; the fabric at the ends will have softened
and could become loose or tear where the metal clamps attach. Allow the choker to dry completely, then if it needs re-shaping
or ironing simply follow the instructions in the paragraphs above. Remember, immersing chokers in water should ONLY be done when it is absolutely necessary.
Frequent soaking can weaken adhesives, wear down the fabric, and damage plated metal parts.
the choker on backwards (to check if it's too tight/too
loose). While facing a mirror, attach the clasp
at the front so you can see what you are doing. As you
rotate the clasp to the back, you will be able to tell
if you are wearing it correctly: if you can move it very
easily, it is too loose. It should take a little effort,
unless you are wearing a choker designed to dangle a large
pendant (which can usually be worn loosely if desired).
If you cannot move it at all, it is too tight.
People with mild metal allergies often paint the metal
crimps (and the back of the metal pendant, if one) with
clear nail varnish to prevent irritation, and it apparently
works brilliantly! Alternatively, for sensitive skin we
offer an upgrade
to sterling on most choker ends/clasp/chain (see any choker listing for details).
Chokers on a budget.
Try buying a plain choker if cost is a factor. It can be worn alone, you can add changeable pendants (if it's a thinner width fabric) or you
can pin whatever you like to it as your style and mood
changes - a silk rose, a favorite brooch, it's up to you!
However,satin and organdy/organza chokers will show holes
where your pin has been, so once you pin something to
it you will always need to cover that area to hide the