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Homecoming Ribbon: A Comprehensive Guide for HOCO Mum Business Owners

Updated: 6 hours ago

Let's talk all things homecoming ribbon. Warning...this will be one of our longer posts. Grab a hot tea or coffee, sit back and enjoy. Please note, this post is meant for homecoming mum business owners so we are assuming you have a sales tax permit as required and will be buying wholesale. Don't worry, if you have found this post and are looking for ribbon for your own DIY homecoming mum or garter, this post is still for you - most of the vendors listed also sell retail ribbon directly to the public and many ship.


We also have an Ultimate Guide to Homecoming Ribbon video on our YouTube channel where we show some of the color differences and preview custom senior colors.


This post and photos contain some Amazon or other affiliate links for your convenience. If you purchase something through any link, we may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. We only recommend products we use and love. Read our full disclosure policy here. All the options are our honest reviews and tips based on our experience and are completely our own opinion.


Where to buy ribbon for Texas Homecoming Mum
Texas Homecoming Ribbon Information Guide: Where to Buy

This post will focus primarily on acetate and lustre ribbon used in homecoming mums and garters. For details on decorative, wired and imprint ribbon join our newsletter for future posts. 


Homecoming ribbon accounts for the largest supply cost in our business. The best ribbon to use to make homecoming mums & garters is an acetate/lustre ribbon. It is shiny on one side and works well with braiding.  The two major ribbon vendors most professional mum makers use are McGinley Lion and Reliant Ribbon.







Homecoming Mum Ribbon Terminology


When we first joined Mums Inc we kept hearing things like “white #5” or “silver #9 and were not sure what they were referring to. You may have also seen these numbers used when watching braid tutorials. The numbers are referring to the width of the ribbon. If you look at a label on your 100 yard ribbon spools you will see a number 3, 5,9 ,16, or 40. For example, five is the ⅞” width so instead of saying white ⅞’ we simply say white number 5. The 2.5" ribbon would be white number 40 and so on. Don’t worry it will become natural to you over time. 


It is important to note that McGinley Lion and Reliant Ribbon do vary slightly in widths. Reliant is typically slightly smaller than McGinley. For most braids & loops this does not create a problem and can even make a cool layering effect but keep that in mind when layering McGinley and Reliant together. 


As mentioned, homecoming ribbon is shiny on one side and duller on the other. When you back two ribbons together with the duller side on the inside all your braiding will only show the shiny, pretty shimmer of the ribbon. Most tutorials and mum makers call this "double backing." Doing so also makes your finished braids have a nice weight to them allowing them to display well on your mum and provides a nice quality finished feel. For loops, that shiny on the inside will make a huge difference - especially when you back with a different colors. It is one of our must-do tips for taking your homecoming mums to the next level.


Table of Popular Ribbon Sizes & Widths for Homecoming Mums
Homecoming Ribbon Terminology: Popular Sizes Used In Homecoming Mums & Garters

McGinley Lion Ribbon

The two most popular lines of McGinley Lion Ribbon used for homecoming mums are Satin Lustre (gold label) and Satin Acetate (silver label). We very much prefer gold label ribbon as it is a bit firmer for braiding, has more shimmer, and does not fray or fade. Also, it is usually the cheaper ribbon - let’s celebrate one of the few times the better product for us is cheaper. We do use silver label acetate ribbon when a color is not available in gold label especially for senior custom colors. It is a softer ribbon than Satin Lustre used by florists but the color choices for senior custom colors make it worth working with a softer ribbon. When working with silver label ribbon, we back with gold label lustre (usually two layers of white) or diamond dust ribbon. We love silver label soft pink and french lavender. 


An important thing to know about McGinley Lion is they ship their gold label ribbon once a year. Suppliers order in the fall and receive usually between April and May of each year. Depending on how large of a supplier they are, we have seen them run out of certain colors during the season. For this reason, we make sure we have all our ribbon in stock before the seasons starts. January of each year is a great time to restock for prep season as it is inventory for the same year it is used.


Reliant Ribbon


Reliant Ribbon has a 5400 (satin supreme) and a 4700 (satin allure) line that is good for making homecoming mums. Reliant ribbon does tend to be a little shinier than McGinley so some of our other mum maker friends prefer it over McGinley for the majority of their colors. The 5400 line is the preferred line for braiding, but as with McGinley silver label, we use the 4700 for senior custom colors. We show a preview of these colors in our video. It is usually backed with a gold label ribbon anyway since we double back all our braids.


Reliant seems to be able for vendors to restock mid homecoming season a little easier but we still use the same rule for keeping our own stock. Another note about Relaint, some of their colors especially pink and blue hues can have a slight color variation from roll to roll. Most of the time it is not noticeable but can be up to a 30% variance. McGinley will tell you the same thing but so far we have not personally experienced this color variance. 


Reliant does come to the Dallas Market Show usually four times a year. We love seeing all the beautiful ribbon in person. You can check the dates here.


Which Should You Use In Your Business

So which one is right for you? It really all comes down to preference and availability. We will go into further detail about where to buy ribbon below but this is something to take into consideration when deciding on which brand of ribbon you want to go with as you will want to easily be able to source it if needed. The McGinley and Reliant colors are a little different for some hues and may not be able to be used interchangeably in a single mum.


We primarily use McGinley Lion Ribbon for school colors but love Reliant Ribbon for custom senior colors. There are three colors we strongly prefer in Reliant Ribbon over McGinley Lion and they are: royal, regal (vs McGinley new violet) for purple, and silver (vs McGinley pewter).  We love McGinley silver grey for a light touch and we are super excited that it and golden yellow come in gold label for the 2024 season! In regards to white, McGinley is a brighter white with a tiny bit of a blue undertone where as Reliant white is a little creamier. You also need to take into consideration which color hues closest match the colors and mascot logos of your schools. For example, Reliant navy is much darker than McGinley navy and the Burgundy's vary.


Again, the answer to this question really is preference and what works best for your business. While we use primarily McGinley for our basic colors, other mum professionals we admire and who make amazing mums use primarily Reliant. So have fun testing them both and see which is right for you based on cost, color, feel, and availability.


Types of Ribbon used in Texas Homecoming Mums and Garters
Sampling of Homecoming Mum Ribbon

Let's Talk Diamond Dust


This beautiful ribbon can really make your homecoming mum sparkle. We use it in all our Deluxe, Supreme and Ultimate mums. There is one silver option and two gold options: gold and soft gold. We prefer soft gold for our customers and the schools we create mums for. However, if your school is a traditional shiny gold you may prefer gold.


New this year, some vendors are carrying colored diamond dust. We are excited to try out white and black this year. When using other colors you will need to check with how it looks against your acetate colored ribbon. For this reason, we decided to start with white and black this year.





Where to Buy Homecoming Mum Ribbon Wholesale


Now that you are a pro on homecoming ribbon, we know you are ready to fill your room with all things ribbon. So where are the best places to buy?


You can set up a wholesale account with Reliant Ribbon for all their ribbon lines. For McGinley Lion, you can set up a wholesale account for certain lines of ribbon however, at this time you must purchase all gold label from an approved vendor. We would suggest checking prices against the vendors below as until you get to high quantities you will probably be able to purchase cheaper through them and avoid any ordering minimums. If you can't find that special custom color choice you want you may have to go direct.


You can purchase wholesale from the following vendors. Since pricing can change we will not go into pricing in this blog post. I would suggest researching each vendor and see which best fits your needs regarding price, availability and location. Remember time is money :). 


We are in the DFW area so you will see more detailed information on vendors closest to us and those who ship and we use on a regular basis, however, we have listed other places throughout Texas you can buy wholesale ribbon. The vendors are in no particular order, we use and love them all for different reasons.


The Sale Place


The Sale Place is the largest homecoming store in Texas located in Balch Springs, Texas. We are fortunate to be within a day trip driving distance so we buy most of our McGinley lustre gold label ribbon from here. Sale Place carries limited colors of Reliant Ribbon - at our last visit silver was the only Reliant color they carried with some white. They do carry McGinley Acetate Silver Label as well for custom colors. Even if you are farther away it can be worth the trip to buy your ribbon supplies on one annual trip. We would suggest going on a weekday and calling to check stock before going. Avoid the weekend if at all possible during mum season!


A note about Sale Place, if you are buying wholesale for the first time you will need to bring your original sales tax permit with you along with your resale form. The membership is $5 year per person and they will give you a card going forward. They do not ship wholesale so you will need to go in person. Once at Sale Place, you can check wholesale prices by taking the top number on the price tag and dividing it in half. As of our last visit, Sale Place only carries silver and gold diamond dust, no soft gold.


You can take a tour of The Sale Place here.


L&M Wholesale


L&M Wholesale (mumsupplies.com) is located in Glen Rose, Texas and is a great place to buy your wholesale ribbon and have it shipped to you with the option to pick up locally. You will need to to sign up for a wholesale account before submitting your first order. Make a note - Reliant 5400 Satin Supreme is under the Lustre section under wholesale ribbon along with McGinley Lustre gold label. Melissa also carries McGinley acetate silver label in some popular colors so this is a great opton for senior custom colors. L&M carries a good selection of both McGinley and Reliant so if you want to use both this may be a good option for you. L&M carries a striped diamond dust and is also carrying colored diamond dust this year. They only carry silver and gold diamond dust, no soft gold.


Craftwerks Ribbon


Craftwerks Ribbon is located in Boerne, Texas, Heather the owner is also a fellow mum maker. Craftwerks offers shipping and you can also pick up and purchase in the showroom. They carry McGinley lustre gold label and Reliant 5400 satin supreme along with silver, gold and soft gold diamond dust. We love the number 9 diamond dust from Craftwerks as it is slightly wider and great for layering. I know wholesale suppliers in the Austin area are limited so Craftwerks could be a good day trip option if you don't want to pay shipping.


You can take a tour of Craftwerks Ribbon here.


MumsRUs


MumsRUsandMore is located in Allen, Texas and offers shipping as well. You can sign up for a wholesale account here. They carry McGinley lustre gold label ribbon and our two favorite colors of Mcginley acetate silver label for seniors. Daniel is easy to work with and very responsive. They make mums as well so they understand our business. MumsRUs carries diamond dust in silver, gold and soft gold. 


Mums Squared


Mums Squared (BCSMums.com) is in College Station, Texas. They are a brand new option for 2024. Mums Squared sells primarily Reliant Ribbon along with McGinley gold in both black and white. We have not personally used them because we buy directly from Reliant, but wanted to update the blog as they do offer the ability for DIY crafter and mum business owners who do not have a wholesale account with Reliant to purchase all those pretty custom senior colors along wih school colors. They sell their ribbon rolls for retail customers in 25 yard increments and wholesale customers can purchase in the same 100 yard roll increments they are used to with other suppliers. They do. not have a store front, but offer shipping and delivery to Houston once a month. You can contact them for more details. We have talked to Sharon and are excited about their vision of providing a niee quality homecoming ribbon to both DIY crafters and mum professionals. They also have a new referral program - when you refer a friend they received 25 point and then you receive 25 points when they make a purchase. I know we all love sharing our mum supply finds with our friends.


Use our referral link to sign up and receive your first 25 points.



ACI Wholesale


ACI Wholesale - located in Fort Worth, Texas you can set up a wholesale account and get your ribbon shipped to you. The pricing on their website is retail but once you are approved they will mail you a catalog with wholesale pricing. ACI carries gold and silver label McGinley. We personally only use them for certain imprint ribbon but they do have a good color selection of silver label ribbon if you are trying to source senior colors. They are a large vendor so we suggest purchasing early from them each year.


Imprint Ribbon


All of the above vendors are great options for imprint ribbon and we use them all. Each offers different patterns and different color selections. You can find out more about imprint ribbon in our Ultimate Guide to Imprint Ribbon post and see some of our favorite new designs in our 2024 Homecoming Imprint Ribbon Video. Be warned, you will fall in love!


Additional Vendors


Since we are in the DFW area we are more familiar with the vendors above and what they carry but have listed below other wholesale options throughout Texas. We would suggest calling prior to confirm what inventory they are currently carrying and prices. If you are another mum professional and have more detailed information on these vendors please contact us and we will update the information below. 


Southern Floral - Houston, Austin, & Corpus Christi - they carry McGinley silver label. We love their customer service. They have shipped to use in a bind during covid shortages. 


Travis Wholesale - San Antonio. They have a large supply of McGinley silver and gold label.


Crafttex - Houston area


The Ribbon Source - Houston - McGinley lustre (gold label)


Arnes Warehouse - Houston


Amistad - San Antonio - McGinley acetate (silver label)


Amazon - while we do not normally purchase ribbon for Amazon, time is money and during the season if you needed a custom McGinley silver label ribbon or Reliant Satin Supreme ASAP and did not have time to leave the house you can find McGinley Silver Label occasionally on sale with very quick delivery. Again, I would use this only in true mum emergencies!


Well, if you made it all the way here we thank you for reading our post. We hope you found all the information useful in your business. If you have anything to add you think would help other fellow mum makers, please leave a comment below. As always, contact us with any questions.


If you enjoyed this post make sure to join our newsletter and we would love for you to help us grow our new YouTube channel for homecoming mum makers. We will be offering new videos weekly through prep season.


Happy Creating (& Shopping),

Rayanne and Sabrina




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