If i had to guess i would say that is brown satin ribbon. non edible ribbon that is.
i always thought that was just ribbon wrapped around the cake
Looks like satin ribbon to me, too, but I don't see why you couldn't do it in fondant, as well. Roll it out real thin (like with a pasta roller, maybe) and cut it into long "ribbons"...?
Oooh...good ideas...thank you. I was thinking maybe it was painted on and it seemed really risky. I might try a small sample one first. Now I have a couple options. Thank you all so much.