Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s
"Children's Games" 1560
That's right folks! The whimsical flying ribbons of rhythmic gymnastics are indeed period! Pictured here is a child holding a stick with a streamer of fabric attached to the end. It appears to be quite long and narrow. Because of the cost of silk it's unlikely this would be a strip of silk, most likely a very fine piece of linen and likely pieced together.