All About Wedding Dress FabricsJanuary 7, 2019
When shopping for your perfect bridal gown, it can be helpful to know what to look for in the fabric. Some fabrics are better suited for structured designs, and others help to create dainty, flowing looks, while still others create volume for princess-perfect ballgowns.
Contrary to popular belief, many fabric “types” don’t refer to the fibre type but the finishing. Satin, for instance, can be made of silk, polyester, or any blend in between. In general, fabrics made from natural fibres breathe better but can wrinkle easily and are often more expensive, so that’s where blends and synthetics come in.
Here we’ll review the most commonly used fabric types for wedding dresses and why they each make an excellent option for certain wedding dress types.
Satin is an extremely popular, durable, and versatile fabric for wedding dresses. It has a smooth finish with a lot of bodies, so it’s often used for more structured styles with ruching, draping, or a ballgown silhouette, like the Gavin dress from Sottero and Midgley available at Bridal Secrets. A well-fitting dress in satin will work on all body shapes, as it will skim over most lumps and bumps. Satin can also be extremely versatile for all types of weather—thicker varieties can help keep the bride warm in cooler weather, while 100 per cent silk satin dresses are still breathable for hotter ceremonies.
Chiffon is an incredible light, woven fabric perfect for creating a delicate, dainty look. Because it’s sheer, it is typically draped in layers or layered over the heavier fabric. Because it’s so delicate, beware of fraying and snagging on chiffon dresses.
Charmeuse is a lightweight, glossy fabric that is known for its rich almost liquid effect and the beautiful draping it can create. Unfortunately, the luxurious look of charmeuse also means it’s not a very forgiving fabric, and it’s just not flattering on all body types. Charmeuse is typically made of silk but can also be created with synthetic fibres.
Tulle is the net-like fabric used to create the beautiful volume of ballerina’s tutus, and it serves a similar function in wedding dresses. It’s structured enough to create voluminously, yet still airy, ball gown styles, and can also incorporate lace designs. Tulle is extremely delicate, so like chiffon, you’ll need to be wary of snagging the fabric on jewellery and furniture.
Lace is a widely-used decorative fabric type in wedding dress designs. It’s typically used as an overlay or decoration on certain sections of the dress, and because of its open weave is also susceptible to pulled threads. A wide range of gowns featuring gorgeous lace detailing is available at Bridal Secrets.
Lace varieties to look out for include Chantilly (a detailed, open weave with a defined border), Alençon (features bold motifs that are trimmed with cord), and Venise (a heavier style with more texture that is better for colder temperatures).
Organza is similar to chiffon but stiffer. Chiffon is typically used more in draping, while chiffon can create a similar airy look but in more structured styles. Organza generally is made from silk and is a great, lightweight fabric for warm weather weddings.