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What are the best choices for wedding dress fabrics?

How to choose your perfect fabric for your bridal gown

The fabric choice of your wedding dress dictates the tone, style, type and season of your wedding dress. Different fabrics have their own dressing guide as well have their own individual look and feel. Meaning that the same style of a wedding dress can be quite different in another fabric since each fabric has its own distinct characteristics on how it looks and feels e.g. some are clingier to the body, others provide more structure; others reflect more light and others do exactly the opposite. Not to forget your comfort level of wearing that particular texture and drape of the fabric. You need to feel comfortable wearing it otherwise your discomfort will shine through on your wedding day.

 

Take into consideration the time of year that you will be getting married. You may not want a heavy fabric if you are doing the deed at the height of summer, and a whisper of chiffon may not be the thing if you expect to have to go outside into snowstorms. You may also want to bear in mind how wearable a fabric is; you will be sitting and standing in it all day and you want it to look at its best in all of the photos. Try scrunching an inconspicuous area of the fabric in your hand to see how easy it is to crease.

Glossary of the most common wedding fabrics

Brocade is a heavy fabric with an overall interwoven pattern or floral design that is raised. The design is often in contrasting colours or metallic threads.

Carmeuse: is a lightweight fabric made of silk or polyester. It is similar to satin but lighter in weight.

Crepe: covers a wide range of fabrics including synthetics and silk identified by a grainy surface that can crinkle or crimp.

Chiffon is a delicate, matt, lightweight, sheer and transparent fabric that drapes and skims. Because it is so light in weight it is perfect for layering.

Crepe is a soft flowing fabric with a crinkling texture.

Duchesse Satin is the most associated fabric with wedding dresses. It is made of a glossy and smooth weave with a matt back.

Georgette is a sheer and light weighted fabric with a crepe like texture. It is often made from silk or man-made fibres such as polyester.

More opaque than chiffon. Illusion: transparent, thin fabric typically used to create sheer sleeves, bodices, and backs.

Lace is a fine and delicate cotton or silk made by looping or twisting in patterns by hand or by machine. Lace making is an ancient craft and originally used as well silver and gold threads. Today manufactured lace may be made of synthetic fibre.

Organza is a crisp and stiff sheer woven fabric similar to Chiffon but stiffer in its make. It can be made out of synthetic fibres or silk and

Satin is a smooth fabric with a luxurious shine and available from silk, acetate to polyester.

Shantung is made out of natural imperfections due to thick and thin yarns, which makes each length unique.

Taffeta is a very stiff and crisp fabric made out of silk or synthetic fibers, which can have sheen or a dull finish.

Tulle is fine mesh-netting and usually made out of silk, nylon, or rayon semi-sheer. It is used in combination with other fabrics.

Velvet is a thick, soft and plush fabric with a short, felted pile and a plain underside, which can be embossed or patterned. It can be made out of cotton, silk, polyester, rayon or man made fabrics. Velvet with more of a matte or patterned design may be crushed velvet.

Overview of the characteristics of these wedding fabrics

 

Weight

Climate

Uses

Look & Feel

Brocade

Heavy

Originally colder climates, but now season less

Structured & tailored coats, dresses and skirts

 Rich and exquisite look, formal

 

Carmeuse

Light

Seasonless

Ideal for drape silhouettes

 

Creates a soft lustre and satin like appearance.

 

 

Chiffon

Super light

Seasonless

Ideal for flowing designs. Excellent for layering, veils, sleeves

For a soft feel and delicate look.

 

Crepe

Light

Seasonless

Flowing gowns. Works well on slim –shaped dresses, because it can be cut on the bias.

Great choice for informal weddings

Duchess Satin

Medium

Seasonless

Formal weddings

Often used for embellishments with beads and jewels, because it is so strong

Georgette

Light

Except for winter & cold weather

Great for layering & draping

Called as well Georgette Crepe, so similar to Crepe

Lace

Light & Delicate

Seasonless

Different type of lace, which can be used for veils, bodice, wedding dress skirt and sleeves

Usually used for traditional weddings

Organza

Light

Best for spring, summer & warmer weather

Layering, overlays, trains, veils and wedding skirts. Also, used for embroidery.

 

For a soft feel and delicate look.

 

Satin

Medium to heavy

Seasonless

Versatile, can be used for anything

For luster appearance

Shantung

Medium to heavy

Seasonless

Adds texture to the wedding dress

For a unique & one of kind look

Taffeta

Light

Seasonless

Structured wedding skirts

Formal & Cinderella weddings

Tulle

Super light

Seasonless

Skirts & Veils, can be found in underskirts or petticoats to create a stiff bell shape

Used an accent, to create a lacy, floating look.

Velvet

Heavy

Winter & cold weather

Historically themed wedding dresses, cloaks or column dresses

Historically themed weddings


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