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Dec 02 2019

Wedding Dress Fabric 101

Today many modern women are shopping online for everything including their wedding dress, but can sometimes be in for a surprise when seeing the dress in person if they don’t know different gown fabrics. This guide can help you narrow your search to what you want and eliminate certain gowns you don’t want.

Want to avoid heavy fabrics or really just want a clean modern gown on your wedding day? Here are the most common fabrics found in wedding gowns today. 

Satin

These materials are a must for the minimalist bride. Satin is usually thin and typically has a sheen. It can be used for the gown or as a lining. It is the most common lining material and can have a small amount of stretch.

Charmeuse

Charmeuse and satin are both woven fabrics with a matte backing. The main difference is that charmeuse is shinier. They can both be made from silk or synthetic materials.

Crepe

Crepe is similar to satin as well, but tends to have more weight and have a slight texture which may or may not be noticeable to the eye. It usually does not have a sheen to it, but can have a small amount of stretch.

Tulle

Tulle may be familiar to us but it comes in so many variations. It can be made from many different materials including: silk, nylon, polyester, and rayon which changes the way it lays and feels when you touch it. Tulles can also be in different weights from light and airy for a veil to thicker to add volume and texture often seen in ballgowns.

Lace

All-over Lace

Appliqué

Lace defined is as a delicate fabric made of yarn or thread in an open weblike pattern. Lace is a very broad term, but it is usually knitted from cotton. There are also stretch laces but these are not common in bridal gowns. There is a difference between all-over lace and lace appliqués. All-over lace refers to the fabric sewn together  to create the larger pieces of your gown. Appliqués are smaller pieces of fabric sewn on to a larger piece. Appliqués can be made from lace fabric or made separately.

Organza

Organza is a thin, sheer fabric that was traditionally made from silk, but is now usually made from polyester or nylon. It is often used in styles that have extra volume and is combined with horsehair to create a stiff, hem. It has a smoother handfeel than tulle and tends to be a bit lighter.

Mesh/Illusion

Mesh, which is sometimes referred to as illusion, can be made from any stretch fabrics, and is usually used in plunging styles at the bust, side seams, and sometimes sleeves. It is finely, and evenly knitted so you cannot see much of a pattern and has a high stretch ability.

Taffeta

A light to medium weight silk or synthetic(a non natural fiber like polyester) material. It usually has a crisp texture and more noticeable sheen. It does not have any stretch to it and tends to be more traditional. It can also be found in vintage inspired gowns.

Chiffon

A very lightweight woven fabric that can be somewhat sheer. It has no stretch and is very delicate and often gathered to create more weight. It drapes very nicely and has a flowing effect.