Style Decision – Fabric
Many types of fabrics are used in bridal gowns and each fabric has a different weight, texture, look, cost and even sound!
Most bridal gowns are made of satin, which is a heavy fabric that is shiny on one side and has a smooth surface. Satin is a strong and also an expensive fabric.
Silk is the most luxurious fabric used for bridal gowns. It is lightweight and is often found draped on column or sheath dresses that follow the natural shape of the body. There are several other types of silk, including silk Mikado which is shiny, or raw silk which is often matte with obvious grain lines.
Crepe often has a crinkled, matte surface and is soft like chiffon, but not sheer. It is slightly stretchy and can be cut on the bias to create very slim silhouettes. Crepe is lightweight but heavy enough to hang straight, so is often found on column or sheath bridal gowns.
Taffeta is a light but crisp fabric that has a glossy or shiny finish. Think Princess Diana! Taffeta is known to have a rustling sound and is used for a variety of different styles of bridal gowns. It is quite thin and is often paired with tulle or harsher netting to create a full skirt.
Lace can be used on several parts of a bridal gown, such as a lace neckline, hem line or sleeves. It can also be used all over the dress, often with a satin base dress underneath. Lace can vary in thickness, weight and design, so lace bridal dresses will differ with each designer and each collection. Lace normally has a matte finish but is sometimes embellished with beads, sparkly thread or sequins to give the dress an added dimension.
Chiffon is a very lightweight, soft and sheer fabric. It is often found draped or gathered on Grecian style dresses, or on destination wedding dresses. It usually has a matte finish. Chiffon dresses often have a satin base dress with one or more chiffon layers over the top.
Tulle is a type of soft mesh netting that is very lightweight and sheer. Often associated with ballerina tutus, Tulle is mainly used as layers for a full skirt. It can be left plain, embellished with a number of beads or diamantes, or made completely sparkly with an added coat.
Organza is a light, flowing fabric that is soft and sheer like chiffon but has a tougher texture like tulle. It often has a shimmering coat and can be used for various elements of the wedding dress, such as the bodice, skirt or embellishment features. If the whole dress is made from organza then a satin base dress is often used with the organza layers over the top.
To see more dresses in a variety of fabrics from a range of designers, click here.