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Bridal Fabrics

Updated: Sep 20, 2020

Things To Know About Bridal Gown Fabrics

Beautiful fabrics, romantic look.

By Mariella Silva Molina

Oh my! The date has been set and now the search for the perfect gown has begun. What to choose, satin or silk, charmeuse or chiffon, lace or organza! And now another dilemma has developed. The fact is that you can choose a combination of fabric for your wedding gown to break from the traditional. However, one thing to keep in mind during the selection of your gown is the cost of these beautiful fabrics; some fabrics are better suited for structured designs, and others are great for loose flowy looks, and others for a more elegant and formal settings. So before you jump into wedding dress shopping, learn what to expect when it comes to fabric. The most common fabrics used these days are:

1. Satin: Satin is one of the most common, most versatile, and most durable wedding dress fabrics. It has a smooth finish with a lot of body, making it perfect for more structured gowns. It typically has a glossy surface and a dull back. Satin is a more affordable material than silk. So if you are on a budget, satin is the fabric to use. Satin fabric is a good choice for cooler weather weddings!

2. Silk: Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. There are many different types of silk; the price can vary from $15 to hundreds of dollars/yard. The price differences depend on silk farms and how they manage their silk supplies. Silk is one of the more luxurious fabrics available. It comes in so many different weave varieties from sheer and flowy chiffons to rigid suiting. It is a top pick fabric in the fashion industry.

3. Charmeuse: Charmeuse and satin are both satin weave fabrics with a matte backing. The main difference is that charmeuse is shinier, lighter weight and smoother than satin. It is commonly used in women's clothing such as lingerie, evening gowns, and blouses, especially garments with a bias cut (diagonally across the grain to encourage it's drape) and it is also used in column and empire waist silhouette style dresses.

4. Chiffon: Chiffon can be made from synthetic fibers like nylon or polyester, and can also be made using natural fibers like cotton or silk. Cotton chiffon is quite breathable and incredibly soft to touch. This is why it is the ideal choice for loungewear and lightweight summer clothing where you want to feel cool and comfortable. Chiffon fabric prices depend on the material from which it is made. Silk chiffon fabric, for instance, remains the most expensive type of this textile, and it can be more than twice as expensive as chiffon fabric made from polyester or rayon. This fabric is perfect in warmer months. Unfortunately, it's very delicate and wrinkles easily.

5. Lace: Lace is a delicate fabric made of yarn or thread in an open weblike pattern, made by machine or by hand. Originally linen, silk, gold, or silver threads were used. Now lace is often made with cotton thread (less expensive).  It is a good match for different types of fabrics. Ivory and White lace fabric wedding dresses can be expensive because of the hard labor time-consuming process. The labor intensive process requires specialized skill with couture sewing techniques applied to the construction. Lace fabrics have a very romantic and nostalgic look, perfect for a wedding gown.

6. Organza: Organza is a thin, plain weave, sheer fabric traditionally made from silk. Many modern organzas are woven with synthetic filament fibers such as polyester or nylon. Silk organza is more expensive than polyester and nylon organza. Silk Organza must be dry cleaned adding cost to the preservation of the garment after the wedding event.

7. And last but not least, Tulle or English Net/Netting: Netting is a nylon fabric in which the warp and weft yarns are looped or knotted to create open spaces in the fabric. The combination of netting fabrics and lace fabrics are excellent and create exceptional interfacing looks. Netting/tulle is often used for bridal veils, petticoats and for ballet tutus.

There are more fabrics to select from but these seven fabrics are the most often selected fabrics among brides searching for their perfect bridal gown.  It is extremely important to do your research regarding fabrics before selecting the style and inspiration of your gown. Remember, more is not always better. Your wedding gown should convey and express an image of confidence, sense of style, and more than anything your amazing personality, that’s why he proposed!

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