Fabric matters, and finding the one(s) that works best for you and your wedding is a huge step toward saying yes to that perfect dress. Your comfort and the overall vibe of your look hinge on what your dress is made of. So naturally, because fabric is kind of a big deal, we’ve compiled a handy guide to some of the most sought-after bridal fabrics you’ll come across on your dress shopping journey!
Chiffon: A light and flowy fabric, chiffon is often used as an overlay, in layers, or as an accent detail due to its sheer and transparent style. It has a delicate and ethereal vibe and is perfect for outdoor weddings in the late Spring, Summer, or early Fall.
Crepe: Clean and elegant, crepe is perfect for all seasons due to the different weights and finishes it can be made with. For the warm season, a light and silky crepe is ideal while a heavier crepe with a pebbled texture lends warmth on colder months.
Illusion: This fabric is a fine, sheer net often used in the construction of sleeves, at the neckline, or in cut-outs and accents. Most bridal veils are made from illusion as it is light and delicate.
Lace: Lace can take the shape of many different kinds of weaves and is often used as an overlay or to create breathtaking details. Popular types of lace for bridal gowns are:
- Alençon: This needlepoint lace has a distinct floral pattern woven into the fabric which is then outlined with corded detail. It’s characterized by its 3-D effect, and frequently decorated with seed pearls and sequins.
- Chantilly: Chantilly lace is known for its fineness of pattern and abundant detail. The pattern is outlined in cordonnet, a flat untwisted strand, and often features scallop, scroll, or dot motifs.
- Crochet: Generally made with finer threads for a softer feel, crocheted lace features decorative styles of stitching often with flowing lines or scalloped edges to give interest. Size variation of the holes between the stitches gives the fabric its unique look.
- Embroidered: Delicate patterns are tightly embroidered onto an illusion base, forming the appearance of an applique. Embroidered lace creates depth and dimension and can be made with different colored threads for added drama.
- Eyelet: This vintage-style lace is a most often used for borders and edging. An eyelet is a geometric hole in the fabric which is typically reinforced with an embroidered edge for a whimsical, floral look.
- Guipure: Also called Venetian lace, Guipure is a firm, heavy lace made up of a continuous motif which creates a denser, more raised pattern and often contains a floral or geometric design.
- Knit: Knit lace is a softer lace and lacks a tulle back, making it more flexible. The increased flexibility allows it to contour around the body with more ease and makes it one of the more comfortable incarnations of lace.
- Point D’Esprit: Point d’esprit is a lightweight lace with small oval dots scattered over an illusion or net fabric. This style is perfect for the fun, flirty bride and pairs beautifully with an outdoor ceremony.
Organza: While sheer and lightweight like chiffon, organza holds a more structured silhouette, making it ideal for warm weather weddings. A delicately woven fabric, it has a shiny finish and crisp drape. It’s often used for layered gowns to add fullness.
Satin: One of the more traditional wedding dress fabrics, satin is a smooth, heavy fabric with a glossy sheen. True satin is soft and silky to the touch, while Mikado satin (popular for more structured wedding gowns) has a stiffer feel with a lustrous, woven finish.
Tulle: Characterized by a sheer, gauzy open weave, tulle has an airy vibe while still maintaining a bit of structure. It comes in a variety of weights and stiffness and is often used in layers to create volume.