Choosing the Right Fabric for your Wedding Dress

By on April 9, 2010

Fabrics for Wedding Dresses

The style of your wedding dress will determine which fabric you choose. Choosing the right fabric can be the difference between a fabulous wedding dress that flatters you and a wedding dress that just doesn’t look right. Some wedding dresses look fabulous in one type of fabric but will just not look right in another. If your wedding dress fits well and is made of the right fabric it will look like a million dollars even if it costs a fraction of the price.

The overall appearance of a wedding gown is made up of many factors. The fabric chosen can make a dramatic difference to your wedding dress. Fabrics all have different qualities that effect the drape, and cut of a wedding gown. Some fabrics hug the body, and give a soft silhouette while others may have more body and are suited to a more tailored design.

Silk fabrics are undoubtedly the most desired and cherished for wedding gowns, and have lustre and luxury. Satin, duchesse satin, charmeuse, shantung, chiffon, organza all can be woven from silk but will behave very differently. All of these fabrics can be made of other fibres, such as polyester or nylon and will have similar properties at a more affordable price.

Below is a list of some popular fabric for wedding gowns with some explanations of their qualities.  You can find definitions of the different Wedding Dress Styles here.

Brocade

Softer, lighter than satin.

Surface: Woven Pattern
Fibre: Silk, polyester
Weight:
medium, Heavy
Drape: Semi Stiff

Best for: Structured wedding gowns, A Line, Column, Mother of the Bride

Charmeuse Satin

Softer, lighter than satin.

Surface: Semi sheen
Fibre:
Silk, polyester
Weight:
Light
Drape:
Soft

Best for: Unstructured wedding gowns, flowing styles. Empire, Mermaid

Chiffon

Drapey, sheer fabric not as heavy as Georgette.

Surface: Sheer, translucent
Fibre: Silk, rayon, polyester, nylon
Weight:
Light
Drape:
Soft, fluid

Best for: Overskirts, layered wedding gowns, sheer sleeves. Ballgown, Empire,

Crepe

Slightly wrinkled appearance, heavier than Georgette.

Surface: Textured
Fibre:
Silk, acetate, rayon
Weight:
Light
Drape: Soft

Best for: Flowing wedding gowns, soft silhouettes. Ballgown, Empire, Mermaid

Damask

Pattern is the same colour as the fabric.

Surface: Dull jacquard design
Fibre:
Silk, cotton
Weight:
Medium
Drape:
Semi stiff

Best for: Bodices, tailored wedding gowns, shrugs, jackets. A Line, Column,

Duchess Satin

A beautiful heavy fabric with lustrous rich finish. Also know as Bridal Satin

Surface: Glossy, very lustrous surface with a dull back
Fibre:
Silk or silk/rayon blend
Weight:
Medium
Drape:
Semi Stiff

Best for: Tailored silhouette, simple formal wedding gowns, excellent base for embellishments. A Line, Ballgown, Column, Mermaid

Dupion

Heavier, stiffer than satin.

Surface: Semi sheen, smooth
Fibre:
Silk, polyester
Weight: Medium
Drape:
Semistiff

Best for: Structured styles, suits, jackets. A Line, Ballgown, Column,

Georgette

Light and floaty as a top layer it forms a soft silhouette.

Surface: Sheer with a slight crepe finish.
Fibre:
Silk or polyester
Weight: Light
Drape:
Soft, floaty

Best for: Layered wedding gowns. Ballgown, Empire, Mermaid

Knit Fabric

Comfortable, yet stable enough to hold a tailored shape.

Surface: Matte
Fibre:
Various, wool, polyester, rayon, blends
Weight: Medium
Drape:
Soft

Best for: Tailored Suits Mother of the Bride outfits

Organza

Crisp, sheer fabric for top layer or inserts

Surface: Sheer, smooth finish
Fibre:
Silk, polyester, nylon
Weight:
Light
Drape:
Crisp

Best for: Layered wedding gowns, veils, trains full layered skirts. Ballgown, Column

Peach Skin

Smooth, finely woven Micro fiber

Surface: Smooth, soft
Fibre:
Silk, polyester
Weight:
Medium
Drape:
Soft

Best for: Mother of the Bride outfits, Empire line, Column

Satin

In between charmeuse and dupion.

Surface: Lustrous, smooth. Matte satin has a dull sheen.
Fibre:
Silk, polyester
Weight:
Heavy
Drape: Soft

Best for: Almost any wedding gown. A Line, Ballgown, Column, Empire, Mermaid

Shantung

Similar to dupion with a textured surface, may be satin backed.

Surface: Slubbed texture, dull
Fibre:
Silk, polyester
Weight:
Medium
Drape:
Stiff

Best for: Tailored wedding gowns. A Line, Ballgown, Column,

Taffeta

A stiff fabric with good body. Moire is a watermark pattern.

Surface: Either dull or a light sheen, moire finish
Fibre:
Silk or polyester
Weight: Light
Drape:
Stiff

Best for: Wide skirts, structured silhouette. A Line, Ballgown, Column,

Tulle

Available in different weights for and stiffness.

Surface: Netting
Fibre:
Silk, nylon
Weight:
Light
Drape:
Stiff

Best for: Layered skirts, veils, under shirts, petticoats. Ballgown.

Velvet

Softer than velveteen, luxurious.

Surface: Plush plain under surface
Fibre:
Silk, cotton, rayon, acetate
Weight:
Heavy
Drape:
Soft but luxurious

Best for: Soft silhouette, full skirts. A Line, Ballgown, Column, Mermaid
Wanda Arnold’s website http://weddingsdresses.tv will help you find your dream wedding dress and buy it online. Helpful tips and information for choosing fabrics and styles. Explanations of different wedding dresses to help you choose your perfect wedding gown. Site reviews and links to online Wedding Dress Stores. You can find explanations of wedding dress styles and tips to help you choose the style to suit your figure type on our website. http://weddingsdresses.tv/wedding-gown-figure-types/.

About Olga Pomeransky

Olga is manager at Best for Bride since 2005. Currently Best for Bride operates 4 bridal stores in Canada (Toronto, Etobicoke, Hamilton and Barrie). Best for Bride sells wedding, bridemaids, mob dresses and more. http://www.BestForBride.com

One Comment

  1. victoriajuanalight@gmail.com'

    Vicky

    May 10, 2014 at 5:39 AM

    Perfect! Important consideration because the right fabric can determine your level of comfort on the big day and can make or break your wedding look.

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