There are so many different types of bridal fabrics for gowns that it can be hard for a bride to pick the type that she wants. The weight and texture but also the way it drapes determine the identity of the gown. A mikado or brocade dress often feel more traditional, while a chiffon gown is very light and perfect for a beach wedding. When choosing the right fabric for the bride keep in mind the location and the overal style and theme of her wedding.
Bridal fabrics are made of fiber. For example silk, wool and cotton are fibers, while satin, organza and lace are fabrics made of these fibers. A satin dress can be made of silk but also of synthetic fibers. The price for a silk dress, made of natural fibers is therefore considerably higher than for a polyester version of the same dress. Most wedding dresses that you will see in commercial bridal stores are selling dresses made of synthetic fibers. It’s the more high end brands that use the more expensive silk bridal fabrics.
At the end of the day the bride has to choose the style of fabric that fits her wedding and her budget will determine the quality. These are the most common bridal fabrics that you should know as a bridal consultant.
Brocade is a thick woven material with interesting designs, often with a floral pattern. Because of the heavy quality of this fabric it is often worn for winter weddings. This fabric has a very unique and designer quality to it and is often seen in the more expensice collections.
Chiffon is a light material, often used for beach gowns and greek goddess inspired gowns. The material is very soft therefore giving the dress a flowy character.
Crepe is a fabric simular to chiffon but of a much heavier quality. Often used for figure hugging gowns.
A dupion or dupioni dress is made a raw silk. The price of a silk wedding dress is often higher than that of other materials. It’s more expensive because it’s a natural fiber. It’s kind of shiny and it has a visible woven texture running through it. It’s only available in ivory, because it can only be bleached as far as ivory and will therefore never be completely white.
Lace comes in many different styles like delicate Chantilly, the unique patterns of Guipure and the most common version in bridal which is Alençon. In bridal the lace is often embroidered. For many brides embellishments like small pearls, sparkling beads and sequins is what makes the dress come to life.
Mikado is similar to brocade but it has a smooth surface and is more shiny. It’s a heavy material, shiny but not as shiny as satin. It’s often used for classic architectural gowns because of it’s weight. This is another fabric that is used more often by high end designer brands.
Organza is a very lightweight material that is perfect for a flowy skirt. It’s often used for layering a skirt or for pleated tops.
Satin is a popular bridal fabric. It’s shiny look is perfect for princess gowns. It comes in different qualities. Most dresses are created of a synthetic satin but more exclusive designers use silk satin, which is exquisite.
Taffeta hasn’t been around much lately, but is certain to make a comeback. It’s popular for creating ball gowns. It’s crispy lightweight but stiff quality is perfect for full skirts with pick-ups. Taffeta has a very particular rustling sound when you move around in it.
Tulle is a transparent light mesh material. Layered it can result in a wide and fluffy skirt. This also comes in different qualities and can range from very soft and flowy to stiff and crispy. It’s also used for accessories like veils.
Images: Dress La Sposa , dress brocade Rosa Clara, dress chiffon La Sposa, dress crêpe Pronovias, dress mikado Sottero & Midgey, dress organza Essense of Australia, dress satin Pronovias, dress Tafetta Oscar de la Renta, dress tulle Ladybird en dress Dupion silk by Rosa Clara