Finding The Perfect Style And Materials For Your Wedding Dress

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Whether you are a stylist, or you are looking for the best fit for your wedding dress, you’d definitely want to choose dress fabrics that would make you feel as good as you look. There are many types of fabric and each one of them gives a unique wedding dress.

Some of the most common wedding dress fabrics include charmeuse, chiffon, crepe, jersey, lace, Mikado, organza, satin, shantung, silk, taffeta, and tulle. These fabrics can range from very lightweight, like taffeta and chiffon, to heavier fabrics, like satin and Mikado. Lightweight fabrics will create a less heavy dress with less structure while heavier fabrics will create heavier dresses with more structure. While most wedding gowns can be worn any time of year, if you are planning a winter wedding, you may feel more comfortable in heavier fabrics. On the other hand, for a summer wedding, lightweight fabrics will feel like a better fit. In addition to the fabric types, there are two main material finishes; sheen and matte. Sheen is a luster or glow on the dress fabric (it looks a little shiny) while matte fabrics are dull with no glow or shine.

With all of these different characteristics, it is important to know what fabrics are available and what each one has to offer.

IMPORTANT CHARACTERISTICS OF WEDDING DRESS FABRIC:

Each fabric possesses its own characteristics that make them preferable for certain conditions.

Weight – Fabric weight literally describes how heavy a fabric is. Weight is determined by the material, weave, and thickness of the fiber used. Heavier materials are more appropriate for cooler months as they trap more heat, while lighter materials are cooler and better suited for warmer months..

Structure – Fabric structure relates to its ability to hold a shape. Some fabrics are able to hold a desired shape, while others are loose and flowing.

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Finish – Finish describes the visual aesthetics of fabric, typically sheen or matte are common descriptors. The sheen fabric has a shiny reflective look, while matte fabric does not. Texture, pattern, and weave may also be used to describe the finish of a fabric.

COMMON WEDDING DRESS FABRICS:

Charmeuse –

Charmeuse is usually made with silk, but textile manufacturers can also make this fabric using polyester and rayon (a synthetic fiber). This fabric has a sheen look on the front side with a matte finish on the backside of the dress. It resembles a lightweight satin and is typically very shiny. Because it is lighter weight, it drapes nicely and is most often found in slinky, sheath-style gowns. Charmeuse is commonly used for form-fitting dresses because it hugs the curve and is more common in prom dresses than in wedding gowns.

Chiffon –

This fabric can be made from silk, polyester, nylon, or rayon threads. Chiffon is sheer, matte, and lightweight, which makes it great for weddings in warmer months and when travel is necessary. It is most often seen in sheath-style gowns because it is great for draping but not for structure. The feel of this fabric is very soft and flowy. Chiffon is often used for summer and outdoor weddings due to the fact that the material will help keep you cool and because its flowy nature feels appropriate for an outdoor setting.

Crepe –

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Crepe fabric can be made out of pretty much any type of fiber, including raw silk, cotton, wool, or synthetics, such as polyester and rayon. This fabric is a lightweight, tightly woven opaque fabric with a matte finish and is often seen in sheath-style dresses. Like charmeuse, crepe is typically used in form-fitting styles that cling to the body or gently drape. This fabric is most popular for sheaths or subtle fit-and-flare silhouettes.

Lace –

The lace fabric was originally made from silk and linen though it is mostly made out of cotton thread and synthetic fibers nowadays. There are a huge variety of different lace types and patterns ranging from very understated and demure, to bold, modern patterns. The finish of the fabric is usually a subtle sheen but can vary greatly depending on the type of lace. Due to the nature of the fabric it can range anywhere from lightweight to heavy. Being so versatile, lace can be made and shaped into a variety of styles for wedding dresses and can be seen in fitted styles as well as ball gowns. This soft, romantic fabric is great for outdoor or garden weddings. Elaborate beading and embroideries are often used to embellish the fabric making it feel very rich and opulent. Whatever lace you choose this fabric is an ageless choice that goes with classic or modern dresses and themes.

Mikado –

This material is a textured fabric that has a smooth, slightly grainy feel and is thicker and heavier with a shiny finish. Because Mikado is heavier than other fabrics, it is ideal for winter weddings. Mikado is often a choice for brides who want a more structured gown that will hold its shape throughout the day. This wedding dress material is a popular choice for fit-and-flare, trumpet, or A-line silhouettes.

Organza –

Organza is a fabric that can be made from either silk or synthetic fibers. Organza is a very lightweight, translucent fabric often with a high sheen. Synthetic organza is more durable than the original silk organza, but care should be taken with all organza dresses as they can fray and tear if not treated properly.

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Due to its weight, this fabric is great for destinations and outdoor weddings. Even though it is lightweight, organza has more body and structure and is most often seen in A-lines and ball gowns.

Satin –

Satin can be made out of silk, polyester or nylon. This material is a relatively heavy weighted, opaque fabric. Satin can have a shiny finish, but most satin wedding gowns are made of matte satin for a higher-end look. This is the most traditional bridal gown fabric. Satin is best for indoor, more formal weddings due to its heavy material. This fabric is most often found in A-lines and ball gowns but can also be found in highly structured mermaid or fit-and-flare styles.

Shantung –

Plainly woven silk or cotton, shantung features a subtle weave that results in a rubbed texture and raw, natural look. Its medium-light weight is appropriate for all seasons and allows it to hold a volume that looks and feels rich. The fabric has a beautiful drape to it that can be flattering for all figures.

Silk –

Silk is an all-natural, premium fabric made from the fibers of silkworms. The most common silks found in bridal gowns are silk chiffon, silk organza, silk satin, and silk shantung. Silk fabrics give off a delicate appearance that is lightweight with a soft sheen. Silk is a very traditional bridal fabric found primarily in high-end gowns.

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An important note: though silk is a very traditional fabric, it is much harder to maintain and is often more delicate than poly versions of the same fabrics. Silk dresses cannot be steamed and must be pressed only, and contact with water will leave spots. Poly fabrics are more worry-free.

Taffeta –

Taffeta is a woven fabric that can be made from silk or synthetic materials like polyester and nylon. Taffeta fabric has a lustrous, high-sheen appearance with a moderate weight making it opaque. This is the lightest weight fabric that will also provide good structure. Taffeta is great for indoor or outdoor weddings. The most common style of dresses that material is found in is A-lines and mermaid styles.

Tulle –

This fabric can be made from various fibers including silk, nylon, and rayon though polyester is the most common material used for tulle. This fabric’s netting-like structure makes it very lightweight and is often used in multiple layers on skirts to give more volume, especially in ball gowns and mermaid silhouettes. Tulle can also be used to give an ethereal, boho vibe as the top layer in less structured gowns.

WHAT ARE THE BEST FABRICS FOR SUMMER WEDDINGS?

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Charmeuse – lightweight and slinky for an understated, glamorous look

Chiffon – extremely lightweight and flowy – perfect for beach weddings

Organza – lightweight body for hot summer days.

Crepe – a very easygoing fabric that works well for outdoor events

Lace – a versatile choice that feels at home in an outdoor setting

WHAT ARE THE BEST FABRICS FOR WINTER WEDDINGS?

Jersey – matte and medium-to-heavy in weight making it ideal for fall and winter weddings

Mikado – great texture and structure and heavier in nature, perfect for a bold, structured look

Satin – heavier weight, structured fabric with great body

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Crepe – available in both lightweight and heavier versions, works great for winter weddings especially when paired with a beaded bodice

Taffeta – similar in look to satin and Mikado, but less heavy and easier to wear

WHAT ARE COMMON WEDDING DRESS EMBELLISHMENTS?

Lace Appliques – These are decorative pieces of lace that are designed and cut into shapes and attached directly to the top layers of your wedding dress. Most appliques tend to be floral or botanical in nature but can also feature swirls, feathers, and other similar designs. Many dresses that appear to be made of lace fabric are actually made of hundreds of lace appliques sewn on individually.

Beading – Beads come in various shapes and sizes and are made from glass or crystal.

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Sequins – Shiny disks that glimmer and are iridescent.

Pearls – These can be attached to dresses and can be either natural or faux.

Fringe – You create a fringe when a piece of fabric is cut into very narrow strips resembling ribbons or threads. Brides who love a boho aesthetic will add fringe to their sleeves.

Ribbon – Ribbon is often used as delicate edging and can be used around the waist as a belt.

Rhinestones – Reflective glass or crystal stones that look like diamonds. Can be sewn on individually or used in a strand to create intricate patterns and designs.

Horsehair Trim – Wide band of stiff netting material sewn at the bottom edge of skirt layers to give great body and structure. Can be used either as a decorative element or hidden inside the dress.

Embroidery – decorative designs sewn directly onto the top layer of the dress using contrasting thread colors.

Make the most out of these bridal dress tips for a perfect outfit that complements the day.

(Image resource: https://www.missacc.com)

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