Weddings dresses are as versatile and dynamic as the brides that get to wear them. They come in all different silhouettes, colors, styles and fabrics. Wedding gown designers are incredibly meticulous about crafting gowns that can speak to brides in a variety of ways, and they are very thoughtful and intentional about what fabrics, details and other attributes they use to design a gown. With there being so many different ways to make a stunning wedding dress, we have decided to break down some of the most common fabrics used in wedding dresses and what you can expect it to do for a design and on the body.
Tulle is very popular because it is the perfect wedding dress fabric, as it's a fine, delicate material that flows smoothly while still keeping its shape well. Tulle is light and airy, can be crafted to be more casual, creates volume without being heavy which is important for comfortability, it is very breathable, travels well, and easy to steam. An example of a beautifully crafted tulle gown is this design from Enchanting by Mon Cheri. You will float down the aisle in this breath taking A-line gown. Crafted from dreamy tulle and delicate sparkle illusion, this playful bridal style is equal parts elegant and whimsical. A softly structured bodice with gathered detailing and semi-sheer puff sleeves make this gown effortlessly feminine and impossibly romantic.
While often mistaken for a fabric, satin actually refers to the fabric’s finish! It is composed from a blend of fibers, satin features a light sheen for a classic bridal look. You may often hear it referred to as silk satin, charmeuse satin and duchess satin, while out shopping for bridal gowns. A timeless and elegant fabric, incredibly smooth to the touch, falls and lays swoon-worthily beautiful for photos, and also gives glossy effect without bling or embellishment. Like this satin ballgown from Martin Thornburg. You are sure to make a grand entrance in this gorgeous strapless gown that features a softly curved neckline, a natural waistband, ever loved pockets, and a zipper back with covered buttons cascading down onto the chapel train to the hem.
Another popular fabric in wedding dress designs is crepe. Crepe is typically smooth and supple to the touch and is often used to create long and graceful silhouettes. Brides love it for its ideal thickness, comfortable elasticity, and versatility for embellishments! It can be styled on its own for a clean, classic impact, or paired with decorative embellishments with lace, beading and shimmer; like in this Modest by Mon Cheri gown. Celebrate your love in this gorgeously feminine A-line gown. Beautifully crafted from soft stretch crepe, this ultra-flattering bridal style features a delicate Venise lace trim and elegant covered buttons. Lace detailing subtly highlights the waist and adds a touch of romance to complete this timeless bridal look.
We all know what lace is, in fact when you hear the word you probably have a specific kind of lace that pops into your head, but it might be a different image for everyone because there are so many variations. The versatility of the textile is why its the most popular embellishment in wedding dresses. Lace can be seen on every silhouette (A-line, ballgown, fitted, etc.). The beautiful thing about it is that there is truly a lace for every wedding vibe. This boho lace fit and flare from White April is an example of a non-traditional lace that is still incredibly gorgeous and ultra-flattering. The bride who chooses this gown will have absolutely one-of-a-kind memories to look back on as it is as unique as lace comes. Sure to stun everyone on your big day in this bohemian beauty.
Similar to satin finish, mikado is a textured fabric with a slight sheen. Compared to satin, mikado is more stiff which gives more structure to the dress design. Brides love this for the support they can feel when wearing it. Although it is a bit on the heavier side, it retains the shape of the wedding dress really well, especially for full and voluminous ball gowns. Mikado is a great fabric if you want your dress to contour and enhance shape. This elegant and classy sumptuous mikado ball gown from Martin Thornburg is especially gorgeous. The sweeping full skirt and cathedral train create breathtaking movement wherever you go, while the dramatic illusion back with beaded lace appliqué makes an unforgettable statement.
Organza is a sheer, thin, plain weave fabric traditionally made from silk. Organza, like tulle, is often used for wedding dress material when some stiff structure is required, but it is typically heavier than tulle. The stiffness of organza comes in handy for gorgeous design accents and accessories, like bows and sashes on a dress, or creative layered looks and it is the perfect fabric to use for such details.
An example of organza being used in a wedding dress design is this gown from Martin Thornburg. Buttery soft Mikado and organza combine to create this impossibly chic modern ballgown. With beautifully clean lines and a playful petal layered organza skirt, a dramatic silhouette that’s perfect for the bride who wants everyone to know she's arrived.
Last on our list but certainly not least is one of the most tried-and-true bridal fabrics; chiffon! Chiffon is a sheer, simple weave fabric that was originally made of silk. This delicate, lightweight fabric is perfect for outdoor or warm weather weddings! Or simply for the bride who doesn't want much heaviness in her gown. Chiffon is usually used for the skirt of gowns for lots of movement and works for every style of dress, making it an amazing fabric and versatile plus comfortable for dancing all night long. Check out this feminine and fun chiffon gown from Enchanting by Mon Cheri. Features fitted bodice with Venice lace appliqué, chiffon waistband with delicate tied bow, circular chiffon skirt with high leg slit, V-back bodice, covered buttons, full chapel train.
No matter what kind of bride that you are, no matter what you want to look like on your special day, there is a fabric, a style, a design, a dream dress- just for you. There are so many different things to consider when searching for that one-of-a-kind gown for you, and what kind of fabric you want your dress to be made of is one of those considerations. We hope this short break down of the top fabrics you'll come across when wedding dress shopping helps you during your planning to make the process that much more simple. Knowing what these fabrics do and how they look can be incredibly insightful when selecting gowns and even which boutique to shop at. Make sure to check out our website and social media for the most up-to-date information and our favorite tips and tricks.