Wedding dress shopping is fun and thrilling, but it can also be quite exhausting. Whether you’re going for a readymade or custom-made gown, you’ll find there are many decisions to be made. One of the most important points to consider is how to choose the right fabric for your perfect gown. This can be extremely stressful, especially if cotton and polyester are the only fabrics you know, but don’t worry, we’re here to help.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular fabrics used for wedding gowns sand the pros and cons of each type.
Wedding Dress Fabrics
When it comes to wedding dress fabrics, there’s no saying which one is best. If you want to know which fabric is right for your gown, you’ll need to first know the different types of materials available.
It’s also important to have an understanding of the unique properties of each fabric and which kind of dresses they suit best. Each type of fabric suits specific designs. Therefore, one type might be unsuitable for a particular design, but it could look stunning for another.
Types of Wedding Gown Fabrics
There are numerous types of wedding dress fabrics available on the market and as we’ve mentioned above, the design of your dress will determine the kind of fabric you choose. Some fabrics are best suited to create a flowing look, some are perfect for structured designs and others are ideal for ballroom gowns.
If the fabric you like doesn’t suit your dress design, don’t worry, you’re bound to find one that will. Here are some of the most popular types of wedding dress fabrics:
Simple wedding dress with chiffon skirt by Piondress Bridal. See it here.
Chiffon is mainly used as an overlay or in layers, due to its transparent nature. Made from rayon or royal silk, it’s one of the most popular fabrics for wedding dresses because of its elegant look. It’s very light, sheer and highly versatile.
The thinnest royal silk produces the finest chiffon fabrics. Although this material is soft to touch, it’s not silky and doesn’t slip easily. In fact, it actually has some resistance to it and a floaty, almost cloud-like feel. If you’re planning on a boho wedding dress, this would be the perfect fabric for you.
Pros of Using Chiffon
- The delicate nature of chiffon makes light and airy wedding dresses that won’t be too heavy and hinder your movement.
- This fabric is breathable and would be comfortable to wear, especially in hot weather.
- It’s an excellent choice for expecting brides since its flowing nature helps lengthen the bride’s figure.
Cons of Using Chiffon
- It’s a very fragile fabric and is prone to snagging or fraying. If you wear a chiffon dress, you’ll have to be careful not to come into contact with objects that could snag it. You’ll also have to pay attention to your jewelry and avoid wearing any pieces that could easily get caught on your dress and damage it.
A-line wedding dress with embroidered lace by By Lady Kristin. See it here.
Lace is an extremely popular fabric that’s found in almost every single wedding dress out there. The reason for its popularity is because this fabric is feminine, romantic and works well with most body shapes. It also has a vintage feel to it.
Available in many patterns, weights and textures, lace is also usually embellished with pearls, beads or rhinestones. There are several types of lace including:
- Venise Lace: This is a heavier and more textured type of lace, ideal for winter weddings.
- Chantilly Lace: This type of lace is heavily detailed with floral patterns and pronounced borders. It was popular in France back in the 18th century and was named after the city of Chantilly, where it was first designed. Chantilly lace was initially made of black silk threads, but nowadays, it can be found in almost any color.
- Alençon Lace: Named after the city of Alençon in France, this lace is sometimes referred to as the queen of lace. It features outlined floral patterns with corded borders. Some people call it corded lace.
- Guipure Lace: This is a much heavier type of lace in comparison to the others. Unlike the other types, guipure lace doesn’t have a net background. Instead, its elements are connected using braids, which is why it’s so much heavier.
Pros of Using Lace
- Lace has a feminine and romantic aura around it.
- It’s a versatile material and can suit both your wedding gown and evening gown.
- This material is breathable and comfortable to wear.
Cons of Using Lace
- Lace is a very fragile material and can tear easily.
- Because lace can be seen through, you’ll have to line your wedding gown with another material to avoid being exposed.
Wedding dress with organza skirt and lace bodice by Atelier Lucky Dress. See it here.
If you’re planning a summer wedding, you’ll need a dress that’s suitable for warm weather. In this case, consider choosing organza for your gown. Organza, traditionally made from silk, is light and sheer like chiffon, but it’s also more structured.
Organza is quite similar to tulle, which is often used for bridal veils, but is slightly softer. Modern organza fabrics are woven using synthetic fibers such as nylon and polyester.
Pros of Using Organza
- Organza can hold embroidery and accessories such as beads and rhinestones, making it the best choice if you want a heavily embroidered gown.
- It’s lightweight, which makes it easy and comfortable to wear.
- This fabric is also easy to handle since you can launder it at home using domestic laundry products.
Cons of Using Organza
- Organza, like lace, is a very delicate fabric that tears easily.
- Although organza is one of the most comfortable materials for summer wedding dresses, sweat or any other type of fluid leave patches and stains on organza.
- This material easily frazzles when ironed.
Bridal gown with lace bodice and tulle skirt by Piondress Bridal. See it here.
Another common and popular fabric used to make wedding gowns, tulle has an open weave that’s very similar to netting and is made of various types of fibers including nylon, silk, rayon and polyester (the most common fiber used). Tulle is typically used for bridal veils, but is also found in other parts of the wedding gown.
Pros of Using Tulle
- It’s light, airy and ideal for large dresses such as ball gowns.
- It is also comfortable to wear even in layers.
- You can use tulle to make almost any dress design. However, this fabric is best suited for ball gowns since it’s coarse and voluminous.
Cons of Usings Tulle
- It’s one of the most delicate fabrics to work with because it rips and tears easily.
- Tulle is not recommended if you plan on having an outdoor wedding. This is because it tends to hold on to dirt and other debris like leaves, grass and twigs.
- This fabric can cause itchiness. To avoid this, have your tailor line your dress with another comfortable fabric so that the tulle won’t come into contact with your skin
Off-shoulder satin ballgown by Amber Bride Store. See it here.
Many people think that satin is a type of fibrous cloth, but it can actually be made of polyester, silk or a combination of both. Satin is a highly versatile and commonly used fabric for wedding dresses, popular for its durability and smooth finish. Since the material has a lot of body and is a ‘supportive’ fabric, it’s more suitable for structured wedding dresses.
Satin is a fairly thick fabric, which makes it ideal for weddings held in the cooler seasons. There are several types of satin, including charmeuse and duchess satin which is the best for winter or cool weather weddings.
Pros of Using Satin
- Satin is a wrinkle-resistant fabric. The thicker it is, the less wrinkles it’ll have.
- It’s very durable unlike many other materials used for wedding gowns.
- It’s a very comfortable material which feels luxurious and soft.
- Since satin is a supportive fabric, it works well with all body types and is perfect for draped, ruched and ballgown style dresses.
Cons of Using Satin
- Satin can snag easily, so you’ll have to be mindful of your jewelry or anything else that can damage your satin dress.
- This material is very soft and slippery which makes it difficult to sew.
Modest crepe wedding dress by Unona Shop. See it here.
Crepe is another extremely popular wedding dress fabric because of its unique, rippling texture. The fabric is synthetic, silk or wool and has a very beautiful, flowing appearance. It can be any weight, but is typically lightweight to mid-weight.
Crepe is most commonly used for fit-and-flare or sheath wedding dresses and because of its sleek look, it’s also much sought after for minimalist gowns. It looks gorgeous on its own, but you can always add little details like buttons, bows and embroidery to turn it into a statement piece. Since it clings to the body, crepe is an excellent fabric for brides looking to flaunt their curves.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this fabric for your wedding dress.
Pros of Using Crepe
- Crepe is light and comfortable.
- It’s perfect for modern and minimalist wedding dress styles.
- Crepe looks great on its own, even without any embellishments.
- This is an easy material to alter.
Cons of Using Crepe
- Crepe tends to show the textures, lines and imperfections underneath it very easily. If you’re choosing crepe for your wedding dress, you’ll need to choose your undergarments very carefully.
- It’s not a good option for structured dresses.
Choosing the right fabric for your wedding gown is something that you’ll need to consider carefully. The wrong fabric can spoil the entire look of your dress and may not be as comfortable as you need it to be.
To avoid any unnecessary problems with your dress, talk to your dressmaker, who’ll be able to give you some important advice. Make sure to choose something you like, but don’t forget to take your comfort into consideration as well.