The fabric of a wedding dress is important to the shape and fit of the wedding gown. Knowing the difference between bridal fabric types helps a bride look her best.
Wedding dresses are available in a variety of styles and silhouettes, with the choice of bridal fabric playing a big part in the way a dress looks and feels.
Structured and Soft Bridal Fabric
When it comes to differentiating between the various bridal fabrics, there are two major categories: structured bridal fabric and soft bridal fabric. Each type plays an important part in wedding fashion.
Many wedding gowns are made with a combination of fabrics, using the stronger structured fabric for areas like a detailed bodice or an underskirt. Soft fabrics add an air of romance to a wedding gown, setting the stage for elaborate bridal accessories.
Satin Bridal Fabric
One of the most popular bridal fabrics on the market, satin falls into the structured material category. Sometimes referred to as “Duchess satin,” its full body allows it to remain in place as it is draped, and is ideal for almost any silhouette of wedding dress. Satin looks beautiful either plain or adorned with lace, and is suitable for semi-formal weddings as well as formal ceremonies.
Silk Taffeta and Taffeta Blend Wedding Fabric
Similar to bridal fabric in the satin family, silk taffeta and taffeta blend fabrics are elegant and versatile. Available in a variety of textures and weights, taffeta is often gathered when used in wedding dresses. Some taffeta has a strong shine, which may make it difficult to photograph. The various weaves of taffeta can also create a rustling noise during movement, so brides who would find that extra sound annoying should avoid this fabric.
Organza Bridal Fabric
A structured fabric that sits nicely in between the heavy satin and the airy taffeta is organza. A versatile fabric, organza looks clean and contemporary when left without embellishments, or classic and youthful when beaded or adorned with lace. Organza is easily paired with other fabrics in a wedding dress, and looks lovely with a variety of laces.
Silk Charmeuse in Wedding Dresses
One of the most luxurious wedding dress fabrics, silk charmeuse is a glamorous and decadent choice for a soft bridal fabric. Silk charmeuse is rich with shine, and a fabric that is designed to grab attention. As such, this fabric shows every detail of the body, and may not be suitable for brides who are concerned with the shape of their figure. The shiny luster of silk charmeuse makes this fabric best for brides who prefer to keep wedding accessories to a minimum.
Georgette Bridal Fabric
Sheer and seductive, georgette bridal fabric is often used for dresses that feature excessive draping. The ethereal fabric can be used for skirt overlays, train attachments, or body-skimming designs. Because this soft fabric is so sheer, it must be lined if used as the dominant fabric of the wedding gown.
Chiffon Wedding Fabric
Many weights and finishes are available in choosing chiffon for a bridal fabric. Often used as a skirt overlay or in lightweight, simple gowns, chiffon is deal for late afternoon or evening ceremonies. Again, because this fabric is entirely see-through, a lining is necessary when wearing a chiffon wedding dress.
Beyond these basic wedding gown fabrics, wedding dresses today are created from every fabric imaginable. Velvet, matte jersey, tulle, brocade, and even biodegradable cottons are used to create wedding gowns. When looking to choose the right fabric for her gown, a bride should consider the formality of the event, as well as her own personal comfort within the fabric. With a little extra consideration she can choose a gown that is right for her taste, and her comfort level.