© BRIDE by Natasha Jane 2011-
Choosing a wedding dress is about so much more than style, shape and season; the fabric is also a vitally important element. The same dress made up in two totally different fabrics will create two totally different moods, whilst two fabrics that have the same weight and drapability allow a designer to offer a price-
Fashions in bridal fabrics change, but do so less abruptly than is evident in the high fashion arena. In bridal, it is evolution rather than revolution, though there is often a peak of interest when a celebrity bride opts for a particular fabric and other brides and designers decide to incorporate elements of that column-
Of course bridal gowns can be made in any fabric, from opulent silks to embroidered cottons to linen (the bridal fabric in Mexico), and each one is suitable for a different style of wedding and different style of bride! Kate Moss chose silk for her gorgeous and totally distinctive bias-
In this guide, we look at the most popular fabrics used in bridal today.........either on its own or blended with other materials – is the basis for many fabrics.
Silk and lace are among the most characteristic bridal fabrics -
Silk was first developed in China more than 4,000 years ago and is made from the cocoons of silkworms. Silk threads are extremely fine and are often woven to create other fabrics from the heavy, luxurious duchess satin to the lighter, more gauze-
Duchess Satin can be made from silk or, more economically, from a blend of silk and man-
Crepe has a ‘crinkly’ texture and is usually made from a blend of silk and man-
Taffeta is a heavy, crisp fabric with a polished or glassy finish, which rustles as it moves. It is made from silk or a silk mix. A taffeta dress will always make an impact and the fabric is first choice for ‘big’ dresses and structured styles. Full-
Italian Satin is manufactured to offer a different texture and quality and is made of a blend of silk and man-
Silk Dupion is a textured fabric with ‘slubs’ in the weave -
Silk Mikado is a blended silk fabric which has a crisp, elegant look and is normally rather heavier than 100% silk. It has a special weave designed to catch the light and as it is quite stiff, it works well for modern, structured gowns whether shorter or full-
For the bride who is looking for something ethereal and romantic, especially for a late Spring or Summer wedding, there is a wide choice of light, floaty silk-
Georgette, for example, is made from sheer silk or man-
Organza, like georgette and chiffon, is a sheer fabric made from silk or a mixture of silk and man-
Chiffon is a very sheer and fine fabric and a popular choice for tradition-
Tulle is another fabric which is traditionally associated with weddings, as well as ballet tutus! Because it is available in various weights it can be highly versatile. Made from silk or silk mix, it is woven into a very fine net, looser than netting but stiffer than chiffon, so works well in a dress which needs a bouffant look. Ballgown-
Velvet, the perfect fabric for a winter wedding, is available in several different thicknesses and can also be embossed or patterned for the bride who is looking for something different. Velvet can be made from silk, cotton or man-
Moving on to lace, this is a fabric that received a huge boost in popularity when details of the Duchess of Cambridge’s Sarah Burton-
Alencon Lace, first made in the town of that name in France in the 16th century, is a fine needlepoint lace with a floral design, usually on a sheer net background, making it perfect for veil trims, and layering on a gown.
Brussels Lace is another bobbin lace which is often seen in heirloom and antique bridal veils; less often on dresses. Chantilly lace (which was combined with hand-
Corded Lace came originally from Alencon in Northern France. In this type of lace details are often outlined in heavier thread or cord to produce an ornate pattern and give a three-
Guipure Lace is a needlepoint lace made with a heavy buttonhole machine stitch on a coarse mesh net, which produces a strong fabric that does not fray. It usually consists of a continuous motif in a floral or geometric design, and is robust enough to incorporate into a bodice or skirt.
Laser Lace is a newcomer and can be very striking. Satin fabrics are cut into shape using a laser, and then embroidered onto different fabrics.
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