Wedding dresses are certainly a category of their own relating to wedding dress fabric types that are most commonly used. This article provides a brief description of many of the different types of fabrics that are commonly used for making wedding dresses of assorted styles as well as many of the traditional types. Many common wedding dress fabrics include the following seven materials: satin, charmeuse, silk, chiffon, organza, tulle, and lace. Other less common types of fabrics that have also been used as wedding gown fabrics include taffeta, georgette, rayon, organdy, brocade, voile, and crepe and are also briefly discussed.
In addition to a detailed discussion of the different types of fabrics that are used to make wedding dresses, this article briefly describes many of the accessories that are used with wedding gowns such as wedding veils, headpieces, bridal jewelry, gloves, inexpensive wedding bands, precious wedding bands, and handbags. Also, important items related to weddings in general are also discussed such as wedding invitations, stationery, note cards, wedding favors, wedding labels, coasters, wedding napkins, free universal wedding registry, and wedding website. Last but not least, important legal matters associated with the wedding such as the name-changing ritual and the prenuptial agreement will be briefly introduced.
Seven Most Common Wedding Dress Fabric Types
Satin is not actually a fiber, but is a finish. Satin can be made out of pure silk, all synthetic polyester, or a blend of silk and synthetic polyester. This is also true for lace, tulle and most other fabrics. Fabrics made from natural fibers such as silk generally breathe better, but they can also be more expensive or wrinkle more easily. To cut down on the costs of the wedding gowns as well as reduce the amount of wrinkling, many kinds of blends of pure and synthetic fibers as well as synthetic fabrics are typically used.
Satin is one of the most common, most durable, and most versatile wedding dress fabrics with a smooth finish and a lot of body making it perfect for more structured gowns. It’s a supportive fabric that works with all body types such as apple, banana, pear, and hourglass and is good for hiding flaws in the body and is a good choice for ruched, draped, and ball wedding gown styles.
Also, satin tends to be a thicker fabric making it a good choice for weddings in the fall and winter where there is cooler weather. This is especially true of the duchess satin type of fabric material. Most bridal satin gowns tend to be made of 100% silk.
There are several types of satin that are used for making wedding dresses such as the following:
Charmeuse: A type of satin that is discussed in detail in the next section as a common wedding dress material
Crepe-back: Reversible fabric in which the front side is a satin finish and the back side is matte crepe finish making it a very versatile fabric
Duchess: Heavy, stiff, low luster satin that is also known as Lamour Satin or Mystique Satin which holds its shape well and is dyed in solid colors
Lucent: Shiny, high luster, shimmering double faced sateen weave with a slippery surface
Messaline: A soft, high luster, and lightweight dress fabric with a satin weave that is normally made from rayon or silk
Panne: a silk or manmade satin fabric with a stiff finish that has a super high luster due to the use of heated roller pressure
Slipper: a strong, stiff, lightweight satin with high luster and a matte surface and a cotton reverse side
Silk is the most popular choice among brides for their wedding gowns and gives the romantic and glamorous look, but one factor that play a role in whether silk wedding dresses are chosen is its cost. Silk is also used to make other kinds of fabrics that are also used to make wedding dresses such as organza, satin, tulle, chiffon, and charmeuse. A 100% silk wedding gown is rare and expensive. It is usually blended with rayon, polyester, or nylon to lower its overall cost.
Charmeuse is a rich and light fabric with a great drape and a glossy sheen. It is typically made of silk, but sometimes is also made from synthetic fibers such as polyester and rayon. It is most often cut on diagonally across the grain to encourage its great drape and commonly used in column dresses. While using charmeuse fabric is incredibly luxurious, it shows every flaw in a person’s body and is not suitable for all women’s body types. Many women prefer to use other types of fabric materials for their wedding gowns since they are more forgiving of the flaws in your body.
Check out this gallery and reviews of many popular and stylish wedding dresses made out of charmeuse.
There are a few types of silk charmeuse that are used to make a variety of different wedding dresses such as the following:
Stretch Silk Charmeuse has similar sheen and softness compared to that of traditional charmeuse but contains an additional 5% spandex to make it a little stretchy and more comfortable clothing for people to wear.
Sand washed Charmeuse has the shiny side of the fabric abraded to tone down the sheen compared to that of traditional charmeuse and make it more subtle resulting it being more soft than satin.
Chiffon is a light woven fabric that is very lightweight and sheer. Many times it is used in layers or as an overlay for a more substantial type of fabric due to its very sheer nature. This delicate fabric has a weightless and floaty look, but it does fray and snag easily which can be a disadvantage when you are wearing jewelry or if your dress hits some rough or sharp surfaces.
Check out this gallery and reviews of many popular and stylish wedding dresses made out of chiffon.
Lace is one of the most common wedding dress materials that adds so much grace and elegance to any wedding gown. It is most often used as an overlay or detail and it comes in an astonishing wide variety of styles. The open weave of lace makes it susceptible to snags which can be a disadvantage when wearing jewelry or exposed to rough or sharp surfaces.
A few examples of the more popular varieties of lace include the following:
- Knit: a soft lace that lacks a tulle back which is very flexible and contours around the body easily
- Guipure: also referred to as Venetian lace and is a firm, stiff lace without a net background
- Embroidered lace: involves stiching delicate patterns into an illusion base and creates depth and dimension
- Chantilly: a very detailed, open lace with a well-defined and elegant border and has a fine ground, outline pattern, and abundant detail
- Brocade: is a type of shuttle-woven fabric with or without gold or silver threads
- Alençon: a type of needlepoint lace featuring bold motifs on the net, and trimmed with cord and usually has floral designs on a sheer or net background
- Venise: a heavier and more textured lace typically used in colder weddings in the winter
- Eyelet: a simple fabric that is made to be sophisticated with a vintage aesthetic
Organza is a lightweight woven fabric that is sheer and is traditionally made from silk. Organza is much stiffer than chiffon and does not drape and is actually much more structured while still being light and ethereal. As a result, it is perfect for warmer weather weddings in the spring and summer. It is also a very delicate fabric, so snags and pulls are common when wearing jewelry or being exposed to other types of sharp or rough surfaces.
Check out this gallery and reviews of many popular and stylish wedding dresses made out of organza.
Tulle is sheer with open weave that looks like netting and the fabric commonly incorporate lace designs as well. A ballgown style made of tulle will have an airy feeling, but ruching it will give it more structure. There are a wide variety of wedding dresses made out of tulle fabric in many different wedding dress styles such as ballgown, A-line, fit and flare, mermaid, and sheath.
It is worth keeping in mind that tulle is an incredibly delicate fabric which can be easily snagged on jewelry or other rough or sharp surfaces. However, if good care is taken, it can last for a long time.
Other Less Common Wedding Dress Fabric Types
Georgette is a sheer, light, and floaty fabric that is often used for wedding dress overlays and wedding dress train embellishments. This is used to soften the overall silhouette of the dress. It is usually spun from polyester or silk and has a crepe surface. Its soft silhouette makes it a perfect choice to be the top layer in a wedding dress.
Crepe is made out of soft silk or lightweight rayon and is suitable for making wedding dresses with softer silhouettes since it is gauzy and crinkled.
Taffeta is a slight sheen fabric that is similar to satin, but is lighter, smooth and crisp. It rustles when you move and is suitable for ballgown wedding gowns and those with a full skirt. It is made of silk or synthetic fibers. The quality of the taffeta fabric is determined by how thick it is. It is suitable for a wedding anytime of the year and tends to appear iridescent due to the weaving process associated with the fabric.
Brocade can be made from either silk or synthetic fibers and has raised designs (jacquard) that are woven into the fabric. The material is stiff, but lighter than satin and full of body. It is a great choice for a fall or winter wedding.
Rayon is another smooth fabric like silk and is also more elastic and affordable than silk. It is very suitable for a summer wedding since it is very breathable and lightweight. One disadvantage of using rayon as the wedding dress fabric is that it does wrinkle easily.
Voile is a wedding dress fabric that is made out of cotton or wool and is a lightweight and breathable fabric. It is semi-transparent and has a casual look which is perfect for informal types of weddings.
Polyester is an inexpensive fiber that can be very easily woven into any fabric. For wedding dresses, polyester satin is used as an alternative to silk since it is more wrinkle-resistant and less delicate.
Accessories for Your Wedding Gown
- Photo gallery and reviews of wedding shoes
- Photo gallery and reviews of wedding handbags and clutches
- Photo gallery and reviews of bridal jewelry
- Photo Gallery and reviews of inexpensive wedding bands and precious wedding bands
- Photo gallery and reviews of wedding veils
- Photo gallery and reviews of wedding gloves
Important Wedding Related Items
- Wedding Invitations
- Wedding Favors, Coasters, and Labels
- Wedding Stationery, Napkins, and Notecards
- Wedding Website
- Free Universal Wedding Registry
Important Legal Matters
Feel free to leave any comments or questions below about different kinds of wedding dress fabrics and I will get back to you soon!