OCT 26, 2015

Traditional Fabrics Used For Wedding Dresses

Satin, tulle, silk, charmeuse, Chantilly....when you start shopping for your wedding dress, you will hear the names of countless fabrics. Unless you work regularly with fabrics as a seamstress or designer, however, you’re unlikely to have the best idea about wedding dress fabrics. By knowing the characteristics of various fabrics, you can be more informed when choosing your dream dress, already having some sort of idea about how the dress will move and fall when worn.


Lace comes in an amazing variety of styles, usually names after the city in which it was made. It’s often used for detailing or as an overlay. The most popular laces used in wedding dresses include:

  • Venise: a heavier and textured lace, perfect for winter weddings
  • Alençon: featuring bold motifs on net, and trimmed with cord
  • Chantilly: an open lace, extremely detailed and with a defined border

As with tulle, the open weave of lace means it’s easy to snag.


Tulle is a sheer fabric with an open weave, making it look like netting. It’s also the fabric that ballerinas’ tutus are made from. It’s an immensely delicate fabric, prone to snagging, but can incorporate lace designs well. Ball gown style wedding dresses made with tulle will have a light, delicate and translucent look, great for a whimsical, romantic look.


Chiffon is a light woven fabric, very sheer and lightweight. It’s often used in layers or as an overlay to heavier fabrics due to the sheerness of the fabric. It can fray and snag easily, but offers a delicate and weightless look.


Organza is a sheer, lightweight fabric like chiffon, but is far stiffer. Whilst chiffon offers the wearer an elegant drape of fabric, organza offers the addition of more structure, making it the ideal fabric for weddings in warmer months. Like chiffon, this fabric can easily fray and snag.


Satin is perfect for structured gowns, with a smooth finish and a lot of body to it. It works well with every body shape, and can be ruched and draped to great effect, as well as working well for ball gown style dresses, making it one of the most versatile and durable of bridal fabrics. Most bridal satins will be 100% silk, and because it’s a thicker fabric, it’s perfect for autumn and winter weddings, in particular, duchess satin.


Charmeuse can be made from either silk or synthetic materials. It’s characterised by a glossy sheen and a beautiful drape. This light, rich fabric has a breathtaking slinky liquid effect, but isn’t very forgiving. It is often cut diagonally across the grain to encourage a drape and used in column dresses. Be warned, however, as charmeuse will show every flaw.

Created on 26th October 2015
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