Brocade, chiffon, organza—oh my! If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the many different wedding dress fabrics, you’re not alone. There are dozens of different materials being used. Unless you’ve spent years studying clothing and design, you’re probably unfamiliar with many of them. Not to fear. We’re here to make it easier to understand the fabrics you encounter when shopping for wedding dresses. With our help, you’ll find the perfect dress with the right material for the occasion. To get you started, we’ve narrowed down a few of the most popular fabrics currently being used to design wedding gowns.
This may seem like a new term, but chances are you’d recognize brocade if you saw it. It’s an elegant, heavy fabric that’s often used to design dresses for the fall and winter wedding season. Brocade is derived from either silk or synthetic fibers. What sets this stunning fabric apart from the rest is that it’s woven with raised Jacquard designs. While it is a stiffer fabric, it’s breathtaking when the light hits it. You’ll typically find brocade in more structured gowns. It’s a great choice for weddings with a more elegant, formal theme.
The name itself is a delight to say and even better to behold. Charmeuse is a lightweight fabric that was named after the French word for “charming.” To the touch, charmeuse feels very similar to satin. To many, it looks like satin too. While one side of the fabric is glossy, the other side is matte. You’ll often find charmeuse on gowns with an empire waist or with flowy skirts.
Chiffon is one of the most popular materials used when designing wedding gowns. It’s a transparent, weightless fabric that is often used on sleeves, veils, and skirts. Typically, chiffon is used in conjunction with another fabric, especially when adding volume to a train. While it’s beautiful, chiffon is easily torn and snagged. If choosing a gown adorned with chiffon, make sure that it’s properly protected to prevent fraying.
Finally, a recognizable name! There can never be too much of this tried-and-true classic. Whether you’re choosing a dropped waist, Chantilly lace gown, or a heavier Venice lace, this is a very delicate fabric. Lace is very rarely used on its own simply because it’s difficult to work with without the support of another material. When looking at dresses embellished with lace, inspect the secondary fabric that’s underneath. This fabric should be strong enough to protect the stitching between the two. If it’s also delicate, your gown could rip or become damaged easily.
Think of organza as chiffon’s sister. While it’s full and beautiful, just like chiffon, it has a personality all its own. Organza is sheer but also stiff. Depending on the design, it may even resemble tulle. Organza is often used to create couture gowns and is ideal for overskirts, overlays, and detailing. It adds structure and interest without bulk.
You’ll know a taffeta gown when you hear it. This ultra-luxurious fabric is known for its rustling sound. Made from synthetic and silk fibers, it’s the perfect combination of soft and structure. While shiny, it’s not as relaxed as silk or satin, making it ideal for A-line gowns. However, it can also make the perfect material for a more form fitting gown as well. Due to its versatility and glamour, taffeta is a wedding fabric that will always be in style.
How to Choose a Fabric
While there are dozens more, this gives you a taste of the different wedding dress fabrics available. Now, it’s time to figure out what type of material is best for you. Depending on the season that you’ll be married in and the venue where the event will be held, there may be a certain type of fabric that’s best for your dress. For example, a sheer organza dress may not be the best option for an outdoor wedding in the snow. Brocade, however, may be an excellent choice. You also need to determine how much movement you’ll be doing in your dress. If you’re planning to dance the night away, a heavy material may be too much on your big day. You could choose a lighter fabric or an overskirt to ensure that you get the look that you want.
In the end, the fabric you choose for your wedding dress is a matter of preference. You’ll find dozens of different styles in silks, satins, and more. Make the decision based on what looks the best to you and which fabric will allow you to fully enjoy the happiest day of your life.