Picking the Perfect Fabric for Your Wedding Gown (with Videos!)
Picking the perfect wedding gown goes beyond just running a quick style analysis. It is about considering what exactly the gown is made of. Your gown’s fabric will determine how it looks and feels, how much it costs, and how it impacts your overall silhouette.
When choosing the right fabric, think about what you love. Do you like the idea of smooth and flowy fabrics? Do you prefer something more crisp, stiff, and formal? Do intricate lace details look beautiful on you? Do you oscillate towards fabrics that offer high comfort levels?
Once you narrow down on the fabric, it becomes endlessly easier to find the right wedding gown style. Here, we deep dive into different types of fabrics to help you find the wedding dress of your dreams!
Important Elements that Make Up a Wedding Dress
Every fabric type comes with its own structure, weight, and finish. Here’s how these elements influence important areas of your wedding gown.
Your gown’s fabric structure will determine how well your dress holds its shape. Some fabrics are flowy and loose, whereas others can hold a specific shape.
Fabric weight relates to how light or heavy the fabric is. Fabric weight is determined by factors like fabric thickness, material, and weave. Lighter fabrics are cooler and perfect for summer weddings, whereas heavier fabrics are great for winter weddings because they trap more heat.
Fabric finish describes the visual aesthetics of your wedding dress fabric. Two of the most common finishes include matte or sheen. Pattern, texture, and weave may also contribute to the finish of your fabric.
Common Wedding Dress Fabrics (Plus Their Pros and Cons)
Six of the most common wedding dress fabrics (along with their pros and cons) include:
If you prefer a dreamlike, ethereal look for your big day, tulle can be a great choice. This netting fabric can enhance a tea-length gown with a unique and flirty look. You can even add a tulle skirt underlay or overlay if you desire a more dramatic style.
The advantages of tulle wedding dresses include:
- High versatility, making it perfect for outdoor weddings, formal nuptials, or wedding brunches.
- Tulle offers a dreamy wedding look without the heavy price point that silk comes with.
The disadvantages of tulle include:
- It is not the most comfortable fabric. Tulle can be itchy or stiff based on the fabric structure.
Brides love the idea of a silk wedding gown. The reason? Silk offers a romantic look and adds a generous dash of glamor to the attire. Silk is lightweight and breathable, making it super comfy to wear. Silk comes in several weights and varieties. Your silk gown’s weight will typically influence how it feels and its price. For instance, whereas charmeuse (the thicker version) is ideal for cooler weather, habotai (the lighter version) is perfect for warmer weather.
The advantages of wearing a silk wedding gown include:
- High comfort level so you can focus on enjoying your big day instead of getting weighed down by your dress.
- Silk doesn’t wrinkle or crease, so you can look flawless throughout your big day.
- Offers a classy look so you can stand out from the crowd.
The only disadvantage of getting a silk gown is that it comes with a higher price tag.
Organza is crafted from the sheer material. It is lightweight and airy but stiffer than chiffon. This makes the fabric versatile enough to be woven into high-end gowns.
What you’ll love about organza:
- Lightweight and breathable
- Can be worn alone or in layers
- Versatile and can be dressed up or down
The only disadvantage Organza has is that it is less sturdy (and more delicate) than other fabrics.
Lace adds a sophisticated and romantic look to your bridal attire. It can fill a seemingly simple silhouette with beautiful, intricate designs. From rustic-themed weddings to formal wedding events, lace gowns can be customized to look gorgeous for just about any wedding type or theme.
The advantages of lace include:
- Comes in an endless variety to blend with most wedding themes.
- Offers a fresh, sophisticated look without looking too avant-garde.
Just like silk wedding gowns, luxury lace dresses can end up breaking the bank.
If you love a sleek, smooth, and sophisticated wedding dress, satin is your best bet. Aside from its elegance, many brides choose satin dresses for their high-shine finish.
Satin is not an actual fabric. It is a type of finish that is crafted from polyester, silk, or a combination of the two. Satin is smooth and versatile and can be molded into a variety of wedding gown styles.
The advantages of a satin gown include:
- This plush fabric is more affordable than other luxurious fabrics like silk.
- It is super durable and doesn’t succumb easily to wear and tear.
- Satin offers a shiny finish that sets you apart from the crowd.
Because satin is more structured, it may not be a great choice for casual wedding themes.
Watch this video to see some Satin wedding dresses:
Due to its lightness, chiffon adds dream-like effects to a wedding gown. However, the fabric can only be used in combination with other sturdier materials. Bits of chiffon help add a gorgeous flow and texture to gowns. This addition makes a gown look sensual and graceful. For added dimension and texture, designers often include appliques in chiffon gowns.
The advantages of chiffon include:
- Because it is sheer and lightweight, chiffon blends with any wedding silhouette.
- Suitable for both summer and winter weddings.
Higher fragility is the only disadvantage of chiffon. Chiffon isn’t as durable as other fabrics and cannot sustain heavy embellishments.
Watch this video to see a wedding dress from chiffon:
The Best Fabrics for Different Wedding Seasons
The following are the best fabric types for winter and summer weddings:
- Satin. It has a heavier fabric weight and comes with a flawless structure so you can transform into the star of your winter wedding.
- Jersey. This fabric’s medium-to-heavy weight and matte finish make it a great choice for winter or fall weddings.
- Crepe. Available in both heavy and lightweight versions, crepe makes for a breathtaking winter gown, especially when blended with a beaded bodice.
- Mikado. With a perfect fabric structure, this heavy-weight fabric creates a royal and bold wedding look.
- Lace. It is not only versatile but also feels comfortable in every outdoor setting.
- Organza. The airiness and lightweight of the organza make it perfect for summer weddings.
- Charmeuse. If your summer wedding demands a slinky, dreamlike look, charmeuse is the perfect choice.
- Chiffon. It is flowy and lightweight, making it an ideal choice for summer weddings by the beach.
Watch this video to learn more about the best fabrics for summer:
Picking the Perfect Fabric for Your Big Day!
With your fabric conundrum now resolved, it’s time to kickstart your wedding dress shopping! Be sure to consider fabric structure, weight, and finish, along with the season of your wedding to find the perfect dress.