Saturday, April 4, 2009


Shopping for your wedding dress is so exciting, it can also be tiring and frustrating. There are so many fabrics, so many styles, and so many choices. I am going to try and explain a few of these things so it is less confusing.

Here are the most common fabrics you will try on.
Taffeta: A lightweight crisp material. It has a lustrous, smooth finish. It can be plain or finely ribbed. Paper taffeta is crisp, almost crunchy; it makes a really great swooshing sound. Tissue taffeta is thin, almost transparent. Usually used as an overlay. Taffeta is made of silk, cotton, rayon, and synthetics.

Shantung: It has a plain weave, usually very rough with a random pattern. It has a nubby texture produced by weaving uneven fabrics together. It is made of silk or synthetics.

Duchesse Satin: A good winter fabric. Lightweight, glossy, has a sort of antique sheen. It is made of silk or rayon. Silk-faced satin is heavier than duchess satin but with the same appearance.

Organza: I always confuse organza and taffeta. Organza is crisp, sheer, very lightweight. It has a stiff texture. It has a really pretty luster.

Point d’esprit: Sheer, almost transparent cotton. It has dots on in which are woven into a pattern.

Net: It is a heavyweight mesh like wave. There are 3 types of net:
Maline: very fine variation
Marquisette: Soft, transparent, weightless
Tulle: Hexagonal holes. Made of silk, rayon, and nylon.
Most veils are made of nylon netting.

Chiffon: Soft, light, transparent. Simple weave out of silk, cotton, rayon and synthetics.

Eyelet: Great spring or summer fabric. Cotton or linen fabric with open work pattern of round holes. Finished at edges with embroidery.

Georgette: Sheer, lightweight crepe with a dull texture.

Satin: Densely woven, smooth, unbroken surface. Lustrous on one side matte on the other. Made of silk rayon and blends. Satin is your basic shiny wedding dress fabric. It is very classic.

Crepe: Great summer fabric. Soft, light, thin. It has a crinkled or ridged texture. There are 3 types of crepe fabric-
Crepe charmeuse: pebbly texture that lays flat and clings
Crepe de chine: Informal, good for fall or winter
Four ply crepe: Heavier than crepe de chine but has a flat texture. No luster, also good for fall or winter.

Linen: This is such a great fabric for beach weddings or informal summer or spring weddings. It is crisp and lightweight.

Now I don’t expect that after reading these definitions you will be able to name every fabric you see in a bridal salon. These are also not the only fabrics you will try on but these are a few of the most common. I think it is important to know what sort of fabric you want, and you may not know until you see them on but this is a good place to start, or to come after you have been shopping to be able to compare the fabrics you tried on during the day.

Some interesting facts about wedding gowns:

Woman in Japan have always married in white but other brides did not take this tradition until the late 18th century. Until then brides either wore their “Sunday best” or married in blue.
White was put in the etiquette books as the new trend in 1860 after Queen Victoria wore white. She was the first royal bride not to where the heavily brocaded silver gown. Since then white has been the color of choice for the wedding dress.

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