I am sure that as you’ve begun the hunt for the perfect dresses for your wedding you’ve become a bit overwhelmed with all of the choices. And then within all of those dress choices there are a vast array of fabrics! Knowing the difference among all of the fabrics will really assist you in selecting the dress that is right for your occasion and for the season.
Satin traditionally is one of the more popular bridal fabrics. Satin has a smooth sheen and can be made of silk, polyester or acetate. Satin is a weightier and stiffer fabric and works very well for holding shape for a-line dresses or fuller skirts. Satin tends to be a very formal fabric so it is a good choice for formal or evening weddings. Because of its weight it isn’t always the best choice for outdoor summer weddings.
Chiffon is a sheer fabric. It is lightweight and flowing so it is ideal for summer or beach weddings. Chiffon can also be made of silk or polyester. Because of its sheerness it will be layered over another fabric or lining. Chiffon is a soft, flowy fabric so you’ll tend to find styles with soft gathering creating romantic or Grecian style dresses. Chiffon dress styles tend to work well on different sizes and shapes. Because it is a lightweight fabric it is not the best choice for a winter wedding.
Organza is sheer like chiffon but it is stiff instead of flowy so it gives body to a gown while still allowing movement. It will also have a layer of fabric or lining underneath and can be made of silk or polyester. Organza is a good choice for an elegant summer wedding, but also works well for other seasons.
Taffeta is a crisp and smooth fabric made of silk or synthetic fibers. There are several different types of taffeta from heavier weight options to lighter weight such as tissue taffeta or silky taffeta. The lighter weight taffeta’s have become a very popular bridal fabric. You’ll tend to see many of these styles with ruching and gathering. Many synthetic taffetas have been created to look like silk. The heavier weight taffetas work well for winter weddings and the lighter weight and tissue taffetas are great for all seasons.
Silk shantung and dupioni fabrics are natural fabrics that have a wonderful sheen with a slight nubby texture. Silk shantung tends to be smoother with only a slight texture while dupioni offers more texture and “nubbiness”. Silk absorbs moisture so it is cool in the winter and warm in the summer making it a great fabric choice for any season. It retains its shape, drapes very well and is typically available in many deep and vibrant colors. Silk shantung and dupioni have become very popular bridal fabrics. They are an excellent choice for those wanting the beauty and elegance of a high-quality, natural fabric and for those wanting to wear their dresses again. Silk can tend to be a bit more expensive than other fabrics, but many designers have done a great job of keeping the prices inline with their non-silk counterparts. So if you are on a budget I wouldn’t completely rule out silks. Miss Ruby does offer silk bridesmaid dresses starting at about $198 and bridal gowns for under $1000.
Make sure to keep these fabric tips in mind as you shop for your gown and bridesmaid dresses. It will help you more directly pinpoint the appropriate fabric for your wedding and will make shopping much easier and more fun!