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Category Archives: Wedding Dress Fabrics

Eight Wedding Dress Fabrics

The hunt for a wedding gown usually starts online with Pinterest, designer websites, Google searches… and chances are good you are saving different styles. Chances are also good that you have different fabrics, too.

Do you know what is better for warm weather or what keeps that ball gown skirt fluffed to the max? Do you wonder about which wedding dress fabrics will show off what you love and hide what you don’t?

Let’s get into it and talk about eight common wedding dress fabrics: crepe, chiffon, satin, charmeuse, organza, silk, tulle, and English net.

CREPE

This is a crepe fabric wedding dress is made by Australian wedding dress designer Madi Lane Bridal.  This dress is called Fallon.
Madi Lane Fallon dress in crepe fabric

Crepe is a beautiful and formfitting fabric. It is very clean, has a matte finish (not shiny) and is very easy and comfortable to wear. There are very few if any embellishments on most crepe dresses, aside from perhaps a detachable train or a hint of lace here or there. It may have a lace or beaded bodice with a plain crepe skirt. The most common embellishment on a full crepe dress would be buttons down the back. It will stretch with you as you move, dance, or sit, but it definitely clings.

CHIFFON

Morilee by Madeline Gardner makes this chiffon fabric wedding dress.  The dress is shown in ivory and is called Raelynn.
Morilee Raelynn dress in chiffon fabric

Chiffon is a wonderful choice for a warm wedding setting. It is lightweight and very flowy, with a clean look that falls beautifully. It does not cling and is a popular choice for those who want to dance the night away. Chiffon can have embellishments such as beading or lace, usually at the bottom back of the train, however, many chiffon dresses have a more embellished bodice and a plain chiffon skirt as shown in the photo above. While chiffon can wrinkle if left in the dress bag, a quick steam out does the trick and you will be good all day!

SATIN

Casablanca Bridal designed and made this wedding dress.  The beautiful ivory dress is made with embellished satin and shows ornate details from the bodice to the train.
Casablanca dress 2055 in embellished satin

Satin has a shine to it making it a more formal fabric. It is heavier than other plain fabrics, and is often embellished with beading, embroidery, or both. Many ball gowns are made in a satin fabric due to the formality of that shape. Because it is a thicker fabric, it will hold a full skirt easily over a crinoline underneath. Satin is a good choice if you are having a very formal wedding and/or a winter wedding. It does have a tendency to wrinkle, but a press out will make it perfect. Because of the heaviness, it is a wonderful choice if you want to really cinch in the bodice

CHARMEUSE

Madi Lane Bridal charmeuse fabric wedding dress is dreamy with floral patterns all over, even on the detachable sleeves.  Elora is the name of this bridal gown and very popular for outdoor weddings.
Elora by Madi Lane in charmeuse with sheer overlay

Charmeuse is a middle ground between chiffon and satin. It is very soft like chiffon, but has a shine like satin. It gives a little formality to what may otherwise look like a less formal dress. Usually there is a sheer tulle layer over the charmeuse adding a pretty, more voluminous bridal affect. The shine of the charmeuse fabric underneath creates a depth and sets off the lace in front beautifully. This is a very comfortable fabric, and works perfectly if you prefer a little shine but do not want the stiffness of satin.

ORGANZA

This wedding dress by designer Stella York is a mermaid dress with an organza tiered skirt.  This is a very fitted and ornate top with a full and fluffy skirt.
Stella York mermaid dress with an organza tiered skirt

Organza is a softer version of tulle, made from silk so still keeps a good shape, very light and airy. Many tiered skirts are made of organza because of the beautiful way it falls, often given volume and waves by adding a thick horsehair edge. Because it is so light, it is very difficult to embellish without causing damage. Mostly wrinkle free, easy to steam.

SILK

A pure ivory silk dupioni dress made by wedding dress designer Justin Alexander.
A silk dupioni dress by Justin Alexander

Silk is a very tightly woven fabric and that gives it a beautiful, glimmering effect. Silk dresses rarely have embellishments aside from buttons and bows. There are different types of silks, such as dupioni, mikado, and shantung, and all are produced from natural fibers. Silk has the same luster and is as thickness as satin, however satin is a man-made fabric and costs much less than silk. Very rich with a classic, beautiful fit.

TULLE

This Blue by Enzoani wedding dress has layers of tulle with lace appliques.  The dress is called Natsuko.
Natsuko by Enzoani has layers of tulle with lace appliques

Tulle is a mesh fabric, made mainly from a silk-rayon combination that gives it a lightweight airiness with the strength to add lace or beaded embellishments. Tulle is typically layered over itself or over other fabrics due to its transparency and is one of the most widely used wedding dress fabrics. Most veils are made of tulle as well.

English Net

This Italian designed wedding dress by designer Eddy K has an English net skirt.
Alana by Eddy K has an English net skirt.

English net is a mesh fabric that is similar to tulle however it is heavier and therefore has a beautiful bridal look. It gives volume without being too wide or puffy, it does a perfect twirl and goes right back to its shape. Softer than tulle as well. A beautiful choice for a warmer, outdoor affair.

We hope this gives you some helpful tips on wedding dress fabrics that may be more appealing to you now that you read about them! Come in and see for yourself the differences, make your appointment here!

Bridal “Research” – How Do We Learn About Dresses?

With so many wedding dresses out in the market, what research do you need to do to learn what distinguishes one from another? Why would one dress be $250 and another dress be $10,000 or more? Here is some information that can help you!

A row of beautiful Ballgowns

As a leading bridal store in the Philadelphia region, we do extensive amounts of research on the designers and the lines that we bring in. A particular designer may design several lines, for instance: we carry the designer Kitty Chen. She designs a line called Couture, another called Ivoire, and she also designs a line called Jessica Morgan. We happen to carry all of the lines, because of the uniqueness and the price points.

It is the same with designer Madeline Gardner, also known as Morilee. She has seven lines for bridal, one dedicated to curvy brides, one is a higher end couture line, another one is a very simple less expensive line.

“The Other White Dress” collection by Madeline Gardner

How do you know what is best for you? How do you know what you need?

It’s not easy – especially when you are all over Pinterest. There are brides who show us their Pinterest board and it’s full of dresses that are way out of budget. They can be very disappointed and confused. Why would a dress that looks so “affordable” be so expensive? And what do we have that looks like that in her price range?

We have also had the opposite. We have had brides try on dresses and fall in love and when they see the price, they think something must be wrong with it. Why would she fall in love with a dress so under budget? As an experiment, we offered a dress to a bride that was exactly what she asked for but was well under budget. She loved it until she saw the price, then she didn’t. She said the fabric “looked like plastic”. We then gave her a dress by a different designer that was over budget – in the exact same fabric. She tried to convince us of how much better the fabric looked then the “cheaper dress”. The only difference was the label inside.

It is similar to purchasing a car. Certain cars, based on the make, will be more expensive than others. I think it is safe to say most people know a certain make of car will be more expensive than others. They both do the same thing and they have the same main parts, but one goes a little farther for the luxury. If you are not knowledgeable about cars, you could just go and pick out the one you like best based on the look. When you find out the price is usually when you would decide yes or no.

A great choice if you love the look of satin but have a wedding in a warmer location or in the summer months

Now picture shopping for your wedding dress in the same way. If you don’t have a budget, you will find the prettiest ones, try them on, and make your decision. What makes one dress cost more than another would be the same concept, that is mainly the name of the designer. Other things considered are: the fabrics used, the beading/beadwork, how it is constructed, perhaps additional accessories, etc. The bottom line, however, is the name on the label.

The research that we do allows us to find who we feel are the best designers, in affordable price ranges, who offer a wide range of styles and sizes. In addition, we want to make sure we carry unique designers, not ones that are found in every single store. There is nothing better than when a bride tells us she’s been everywhere and is shown the same dresses over and over. We get to wow the brides, which is really what she is looking for!

Satin and sleeves, perfect for a formal event in chillier months

Research for you should also include thinking about the season of your wedding and the fabric that would make sense. If you are getting married in the winter on the East Coast, a heavier satin, sleeves, or layered lace would be more appropriate than a strapless chiffon for example. If you are getting married on a beach, a heavy satin wouldn’t make any sense, but lightweight chiffon would be perfect!

A lovely fitted lace dress, perfect for an indoor
or outdoor affair

Also the venue makes a difference in what type of dress. A formal church wedding followed by a formal reception would dictate a more formal type dress, rather than if you are getting married outside in the garden in a casual type setting.

Having a budget for your dress will make a big difference in making your choice. You can research various lines and find those in budget that have styles you love. If you are a bargain hunter, you can always look for sample sales which is when the dress in the store is marked way down for a faster sale. It is that dress, as is, and has been tried on, but it’s never been worn and you can save a lot of money at a sample sale if that’s your thing! We hold sample sale events several times a year and they are very popular with many brides!

Our dresses new start at $1000 and our selection in various price ranges is outstanding. Make your appointment today to see all that we have to offer!

Three Things To Love About Crepe Wedding Dresses

Whether it’s a body-hugging mermaid or a romantic A-line, crepe dresses are sophisticated and timeless. No doubt you’ve heard about (and pinned) a few dresses in this amazing fabric, so in this blog we will go into more detail.

Crepe is a fabric that was traditionally made from silk or wool which is what gives some their “bumpy” appearance, but can now can be made from almost any fiber. Crepe georgette is very popular in dresses now because the georgette adds elasticity.

Crepe types vary from thin and lightweight to thick and heavyweight. Wedding dresses typically fall somewhere in between. They definitely aren’t thick and heavy because they would lose their beautiful drape and flow, however, they are not thin because then the dress could be somewhat see-through.

Wedding dresses in this fabric are not always lined underneath, but if they are it is usually with a satin or a charmeuse therefore need to have some thickness for proper structure and draping. A little thickness is also what gives crepe our first thing we love:

  1. Hug Those Curves! You work hard to keep that body of yours in shape and it shows at every angle in a dress like Fallon by Madi Lane below, a stunning crepe dress with buttons down the back accentuating the assets! The incredible fit with a little mix of a georgette fabric gives not only the perfect silhouette but also allows the stretch needed to sit, walk, and do those perfect dance moves. Not to mention it will knock your fiance out all night long. FALLON | Madi Lane Bridal
  2. Smooth and Comfortable. Are there any two better adjectives to describe a wedding dress? Besides the ones already used above? Smooth always looks classic and sophisticated, clean and timeless. Comfortable is not always easy to get in a dress. When a dress has lace and/or beading, multiple layers of crinoline, a fitted high structured satin, it can be a long day wearing it. Scratchy, heavy, tight – none of these describe crepe. This fabric is ideal for sensitive skin as well.
  3. The Color. Whether you choose white or ivory, the richness in this fabric is like no other. The whites are clean and bright with none of the “harshness” of other fabrics, the ivories are creamy and warm. Some crepe dresses are only made in one color so ask your consultant if there are swatches.

Here are some other crepe dresses in our store that brides love:

Madi Lane Finley

FINLEY | Madi Lane Bridal
 
FANTASY – Wedding Dresses | Bridal Gowns | KITTYCHEN COUTURE
 
Morilee Saskia
Saskia Wedding Dress | Morilee
 
Madi Lane Ferne
FERNE | Madi Lane Bridal
 
Beloved by Casablanca Honor
Style BL307 Honor | Beloved By Casablanca Bridal
 
Jessica Morgan MARCH, J1990 Wedding Dress | The Knot
Make your appointment here to see these and many more! We can’t wait to meet you!