Guess What? You Still Have Another Choice To Make! Dress Fabrics

Fabrics!  How did I skip fabrics?!  Obviously there is something wrong with me.  My apologies if you’ve been keeping an eye out for this.  I’ve had it pretty much ready to go, but kept forgetting to put it in the queue to post.

There are a ton of different fabrics that are used in dresses.  Tons.  There’s no possible way I can cover them all, but I’ll try to at least give you a pretty solid head start.


Chantilly – A fine, mesh lace that typically features floral features outlined in silk threads.  This is the most inexpensive type of lace and is used to provide detail but must be supported on other fabrics due to its fragile nature.

An example of Duchesse lace

Alencon – This is Chantilly lace that has ben re-embroidered to strengthen it.  It is a very heavy-duty type of lace and can handle large amounts of crystal and beadwork.  Because of the extra work involved in re-tracing the original pattern, this is one of the most expensive laces.

Duchesse – This is a non-continuous lace.  There are holes where there are gaps in the design as opposed to having mesh like continuous lace.

Filet – Also known as Guipure lace.  Made with a heavy buttonhole machine stitch, the motif layout is on a coarse mesh.  This lace has a chunkier styling to it.

Schiffli – Also known as Chemical lace, this is an embroidery type lace that is done by machine so it is relatively inexpensive.  The lace motif is stitched onto a fabric that has been chemically treated so it dissolves when submerged in a special solution, leaving just the stitched motif behind.  It looks much like Duchesse lace, but is less expensive

Light Fabrics

Chiffon – A sheer, light fabric often used in layers or places over heavier materials.  It can be made from silk, cotton, or polyester.

Organza – A very sheer, very fine fabric.  It is incredibly translucent and is used only over other opaque fabrics (no reasonable amount of layering makes it solid).  It can be made from silk, polyester, or nylon.

Crepe – A light but opaque fabric that appears crinkled much like the paper.

Charmeuse – A light, soft, slightly shiny fabric.  It is satin-like to the touch, but a lighter weight and tends to cling to the body.  It is worth noting this fabric can tear easily, especially if it gets wet.

Heavy/Stiff Fabrics

An example of taffeta (easily distinguished by the lines going through the fabric). This one has been dyed to give a two-tone effect, looking either purple or pink depending on how the light hits it.

Crinoline – A stiff fabric that’s used as the foundation for a ball gown.  It is very rarely ever exposed, and never used as the main show fabric.

Satin – A shiny fabric that’s typically smooth and densely woven. Despite the dense weave, it is available in a wide range of weights which can lend itself to being a structural fabric, but even in its “light” forms it is still typically considered a “heavier” fabric.

Taffeta – A woven fabric with a slight sheen to it.  Some varieties can be dyed in such a way that the color appears different depending on how the light hits it.

Tulle – A sheer, stiff mesh made from rayon, cotton, silk, or nylon.  If you think of a ballerina tutu, you’re probably picturing tulle.

Velvet – A soft, incredibly dense pile type fabric made from a wide variety of materials and blends.  This is usually found on winter gowns.

Again my apologies for not getting this post out sooner.  As always, if you have any questions, let me know!


Posted on December 19, 2011, in Attire, Wedding Planning Isn't For Sissies and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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