There are so many Bridal fabrics to choose from, but how do you know which one is the perfect one for your dream wedding dress? Every gown is unique and different in its own way. When you choose to get a gown custom-made it’s important to select the appropriate fabric that will drape, fall and behave in the correct way for the style of gown you aspire to have. The style, cut, texture, drape, venue, dress-code and season are all crucial factors that will determine the best fabric for your wedding gown. Some fabrics may cling to the body whilst others will stick out; some may fall softly and sway smoothly as you twirl, whilst others will hold its form. Silk is undoubtedly the most popular and admired fabric to create your dream gown from. A pure silk has a fantastic resilience, elasticity, strength and durability. Silk is also a well-regarded fabric for draping beautifully, feeling incredibly soft and lightweight. And I can assure you, your silk gown will not be static, stick to your body, cause you to sweat or expand over-time unlike your synthetic/polyester fabrics. It’s important to remember that not every style of gown can be made from the same fabric. That’s why we’re here to help!
Designer: Dany Mizrachi
Over the past few years, there has been a great demand for stretch materials within the bridal and fashion industry. When the stretch crepe hit the market it very quickly become one of the most popular go-to bridal materials for designers and brides from all over the World. This stunning fabric is well known for its matte finish and subtle crepe texture. It is extremely suitable for gowns that feature a tighter and more fitted silhouette such as a fit and flare and sheath gown. Most stretch crepes are made with at least 5% elastane which allows the fabric to have a good amount of stretch and flexibility. This ultimately helps with moulding the fabric onto your body to achieve a gorgeous fit and finish. The crepe fabric is also very well known for its thickness and slightly heavier weight. This is most beneficial for brides who would prefer to have a little extra coverage and support to smooth out any areas of concern. Despite the thickness, this fabric drapes incredibly beautifully and will not add any extra bulk to your gown. A stretch crepe is perfect for any bride wanting to achieve a clean-cut, simplistic and modern look.
Designer: Jenny Yoo
A silk Mikado is a gorgeous stiff material that features a subtle twill appearance and texture. It’s relatively smooth on the surface with a subtle sheen, which is perfect for brides who aren’t too keen on that strong satin shine or a completely matte look. A Mikado isn’t thick, nor too thin which makes this fabric versatile for almost every style, season and level of formality. Whether you’re after a voluminous ball-gown or a fit and flare silhouette, this stunning structured material is perfect for both. When opting for any stiff fabric it’s important to keep in mind that they are generally prone to crease and crinkle very easily. Look for a fabric that has a silk composition in it as this helps reduce the possibility of wrinkles throughout your gown. For brides who are after a contemporary and structured look, then look no further. This modern-day fabric is known for achieving simplistic silhouettes, giving support and making an incredible statement without the need for lace and bling.
Designer: Justin Alexander
3.STRETCH SILK SATIN
For brides wanting a fabric with a little extra stretch and movement then we have the perfect option for you. The stretch silk satin would have to be one of the newest fabrics out on the market as most bridal fabrics tend to lack that elastane element. This gorgeous fabric is relatively thin and lightweight, making it extremely suitable for brides who opt for a sandy beach wedding or an outdoor garden ceremony. The breathable nature of a silk also prevents perspiration which is a fantastic feature to have in your gown if you’re tying the knot during the warmer season. A stretch silk satin is beneficial for any gown that requires a fitted silhouette or a soft and flowy skirt. This fabric has incredible drape whilst also moulding to the body beautifully and achieving a gorgeous fit and finish. Whether you’re after a fit and flare, slip dress, a draped sheath gown or a soft and romantic A-line, this fabric is the perfect one for you.
A grace satin may be a rarity to find but this stunning material is definitely worth the discovery. It’s extremely similar to a Queen and Duchess satin as they both feature a very strong glossy finish. Both fabrics also showcase a silky-smooth surface, perfect for any bride wanting to really indulge and achieve a luxurious look. Unlike most glossy materials, the Grace Satin is extremely thick and heavy which can be fantastic to create a gown with volume and structure or a more fitted silhouette that requires support. The thick nature is also a great option for brides that want to cinch in their waist, or smooth out any areas of concern. The shiny finish is a perfect way to add a touch of class and formality to any gown. It’s also a gorgeous material on its own so you don’t need to feel the need to bling it up with lots of lace or embellishments. For brides wanting to add a unique feature on their custom gown, consider a statement bow, overskirt or a sash/belt around the waistline. The grace satin doesn’t have to be used just for your main gown, in fact it is quite commonly used as an additional statement feature that is often made detachable.
Designer: Lazaro via MODwedding
5.HAIL SPOT TULLE
Hail spot tulle has been around for years but this stunning material wasn’t always used in modern-day bridal collections. In fact, this subtle polka dot pattern was predominantly used to achieve a gorgeous vintage or antique look. Similarly, to pearls, this traditional fabric is now more popular than ever before and can create the most contemporary and elegant design. So, what is a hail spot tulle? A hail spot tulle is a sheer mesh fabric that features a lightly scattered polka dot pattern. There are so many variations of this fabric, from large polka dots to small and intricate, to sparsely scattered to heavily scattered. Not only that, the polka dot pattern itself can be achieved from an embroidered technique or can even come as a flocked velvet which adds a nice texture. The hail spot tulle is mostly used on the bodice, back and sleeves, however the soft drape of this fabric, makes it perfect for any bride wanting to achieve a romantic and flowy skirt.
Designer: Rime Arodaky
A silk chiffon is a beautiful, delicate fabric that is known for its sheer and transparent appearance. It tends to have a very smooth and luxurious surface texture, along with a stunning soft drape. It’s important to note that a silk chiffon can gather very easily, which often means that you will be required to purchase double the usual amount to achieve a slight fullness in the skirt. But trust us, it’s definitely worth it. A silk chiffon is the perfect way to add a touch of romance and a real dreamy element to any bridal gown. Because of its sheer nature, it can go over the top of virtually any other material to soften the overall look. Along with this, a chiffon can be used to make a simple shawl or scarf which can be a great feature added to any bridal or evening gown, especially if you prefer added coverage and warmth. There are so many ways you can use this stunning fabric, but more recently the silk chiffon has been used to create gorgeous bridal wings, capes and bridal hoods. It is attached to your shoulders and drapes seamlessly to the floor to add a beautiful element of drama and Regality.
Designer: Lee Petra Grebenau
7.PURE SILK CREPE
A pure silk crepe is very similar to a silk chiffon and georgette; however, this unique fabric has a crinkled finish and a slightly wavy texture. If your gown is relatively plain and you would like to add a subtle statement without all the added embellishments and lace, then this is the perfect fabric for you. It’s a great way to incorporate texture into your outfit without it being too overpowering. A silk crepe behaves the exact same way as a chiffon and georgette and can be used as a sheer overlay for any skirt or dress. It’s important to note that when opting for this fabric you may need a solid material underneath if you do not like the look of a sheer, flowy skirt. In some cases, this sheer element on its own can look extremely stunning, especially for a more casual or less formal beach or garden wedding. This fabric is also best used to create a flowy dress that isn’t too tight fitting or alternatively over the top of a ball-gown or A-line.
Designer: Rara Avis
A silk georgette has a lightweight nature and is transparent, exactly like a silk chiffon. The main difference between a georgette and a chiffon is the surface texture as a georgette tends to feature a slightly crinkled finish like a crepe fabric. The rough surface is a great way to add a bit of texture to your gown and to add a touch of modernity to any bridal look. Both drape incredibly beautifully and will achieve the same outcome. Another difference is that the georgette tends to be slightly less sheer which is great for a bride who wants to incorporate this fabric as sleeves without showing too much skin. It will also give you slightly more warmth and coverage than most sheer materials. It is perfect as an overlay for a skirt, sleeves or even as a bridal cape or shawl. If you opt for a mermaid or trumpet style gown but want to incorporate this lovely fine, delicate fabric, then perhaps you could incorporate a ruched element on the bodice or throughout the skirt of the fitted style.
Designer: Savannah Miller
A silk faille is one of the most commonly used bridal materials. It has a closely woven weave which ensures that your gown will not be sheer. Along with this, it also has a slight give in the fabric which means that it can mould to the body nicely and achieve a really great fit. In terms of dress shapes, this stunning material is suitable for almost every dress style. Whether you’re after a fit and flare, a simple flowy A-line gown, a modern column style dress or an extravagant ball gown, this fabric can do it all. Keep in mind that any gown with fullness and lots of volume in the skirt, may require a stiff lining or a petticoat underneath to be able to support the silhouette. A silk faille drapes beautifully and has a softer appearance. It is also known for having an incredibly beautiful finish which is often described as a subtle sheen; perfect for brides who don’t want anything matte or too shiny. This fabric is fantastic for beach weddings, garden weddings, and everything in-between. The fabric is also wrinkle-resistant which is an added bonus!!
Designer: d’Italia // Photographer: @mattelliottphotography // Bride: @sophbrenno
10.SILK SATIN BACK CREPE
Besides a silk faille, the silk satin back crepe would have to be another front runner when it comes to bridal materials. It is very similar to a silk faille as it possesses the same thickness and weight, ultimately being able to achieve the exact same outcome. This fabric is a little bit unique as the fabric itself can be used on either side depending on the appearance you are after. One side features a gorgeous strong satin sheen which is perfect for a more traditional look or for a bride who wants to add a touch of formality and class into their bridal gown. The reverse side is the complete opposite, featuring a matte finish with a textured crepe surface. This is great for any bride who would prefer to keep it slightly more simple and modern in appearance. It’s very versatile and can create a fitted tailored look or even something soft and flowy. For brides who struggle making decisions then this is a fantastic fabric for you as you can select either side.
Designer: d’Italia // Photographer: Shot from the heart // Bride: Becky Falsone
There are so many different types of sheer fabrics on the market, but it can often be quite difficult to find a transparent fabric that has a good thickness, structure and stiffness to it. If you’re on the hunt for this kind of material, then look no further; we have the perfect material for you. A silk organza is a crisp sheer-like fabric with a stiffer texture similar to the effect of a bridal tulle. It has a luxurious, smooth surface with a subtle sheen so it isn’t too overpowering. This fabric has a lovely drape but is not as flowy as your georgette, chiffon or tulle. If you are wanting a fabric with more stiffness to achieve a really full skirt then an organdie is a great option. An organdie can also be used underneath the skirt to add fullness and achieve a ball-gown-like silhouette but it tends to be too rough and stiff to use as the main part of your gown. An organza looks incredibly beautiful when cut in waves and layers on a skirt or even as a balloon style sleeve (which has definitely been a top trend for the past few years).
Designer: La Petra Bridal
Tulle is a very well-known material, which is used in almost every gown, in some way or another. A tulle is simply a mesh-like fabric which is achieved through a very loosely woven technique. It is often used as an overlay on top of a skirt or as a veil, however there are so many ways that a tulle can be used. In fact, more recently tulle has been used to achieve a stunning bridal wing and cape style feature which sits at the shoulders and drapes softly to the floor. It’s an incredibly modern and elegant addition which can be made detachable for the bride who wants a little more versatility. A fine tulle is great for your veil or for any skirt that has a slight puffiness but still resembles a soft, dreamy drape. A soft tulle is perfect for a fit-and-flare, A-line or sheath styled gown as it will drape naturally against the body and will not add a lot of fullness or definition. It has a soft and luxurious texture and will move beautifully in the wind. A stiff netting is one of the stiffest tulles on the market. It is used to create the petticoat that sits underneath the gown to add fullness and flare.
Designer: Tom Sebastian
13.SILK DUCHESS SATIN
Duchess satin is a gorgeous, medium-bodied fabric, predominantly used for the outside of a bridal gown and for any in-built corsetry. It is extremely similar to a queen satin, except it is slightly stiffer which is perfect for any bride wanting to achieve an extremely structured gown or would like a fabric to cinch them in at the waist. A Duchess and Queen satin have a glossy, luxurious surface on one side and a subtle matte, textured finished on the other side. It is extremely durable and strong and with the appropriate boning and interfacings, it can make for a magnificent corset to cinch you in at the waist and give you the illusion of a flatter stomach. Alternatively, a Duchess Satin is great to create an A-line and ball-gown styled dress as the weight and stiffness allows for the silhouette to hold its shape. It can also be used for more fitted silhouettes such as a fit and flare, however keep in mind that these fabrics don’t have any stretch and it is always advised to have a touch of elastane when opting for a more bodycon style gown.
Designer: Maggie Sottero
A silk Zibeline has a satin-like finish and showcases a twill weave. Zibeline is one of the sturdiest fabrics that holds its shape when draped. Similar to a duchess satin, a zibeline is suitable for a ball-gown or A-line styled dress. It also looks beautiful when made into a pleated skirt. A zibeline is a very traditional fabric but still to this day it is admired for its high durability and versatility. For brides wanting a structured gown with volume or perhaps a flat cinched in waist then this fabric is perfect for you. A zibeline has a subtle shine but is not as glossy as most satin fabrics.
Designer: Lili Hod
A Neo-preen is a relatively new fabric to the bridal world. It is commonly known as a scuba as it features extremely similar traits to that which is often used in snorkelling and swimwear. However, don’t fear brides, this fabric is definitely one of the most popular materials in the bridal industry at the moment. A neo-preen features 2 layers of fabric which are fused tightly together to create a beautiful and supportive thickness and weight, whilst still retaining a great level of drape. It is commonly used in gowns that feature a more fitted silhouette as this fabric is well known for its supportive nature and being able to provide a little extra coverage for brides who may feel a tad self-conscious in certain areas. It is great to smooth out any areas of concern and cinch you in slightly. It’s important to keep in mind that due to the thickness and weight of this fabric, it cannot be used for a ball-gown without having a crinoline petticoat underneath to support it. It also has a stunning smooth surface texture and a great level of stretch which makes it easy to move in and very comfortable to wear.
Designer: Angel Sanchez
ARE YOU ON THE HUNT FOR THE PERFECT FABRIC AND YOU WANT TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HOW WE CAN WORK TOGETHER TO CREATE YOUR VERY OWN CUSTOM GOWN? Contact us today, for your free in-store design consultation and our over the phone styling advice service from our lovely team of designers!