Bridal Style 101: Selecting the Right Silk for Your Wedding Dress by Bride Chic

Posted by Azure on October 1st, 2010
About Bride Chic

Finding the right silk for your wedding dress of course depends on matching the silhouette and style you love to the right weave of silk. The first thing you should know is when it comes to bridal wear, silks rule! Made from the cocoons of silkworms, around 2500 B.C. the Chinese discovered and developed the process of weaving it into fabric. Most silk weaves are luxe, opulent and suggest the kind of formality perfect for a wedding dress. Tightly woven silks like bridal or duchesse satin have a luster ideal for structured silhouettes, whereas loosely woven silks like charmeuse and crepe lend themselves to draping. Choosing the right silk depends on the style of your gown, in addition to the time of day, and season of the year, your wedding takes place.

So you're in the know about the many silk fabric options for your wedding dress, here's a little Silk Weaves 101! Brocade-Heavyweight fabric used in structured silhouettes. The elaborate patterns of this fabric are created by mixing muted and glossy yarns in matching (sometimes contrasting) colors. Most wedding dresses made out of brocade have a surface design of florals though I once saw a gown with some interesting geometric patterns. Brocade molds perfectly in sheath and A-line silhouettes. A fall/winter fabric, brocade is an excellent option for bridal suits. Charmeuse (aka Crepe-backed Satin)-Lightest weight of all the satins. This fabric has a glossy finish that clings and drapes the body beautifully. No other fabric evokes the image of the white, bias-cut evening gown quite like charmeuse. Works best in evening gown and slip dress styles. Chiffon-Lightweight and transparent, the delicacy of this fabric makes it best for billowing sleeves, cowl draped necklines, ruffles, ruched bodices and long, airy skirts. Crepe (aka Crepe de Chine)-Lightweight and drapey, with a crinkled surface, achieved by a hard-twisted yarn process. Though it’s available in wool, cotton and rayon, silk reigns the favorite due to its incredible swathe and drape effect. Like charmeuse, crepe is another 1930s Hollywood glam fabric and a natural choice for the bias cut wedding dress. Damask-Lighter weight than brocade, damask is a jacquard fabric with woven designs throughout. Best for structured silhouettes. Duchesse Satin-Medium weight satin with a glossy finish. A staple of traditional bridal wear, it has versatility whereas it works for strait as well as full, ballgown silhouettes. Dupioni-The irregular slubbing and lustrous texture of Dupioni come from how this fabric is made (thick uneven yarns are rolled from double cocoons). Ideal for fuller silhouettes, but also great for sheath and modified A-line dresses. Silk Faille-Medium to heavy weight, cross-ribbed fabric with a tight weave. Works best in structured silhouettes. Georgette-Lightweight and sheer fabric made from twisted yarns. Somewhere between chiffon and crepe, it has a crinkly appearance surface. Organza-Light, springy and transparent fabric. Once considered suitable only for summer, organza is now year-round and widely used in dresses requiring full skirts, A-lines, trains, veils, drapes and overlays. Shantung-Rough, plain weave with irregular slubbing. Taffeta-Stiff, crisp, lightweight cross-rib weave.Taffeta can have either a slight luster or muted finish. It can be shaped, adding volume without bulk and weight, making it an ideal choice for A-lines and ball gowns. Nice in a sheath silhouette providing it has some kind train preferably of the same fabric with some degree of fullness. Tulle-Fine mesh netting with hexagonal pattern that comes in silk or nylon.Tulle is standard material for bridal veils. Also used in bouffant skirts, proffering that ballerina look Vera Wang popularized a few years back. While the big tulle skirt is classic, edgier versions lately suggest special effects like draping, rouching and pick-up treatments over more modified skirt silhouettes. Not to be overlooked for trains done in layers.

Posted in Wedding Dresses


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