When it comes to wedding dresses, it’s important to remember that fabric choice and dress design are intertwined. Fabric dictates the shape, drape and cut of a bridal gown, as well as the time and season it can be worn. Whether you imagine yourself sashaying down the aisle in silk or prefer the soft whisper of taffeta, the way your bridal gown looks and feels will depend entirely on the combination of cut and fabric.
Silky and smooth
Silk is probably one of the most popular fabrics for wedding dresses. A natural fibre, silk is synonymous with luxury and is renowned for its resilience, strength and elasticity. Suzanna Zagon, owner of d’Italia designer fabrics, specialises in importing the finest silks and laces from France and Italy. “If you’re designing a gown you don’t want to use polyester or a polyester-silk blend,” she says. “We sell only pure silk. There’s something about the way it drapes, the feel and the way it breathes. Polyester blends don’t breathe, which can cause static in the fabric.”
The fabric of romance
Texture plays an important part in the design of wedding dresses. While most designers agree that silk is the best choice for your bridal gown, the texture of that silk can vary from design to design.
“Textures are extremely important as they create depth,” says designer Jason Grech of JASONGRECH White. “Our bridal gowns are designed to move with the wearer and we want the gown to glide down the aisle and bounce and float on the dance floor.”
Heralded as the ultimate wedding fabric, lace adds a touch of centuries-gone-by grace and is perfect for anyone wanting a traditional touch. There are infinite varieties of lace, each with its own defining characteristics. From the delicate Chantilly to the more elaborate Alencon and Venise, lace became a bridal staple in the 15th century and by the Victorian era, few brides would choose a gown without it.
What you need to know
As well as determining the difference between the types of silks and satins, Jason also recommends brides familiarise themselves with the other features of their wedding dress. For example, are they using Swarovski crystals, or glass crystals? He also advises brides ask their designers about all the different fabrics that make up the wedding dress, including the overlays, main fabrics and the lining, as well as the particular care instructions for your bridal gown.