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Wedding Fabrics

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Do you see yourself sashaying down the aisle in satin, floating in lace or looking romantic in renaissance style brocade? Perhaps you want your gown to hug your curves, foam around your feet in a soft tulle tide, or whisper gently with every step you take. No matter what effect you want to create, the overall impact of your gown will depend on a combination of cut and fabric. Each fabric is designed to produce a unique effect. Some fabrics stand away from the body, others cling to it. Some are lighter than air, others are loved for their luxurious, rich textures.

Silk is probably one of the most popular and best loved wedding gown fabrics. It’s a natural fibre that creates a mood of classic elegance, and is also renowned for its resiliency, strength and elasticity. Silk threads are used to create a variety of fabrics, including: Satin, a tightly woven silk with a rich, lustrous gloss; Slipper satin, a lighter, softer satin suitable for warmer weather; Charmeuse, a lightweight silk satin with a more subtle lustre; Duchesse satin, a blend of silk and rayon that’s more affordable than pure silk satin and with the body to hold the structure and shape of a full skirt; Shantung, a low-lustre silk with a texturised finish.

When choosing a fabric, you will need to take into consideration each material’s individual characteristics. Will it complement the style and cut of your gown? Is it suitable for the season in which you are to be married? Will it drape the way you expect it to? Is it appropriate for the theme and tone of your wedding? Will it suit your height and body shape?

Specialty fabric stores stock a fabulous array of wedding dress fabrics, laces and trims, and their staff can usually offer you expert advice. If you are having a gown made especially for you, discuss with your couturier the types of fabric that best suit the style you have chosen and be guided by his or her advice.

As a general rule, petite, slender women look best in soft silks, sheers, georgette, chiffon, soft jerseys, all-over lace or rich lace trim. Shorter, fuller-figured women suit silks, georgette, chiffon, lightweight crepe and soft lace.

Women of average height look wonderful in sheers, silk jersey, chiffon, taffeta and shantung. Tall, slim women can usually wear whatever they like, including rich laces and fabrics with more body, but taller, fuller-figured women should avoid stiffer fabrics. Women with voluptuous figures should also avoid stiff fabrics. Their best choice is a soft jersey, which drapes beautifully over crepe.

No matter what fabric you choose, it will lose its pristine freshness after hours of wear. However, synthetic blend fabrics usually remain crush-free longer than others.

Fabric prices vary tremendously. The look of a natural fabric is superior to most synthetics: they feel better, fall better, and they’re more expensive! The quality of your finished gown will depend on the quality of the fabric, so choose the best you can afford.


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