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Best Wedding Dress Fabrics [Complete Guide]

Whether you’re shopping for or making your own wedding dress, the fabric is one of the key factors for determining the overall look of the dress. With so many fabrics out there in so many different weights and textures, you’re probably wondering, “What is the best wedding dress fabric?” That’s why I’ve created this guide.

There isn’t any one particular fabric that is best for wedding dresses. Generally, wedding dress fabrics tend to be elegant in appearance, but the best fabric just depends on what you want the dress to look like. Good fabrics for wedding dresses include:

  • Charmeuse
  • Brocade
  • Chiffon
  • Crepe
  • Lace
  • Linen
  • Mikado
  • Organza
  • Satin
  • Silk
  • Taffeta
  • Tulle
  • Velvet

Besides the overall appearance of the dress, the type of fabric you use can also determine the structure and drape of the dress. You’ll also want to consider the time of year that the dress will be worn. In this article, I’ll cover each of the above fabrics and detail why they are good choices to use for wedding dresses.

Best Wedding Dress Fabrics

What is the Best Wedding Dress Fabric?

Even though there isn’t one fabric that is better for wedding dresses than others, several fabrics are more popular to use. Each of these fabrics is very different, and some aren’t used by themselves but rather as an overlay for other fabrics.

With that being said, you may find that one fabric is better for you because really, it’s just a matter of personal preference. So you’ll need to consider what fabrics you like to wear and what look you want to achieve with the dress. And, you’ll need to consider the season and location of your wedding. You don’t want to choose a fabric that is too hot or too cold to wear.

If you don’t know what fabric you’re looking for exactly, don’t worry. Below are the most popular wedding dress fabrics, along with more details. Once you’ve learned about each of them, hopefully, you’ll be able to choose the right one for you.

1. Charmeuse

Charmeuse Satin Fabric | 5 Yards Continuous | 60' Wide | Silky, Bridal | Decoration, Fashion Crafts (Baby Blue, 5 Yd)Charmeuse is another fabric traditionally made from silk fibers, but it can also be made with polyester or rayon fibers for a cheaper alternative to silk. Like other silk fabrics, charmeuse is a woven fabric with a lot of sheen and elegance.

One of the main differences between charmeuse and brocade is that charmeuse is much more lightweight. It’s a great choice for spring and summer weddings, as the fabric is very breathable and has a beautiful drape to it. It works great as fabric by itself or as an underlay for sheer fabrics. But, it does not stretch well, so be aware when using it for areas of a dress in which you need more stretch.

2. Brocade

Brocade is a woven fabric traditionally made from silk fibers, but it can be made from other fibers such as cotton. Brocade makes a great standalone fabric for wedding dresses due to its shiny, elegant look and pattern, usually floral or figural.

This particular fabric can be found in many different shades of white, nude, or gray for traditional wedding dresses, or other colors for a non-traditional look. Brocade also has a nice drape, but it is a medium-weight fabric and doesn’t have a lot of stretch or breathability.

Consider making the entire dress out of brocade or using it for just the skirt part. This fabric is ideal for weddings that take place during cooler seasons and it looks great for both indoor and outdoor weddings.

3. Chiffon

Wedding Dress Beach Bridal Gown Chiffon V Neck Lace Wedding Dresses for Bride Chiffon Wedding Gown WhiteChiffon fabric was also traditionally made from silk. Still, you can find it made from pretty much any type of fiber today, including natural fibers such as cotton or synthetic fibers such as polyester and nylon. The key characteristic of chiffon is that it is a sheer fabric that looks very gauzy, so you’ll be limited to how much you can use it for a wedding dress.

When chiffon is used for wedding dresses, it is used mostly as an overlay or for sleeves. Since chiffon is such a lightweight fabric, it adds almost no weight to the dress when used as an overlay. It also has high breathability and some stretch to it. And since it is not usually used by itself, you can use chiffon for wedding dresses no matter what season you’re getting married in.

4. Crepe

Adrianna Papell Women's Petite Strapless Bow Detail Front Knit Crepe Column Gown, Ivory, 10PCrepe is a fabric that is woven to have a rippled, three-dimensional texture, usually made from silk or synthetic fibers. Although it is not the most elegant fabric to use for wedding dresses as far as appearance goes, it is a popular material to use for the skirt part of the wedding dress and a more decorative fabric for the bodice of the dress.

Crepe fabric comes in different weights, so you can wear it during any season depending on how heavy or thick you want the wedding dress to be. It’s also very stretchy, so that’s something to keep in mind if you need your dress to be stretchier in certain areas. The breathability of crepe depends on the type of fiber it is made of, but it doesn’t retain a lot of heat, so it’s a good choice for weddings that take place indoors.

5. Lace

Abaowedding Women's Wedding Dress Lace Double V-Neck Sleeveless Evening Dress Ivory US 14Lace is one of the most commonly used wedding dress materials, although it isn’t necessarily a primary fabric used for wedding dresses. Lace is usually used as an overlay on top of other fabrics, but it can be used on all parts of the dress, from the skirt to the bodice to the sleeves.

Lace is made from linen, cotton, or silk fibers. There are different types of lace fabric and lace comes in many different patterns. It is very delicate and often see-through, although some types of lace are more see-through than others. Other benefits of lace are that it is breathable and somewhat stretchy, making it a great choice for sleeves.

6. Linen

Linen wedding dressLinen is not the most commonly used fabric for wedding dresses. Still, it is a popular choice for people who prefer a very simple but lightweight and breezy wedding dress, especially for summertime weddings. Linen is made from fibers from the flax plant, so it is a natural fabric that is very breathable and moisture-wicking.

Linen is one of the oldest fabrics to be used for clothing. It is a traditional fabric as well, so it’s a good choice for brides that prefer vintage-style dresses or even dresses that aren’t extravagant. Linen does drape, but it doesn’t stretch much. It works best when used for wedding dresses with very simple silhouettes.

7. Mikado

Jenny Yoo Women's London Silk Mikado Wedding Gown, Antique/White, 14Mikado is made from silk fibers, and even though silk, in general, is a luxurious fabric, Mikado is one of the most luxurious forms of silk you can get. It is a bit thicker than traditional silk but still has all of silk’s characteristics. Since it is so luxurious, it tends to be expensive compared to other fabrics on this list.

Mikado fabric holds its shape very well, so it’s a good choice for brides who want a wedding dress that holds a particular shape. This is not necessarily the best fabric if you want a flowy skirt with a lot of movement, but it is a great choice for brides who prefer dresses in a fit-and-flare or A-line style.

8. Organza

Awishwill See Through Long Sleeve Applique Wedding Dresses Double V Neck Ruffled Organza Bridal Dress for Bride Champagne,20WOrganza is a very sheer fabric made from silk fibers. It is most commonly used as an overlay for other fabrics, typically in the skirt part of the wedding dress. Organza can also give fullness to skirts even if the fabric used underneath isn’t full. This is a great fabric choice for brides who want a dress that moves and flows when they walk.

Depending on the fabric underneath the organza, this fabric can be used to make wedding dresses that are appropriate for any wedding in any season. However, due to being sheer, it is highly breathable and doesn’t have much heat retention. But that doesn’t matter if it is used as an overlay anyway. Organza can also be embellished with beads or embroidered to give it an even more elegant look.

9. Satin

Fanciest Women's Off Shoulder Satin Wedding Dresses Ball Gown Long Prom Evening Dress Ivory US14Satin is popular for wedding dresses because it is shiny and has an elegant appearance and soft texture. It’s important to remember that the term satin refers to how the fabric is woven, not a particular type of fabric itself. That means that satin can be made from many different fiber types, including silk, cotton, and polyester. It also means that the exact characteristics as far as breathability and heat retention can vary based on the type of fiber it is made of.

Satin is one of the most versatile fabrics to use for wedding dresses since it does come in so many different varieties and different prices, just depending on what it is made of. And, you can wear it in different seasons as well. Plus, you can use it by itself to create dresses with simple silhouettes or use it as an underlay for fabrics such as chiffon, lace, or organza.

10. Silk

Champagne 100% Pure Silk Solid Color Charmeuse Fabrics by The Pre-Cut 1 Yard for Sewing Width 44 inchI’ve mentioned many different types of specific fabrics that are made from silk fibers, which is why silk as a whole is one of the most popular fabrics to use for wedding dresses. It comes in different varieties, some of which are labeled as a specific type of silk while others are just labeled as silk in general.

With that being said, some silk fabrics can be more expensive than others. Some are also stiff, while others flow more. The style of dress you want should determine which type of silk you use. But no matter what type of silk you use, it’s a good choice if you want a wedding dress that is classic and timeless.

11. Taffeta

Meier Women's Embroidery Halter Stretchy Taffeta Mermaid Prom Dress Navy Size 12Taffeta fabric has a crisp texture, so it is often used to make wedding dresses with a crisp and structured appearance. It is yet another fabric made from silk, although some taffeta fabrics are made from polyester or rayon. Despite being very crisp and structured, taffeta is very breathable and comes in different weights.

Taffeta fabric is also very shiny, so it is commonly used to make the skirts of wedding dresses, particularly big and full ones. When paired with another fabric up top, such as satin with a lace overlay, you can create really beautiful dresses with a lot of texture. Taffeta skirts can also look good with a fabric such as tulle underneath.

12. Tulle

Ikerenwedding Women's V-Neck A-line Lace Tulle Long Beach Wedding Dresses for Bride Ivory US10Tulle is a lightweight, sheer fabric that resembles organza and chiffon. But the difference is that tulle has a stiff texture while organza and chiffon do not. Tulle can be made from silk, nylon, polyester, or rayon fibers, and because of its stiffness, it can be layered to give it a fluffy appearance.

What’s unique about tulle is that it can be used over other fabrics to give them more texture or underneath fabrics (particularly in skirts) make them appear fuller. Tulle looks good when peeking out from underneath the skirt of wedding dresses. Tulle is also one of the primary fabrics that is used to create wedding veils as well.

13. Velvet

Zattcas Long Sleeve Maxi Dress Women Velvet Wedding Party Bridesmaid Maxi Dress Navy MediumThe last but certainly not least wedding dress fabric is velvet. Velvet looks amazing when used by itself for wedding dresses and it can be used to create dresses that are very shiny and soft. Although this fabric does come in traditional wedding dress colors such as white and nude, the fabric looks best when used for wedding dresses that aren’t a traditional color, as you can see the high level of shine when you go for darker colors.

Velvet is most often worn during the cooler months of fall and winter due to being slightly thicker and warmer than other fabrics. It’s not for everyone as it isn’t the most traditional wedding dress fabric. But if you want a bold dress and sure to make a statement, then go for velvet.

Best Fabrics for Spring/Summer Wedding Dresses?

Material for wedding dress

Now that we’ve looked at the most popular wedding dress fabrics let’s break them down into which ones are best for spring and summer weddings. Remember that each of the above fabrics has different weights, textures, and characteristics, so it’s important to choose one that will keep you comfortable on one of the most important days of your life.

For a spring or summer wedding, especially one that takes place outdoors, the best fabrics should be breathable, flowy, breezy, and perhaps keep you cool as well. Linen is always a good choice, but other lightweight and breathable fabrics include charmeuse, silk, and satin. You can always opt for layering chiffon, lace, organza, and tulle over your dress as well for more texture and interest while still keeping cool and breezy.

Best Material for Fall/Winter Wedding Dress?

If you’re getting married in the fall or winter, you’ll want exactly the opposite of cool and breezy when it comes to choosing a wedding dress fabric. Even if you get married indoors, you’ll still need to consider that you may be taking pictures outdoors, which can take a long time. That’s why the best fabrics for fall and winter are medium or heavy-weight fabrics, just depending on the temperature and whether the wedding is indoors or outdoors.

The best fabrics for keeping you warm are fabrics such as brocade, crepe, Mikado, taffeta, and velvet. But, satin and silk are good choices, as they can be not too hot but not too cold either. And if you opt for satin or silk, you can always layer chiffon, lace, or organza over the dress as well.

What Is the Most Suitable Fabric to Make a Wedding Dress?

The most suitable fabric for making a wedding dress is probably satin due to being versatile and durable. Remember that satin can be made from many different types of fibers since it refers to the type of weave used to make it and not the fabric itself. That means that you can find satin fabric to fit any budget.

Satin can also be used by itself, or you can use other fabrics on top of it as an overlay. That means that you could make pretty much any style of dress you want, and it is a suitable fabric for all seasons as well.

Another suitable choice for making wedding dresses is silk, as silk comes in many different varieties with different characteristics. And like satin, you can use silk by itself or with other fabrics to make any style of dress that you can think of.

Things to Consider When Choosing Wedding Dress Material

There are some additional factors to consider when choosing a wedding dress fabric besides just which season you will be wearing the dress in. Keep each of these factors in mind when deciding the style of dress you want and whether or not you want to use a particular fabric.

Fabric Weight

I’ve already talked about fabric weight a little bit about how the weight of the fabric can affect the warmth of the dress and what season you wear the dress in. But, it’s also important to consider the weight of the fabric when determining the style of dress you want.

For example, heavier fabrics will make the overall weight of the dress heavier as well. The weight of the dress can determine how easy it is to walk in and the overall comfort of the dress.

Fabric Structure

The structure of the fabric, such as how well it holds its shape and how much it stretches, is also worth considering when deciding on a particular dress style. Most fabrics used for wedding dresses are woven fabrics, which don’t stretch much in the first place. But some of them stretch more than others, so you may choose to use a stretchier fabric for the sleeves and bodice rather than the skirt.

Some fabrics also are a bit stiffer or hold their shape better than others. If you want a flowy dress:

  1. Don’t use a still fabric.
  2. Don’t use a flowy fabric if you want a dress with a particular shape.
  3. Keep in mind when using sheer fabrics as an overlay that some of them are more structured than others.

For example, tulle is stiffer and has more structure than chiffon or organza.

Drape

You’ll also want to consider the drape of the fabric, especially when used for the skirt part of the dress. Drape refers to how fabric hangs on the body, and some fabrics drape differently than others.

If you want a full, structured skirt, then you’ll want to use a fabric that has a voluminous drape. Examples include brocade, organza, and certain types of silk. But if you want your skirt to flow, then use a fabric that has a flowy drape. Examples include charmeuse, chiffon, crepe, and taffeta.

Texture/Shine

Finally, you’ll want to consider the texture and shine of the fabric. Most wedding dress fabrics are smooth and somewhat shiny, although fabrics such as brocade, lace, or embellished fabrics can have a bit more texture and shine than others. It’s also important to remember that shinier fabrics reflect more light. Examples include satin, silk, taffeta, and velvet.

If you’re planning on mixing fabrics for your dress, you may want to consider the level of shine that each fabric has. You want the fabrics to work well with each other and maybe use a very shiny fabric for the skirt and one that is less shiny for the bodice. You can also tone down the shie of some fabrics by using a sheet fabric as an overlay. But keep in mind that some sheer fabrics can be somewhat shiny.

Bridal Fabric by the Yard

When searching for bridal fabric by the yard, it’s hard to give a one-size-fits-all answer as far as the price and fabric selection are concerned. The price of bridal fabric mainly depends on the type of fibers that the fabric is made of and the availability and intricateness of the fabric.

For example, lace fabrics with intricate designs may cause more than simple lace fabrics. Different types of silk can also have different prices, depending on how complicated the fabric was to make and the texture and the type of silk in general. Some sheer fabrics also tend to cost less than fabrics that aren’t sheer.

That said, bridal fabrics can cost anywhere from less than $20 to more than $100. Most bridal fabrics come in shades of white or nude, but if you want something non-traditional, you can look for light pink or gray fabrics or even bold colors. You might even save money by purchasing fabrics that aren’t necessarily marketed as bridal fabrics.

What Is the Most Expensive Fabric for Wedding Dresses?

The most expensive fabric for wedding dresses is likely going to be certain types of silk fabric such as Mikado or chiffon, or even types of lace fabric with intricate designs or embellishments. Silk fibers are rarer than fibers such as cotton or polyester, which can affect the price. Likewise, in the case of lace, the harder a fabric is to create, the more it’ll cost.

Conclusion

Many types of fabrics can be used to make wedding dresses. There isn’t necessarily one that is better than the other; it just depends on your personal preferences, the type of dress you want to create, and the season in which you’re getting married. But, I can offer suggestions for the most suitable fabrics in satin and silk, which are versatile and easy to come by. If you found this article helpful, share it with others!