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Choosing your fabric

Expert advice on choosing your wedding dress fabric and how to make it work for you...

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Your wedding dress fabric

Which fabric do you need?

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“Pure fabrics, such as silk, cotton, velvet will crease more than those which have a touch of synthetic in them, which is really useful to know if you are getting married abroad or you want you dress to stay crease-free all day,” says Y&YW fashion director Peta Hunt.

“Silk is a fibre which is simply turned into a thread,” says Marguerite Hannah of Alan Hannah, “so it can become different things – for example, a thicker, more expensive duchesse silk, or a thinner, slipper satin silk. Ask whether the material you are being offered is a pure silk or a mix. You can often tell if a material has silk in it, as it will have a pearlised finish.”

A dress made from pure duchesse silk will be very much more expensive, for instance, than a dress made from a mix of manmade fibre and silk. Pure taffeta will also be much more expensive than taffeta which is a mix of manmade and pure silk.

Brocade: A heavy fabric with a raised patterned

Good for… ornate, vintage-style bodices; striking detail

Not for … overseas weddings in hot climates

Chiffon: Soft sheer fabric with a soft drape

Good for… floaty sleeves and loose dresses for hot climates

Not for … Structured ballgown styles

Crepe: Lightweight fabric with a ruched feel

Good for… slinky, column dresses

Avoid for … tight dresses if you want to disguise heavy hips and bottom

Duchesse satin: A stiff, shiny fabric

Good for…dresses with some structure

Not for … styles with a fluid drape

Lace: The most bridal of all fabrics

Good for…everything, either as a complete dress of just touches

Not for…a dress that is too seamed as the pattern won’t match

Organza: Looks similar to chiffon but stiffer in texture.

Good for… an overlay, to give shape and texture to a skirt

Not for … a whole dress, as it is too transparent

Satin:

Good for…slinky sheath dresses and styles that need to shimmer

Not for … playing down certain parts of your figure

Taffeta: Papery and lightweight, rustles when you move

Good for…full-skirt and ballroom styles

Not for …smooth finish. Tends to wrinkle easily

Silk tulle: Soft, beautiful and floaty

Good for… great for veils and 50s-style ballroom skirts

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Not for … robust styles, as it is flattering but fragile