Fabric 101: The Right Wedding Gown Material for You

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly
Abby Ellithorpe wed Ryan on July 12, 2013, in a lace gown.

When it comes to finding your perfect gown, Jackie Trucco, owner of IVY Bridal Studio in Dublin, says wedding location is the biggest factor. "You're not going to want to wear a heavy satin dress to an outdoor garden-party wedding," she says. "It wouldn't fit the theme, and you'd probably be pretty hot and uncomfortable the whole time." To help navigate the world of wedding gowns, Trucco gave us the scoop on five fabrics.


Made from pure silk, satin-a heavy material ideal for formal ceremonies-is the most expensive bridal fabric. For brides who want the look without the price tag, Trucco recommends Duchess satin, which is a silk blend. "It's actually a little lighter and more affordable," she says. Going the satin route? Don't try to steam the gown yourself. "Take it to a professional if you want to get it pressed because steam can damage silk," Trucco says.


Another silk blend, dupioni has less shine than satin and is also less expensive. "Silk dupioni is a good option for people who don't like that silk sheen, but it's still going to give that formal look," she says. "It has some raised fibers that give it more texture."


This lightweight, sheer fabric is great for layering. "A lot of times you'll see an organza overlay on ballroom-style gowns," Trucco says. Organza is also versatile and can work for a formal wedding just as well as an outdoor setting. "I think that layered look is really pretty for destination weddings," she adds. For a spin on the classic look, try a striped organza. "It's a great way to go outside the box," she says.


"With tulle, people tend to think of ballerina or tutus," Trucco says. "But there are different kinds." Great for romantic settings, tulle can be made of silk or rayon, which is more affordable. But springing for silk has its benefits. "If you go for the natural fabrics, the silk tulle is going to be a lot softer," she says, adding natural fibers are also more breathable. "It does snag easily, so you don't want to wear an ornate bracelet that will get caught on it all night."


"Lace is probably the most versatile," Trucco says. "You can use it at a formal setting, a destination wedding, a rustic-vintage-inspired wedding." While there are several kinds of lace, Alencon and Chantilly are most common for weddings. Prices are just as varied as the patterns, but American-made lace is typically less expensive. For brides who want to incorporate color into their gown without going all in, Trucco recommends choosing a layered lace gown: "You can do the colored lining, like mocha or blush, and do the ivory lace on top."