Bridal Fabrics and Dress Lengths

I get it, we are all not bridal wear experts and know all those fancy terms. So I made this as simple as possible for you that way were on the same page when I need to know those details.

Click here to Skip to “Section Two: Dress Lengths”

Section One: Bridal Fabric

I grouped similar fabrics So these might not be the proper terms but it tells me what I need to know for your dress coloring.

Also these are all in regards to your Fabric Weave NOT Fabric Material. The confusing part is everyone just refers to them all as the fabric type but i’ll try and simplify that.

Fabric Materials are typically what the Tag of a dress will say, but the Weave is more often found in the description of the dress by the seller/designer.

Material = What the Fabric is made of.

Some examples of Materials are Polyester, Nylon, Silk, Acrylic, Cotton.

Weave = How the Material was made.

Some examples being Lace, Chiffon, Organza.

Now let's break down the Bridal Fabrics.

Again this is really simplified so if you know the proper term that’s great but if your guessing use this guide. O and don’t worry, I can color them all!

 Lace Applique Example

Lace Applique Example

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Lace Applique - It’s a decorative lace that has been cut and sewn to Tulle or another fabric type.  Typically heavy along the rim and then in patches going up the dress. If your Lace Appliques have beads or sequins let me know, I also would love a close up image.

  • 95% of the time the lace will be attached to tulle, but if it’s attached to another material like Satin please mention that as well.

  • Lastly if your dress has Lace Appliques at the top, but they don’t cascade into the area you want colored, I consider that a Tulle dress for the purposes of my coloring.

 Lace Example

Lace Example

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Lace - Typically floral patterns that cover the entire dress. Instead of it being attached to a Tulle, the fabric itself is completely composed of the patterns interlocking.

 Tulle Fabric Example

Tulle Fabric Example

Tulle - Almost Invisible, netting. Typically your veil is made out of this. Unlike the others it won't need to have a sewn hem since it won’t unravel. Meaning the edge of the fabric is just cut. Often used for a light and airy effect or to add body under other fabrics.

 Chiffon Fabric Example

Chiffon Fabric Example

Chiffon - Translucent (see-through) soft and silky. Be warned, although one of my favorites, this fabric snags easy and will need an extra steam/ironing before the big day. It has really great movement, kinda like water how it just flows and moves. Often used in simpler gowns and bridesmaid dresses. (Georgette is also very similar to chiffon)

 Organza Fabric Example

Organza Fabric Example

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Organza - Translucent (see-through) sometimes shiny, has a sewn hem and lots of body. Basically if you tired to roll it up or fold it, it will just unfold itself. Often used in rosette gowns it likes to flow in the air. Looks similar to Chiffon but acts very different, feels stiffer.   

 Satin Fabric Example

Satin Fabric Example

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Satin - SUPER vague here but basically any opaque (not see-through) fabric just call it satin. The only thing i’ll need to know other than that, is if it’s shiny or matte.

Lining Fabric - There is a lot of different fabrics that this could be and you don't need to know what exactly this material is. Just 2 exceptions I’ll need to know about.

  • Spandex, this is a super stretchy material often used in athletic apparel. And yes, I have seen Bridal gowns use it as the lining.

  • Anything Shiny and not soft, almost plastic like. Sometimes under all the other layers they have this really shiny lining that is difficult to color and no one will ever see. Just give me a heads up if your dress is like this.

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Different Lengths of Bridal Gowns

  • Short - Dress that hits above the knee.

  • Tea - Dress that hits mid calf/ankle.

  • Floor - Dress with no train that falls at the feet.

  • Sweep- Dress that lightly brushes the floor. Only about a foot longer in the back or less.

  • Court- Dress that shortly trails behind you around 1-2 feet.

  • Chapel- A very popular train length, trails behind you about 3-4 feet.

  • Cathedral - Common on Vintage Gowns. If your thinking WOW that is a lot of train, it’s probably a Cathedral.

  • Royal/Monarch- I’m not sure how you find a dress this long to begin with. Think Royal. Think so long your going to need 2-3 people to just help you manage it. MASSIVE train.