In deciding what fabric to make a wedding dress with, here are some highlights for these types of fabrics which tends to be the most popular fabrics to use for wedding gowns. There are other types of fabrics, but these listed here are all readily available in most fabric stores.
Wedding gowns are made from a base fabric such as bridal satin or silk, then an overlay can be added which gives more interest to the dress. The fabric alone can be used for the gown or additional overlay choices can be used such as chiffon, georgette, organza, or lace.
Bridal Satin is one of the most common fabrics to use for wedding dress fabrics. It is very versatile, durable, and more affordable than silk. Bridal satin is typically made from synthetic (polyester) fibers. ‘Satin’ is a finish on the fibers which creates a smooth luxurious look. Some satins have a beautiful sheen (not shiny) while others have a matte look (no shine). Satin is also available in silk (Silk Satin). Many satins are referred to as Duchesse Satin (or Peau De Soi Satin) which is the finish on the fabric (a smooth, luxurious finish with body in the fabric).
Charmeuse is a lightweight fabric made of polyester or silk. It has a smooth, glossy sheen. It drapes well which gives a soft, flowing feel to a dress which is quite popular for certain styles. The shiny side can be used for the wedding dress or the matte inside can be used so there is no shine.
Cotton: Batiste: Voile, these are fabrics made from a natural fiber, some have a blend of polyester so there won’t be as much wrinkling. They are a soft, lightweight fabric which works well for informal gowns, or ones used for spring or summer weddings.
Crepe is made from a woven or knitted fabric which has a wrinkled or crinkly surface. Thin crepe is called Crepe De Chine (which is a chinese crepe). It has a soft drape (no body). It is made from silk as well as from synthetic fibers.
Silk is a very beautiful, elegant, and traditional fabric to use for a wedding gown. Silk is a natural fiber (the fibers are produced by nature-silk worms, not manmade such as polyester). It comes in many variations of fabrics some of which are silk crepe (slight crinkly look), silk satin (smooth finish), silk charmeuse (very soft and flowy), silk shantung (has a small number of slubs-slight irregularities-woven into the fabric), silk doupionni (has many slubs woven into the fabric which creates a textured look), silk taffeta (a smooth, crisp fabric).
Taffeta is a smooth, crisp fabric with body (some stiffness) in it. It has a sheen. It is an elegant fabric for a bridal gown or a ball gown. It comes in polyester, silk, acetate, and rayon fabrics.