Thoughts on Wedding Dress Fabric - Part 2 - Shantung & Taffeta

Photo by Gulnara Studio

Shantung

Shantung is often overlooked as a fabric for bridal gowns. Most of us know it as a common material used for bridesmaids dresses because it looks beautiful when dyed in many bright, bold colors. But it is a stunning choice for a bride who is looking for something a bit different and a touch more simple.

It is a heavy fabric made from plain woven silk or cotton and possesses a rougher texture. Shantung is a simple plain weave design with a slight ribbed effect. Yarns used in the wrap of the material cause some of the weave to appear raised. And while it may be slightly rough to the touch,it is very comfortable and drapes nicely. It is an ideal fabric for cooler weather, so spring and autumn brides should look to shantung as a possible fabric choice. A-line styles in ivory hues are particularly lovely in this material. We just adore the crisp texture, slightly bold and totally refreshing.

Taffeta

Most of us remember wearing party dresses made from this material while growing up. Taffeta conjures up images of birthday parties, pink dresses, and white patent leather shoes.

But taffeta is not just for elaborate party dresses–it is a commonly used fabric for wedding gowns. It exudes the perfect amount of girlish charm and is a great choice for those with sweet sensibilities.

Taffeta is a crisp and lightweight fabric made from silk or a blend of synthetic fibers. The word is actually Persian in origin and means “twisted woven.” Who knew? Taffeta has been around since the Renaissance ages, so not only is it regal but it is historical, too. And let’s not forget the 1950’s style prom dresses our moms wore, taffeta has staying power.

There are two types of taffeta–yarn-dyed and piece-dyed. Piece-dyed is often used as a liner for garments while yarn-dyed is a much stiffer variety and is usually used for the actual construction of bridal gowns and evening-wear. Taffeta can either have a shiny or matte finish. Note that gowns constructed with taffeta will be a bit more stiff than those made of lighter, more airy fabrics. Either way it is still a dressy fabric that forms beautifully. Amsale and Priscilla of Boston have some stunning designs made from taffeta, so be sure to check them out if this fabric seems to catch your fancy.

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