Main Content

Fabric Glossary

Unfamiliar with the fabrics that make up wedding wear? We've put together a handy glossary to define the materials commonly used in bridal gowns, bridesmaid dresses and more.

Brocade is a type of heavyweight jacquard woven with a beautifully rich, complex design, giving it a more textured feel than regular jacquard.

Charmeuse is a smooth, satiny fabric lustrous on one side and matte on the other. Extremely soft, charmeuse is valued for its fluid, high-quality drape.

Chiffon is sheer, lightweight and subtly textured. It lends an airy, ethereal quality to any garment.

Crepe is a medium-weight fabric woven with a dull sheen, finely pebbled texture and an easy, flattering drape.

Dupioni is a crisp, medium- to heavy-weight fabric that's been woven with crosswise slubs for elegant texture.

Faille is a light- to medium-weight fabric that's woven with extra yarns to make it thicker, stronger and smoother. These extra yarns also lend the fabric its graceful drape.

Jacquard is a heavier-weight fabric created on a specific loom, allowing rich, textured designs to be woven into the fabric.

Lace is a sheer, delicate fabric that comes in a variety of open-work designs. Distinctive patterns are often named after the city or region in which they originated, such as Chantilly and Cluny.

Matte jersey is a smooth, fluid knit with a soft hand. It often incorporates stretch to enhance its easy, flowing drape.

Mesh is a sheer, lightweight fabric, very fine and generally somewhat stretchy. It's often fashioned in layers to provide opacity and create an ethereal silhouette.

Metallic fabric has been woven or knit with metallic fibers (or a synthetic substitute) for infused shimmer.

Organdy is a transparent, lightweight fabric with a very crisp finish.

Organza is sheer and lightweight yet possesses a crisp finish. Similar to organdy, it's slightly less stiff and more transparent.

Satin is crafted using a particular weave that creates a smooth, lustrous fabric. Many different fabrics are created with a satin weave, including charmeuse.

Stretch satin incorporates a bit of elasticity for ease of movement.

Shantung is woven with crosswise slubs for subtle texture. With a semi-crisp hand, it's generally lighter-weight than its close relative, dupioni.

Taffeta is fine and smooth with a beautiful, understated luster. Taffeta dresses make a subtle rustling sound as they move.

Tulle is a delicate, meshlike fabric with very small, hexagonal-shaped holes. Slightly more substantial than mesh, it's often used to create veils or to lend fullness to skirts.