This is a commonly asked question since the options available for today’s bride vary greatly. It helps to get an idea of the difference before selecting a wedding veil for your special day.
Bridal Illusion – This is the most commonly used fabric for a standard wedding veil by most bridal veil designers. Bridal Illusion is soft tulle made of 100% nylon. The texture may vary from one manufactured lot to the next, however, a good quality bridal illusion will be soft to the touch and have fine netting. Lower quality or even some dyed colors tones of bridal illusion may have a slightly “scratchy” or coarse texture. Bridal illusion photographs well and is translucent, thus suitable for a blusher layer veil or drop veil style. Bridal illusion can be used to create any length or number of tiers for a wedding veil and is available in 108″ widths at the widest.
Silk Tulle – Silk tulle is very beautiful and drapes elegantly. However, it is not commonly used for the creation of wedding veils due to the delicate nature of the fabric. Silk tulle is made of 100% silk and is the most expensive bridal veil tulle one might find for this reason. Silk tulle is available in several textures. French silk tulle is the most delicate, most fragile, and hardest silk tulle to deal with in creating a bridal veil. It has a very fine soft texture almost similar to the feel of fine hosiery if you will. However, Italian silk tulle both have wider netting and coarse textures although still 100% silk. Italian and English silk tulle is best suited for veils with trims or applied beadwork. Silk tulle can be used to create any length and number of tiers for a wedding veil and is commonly available in widths from 60″ wide to 110″ widths. However, be prepared for a more expensive veil. For less expensive options is the silk blend tulle. This is often just termed “silk tulle” however, it is not 100% silk there is a little polyester blended in the silk to create an equally sheer and soft feel to the fabric but it does have some stretch.
English Net – This is one of our favorite materials for creating wedding veils. Our English net is made of polyester nylon and has a very soft texture and drapes similar to chiffon but has the advantages of a bridal illusion veil as it is also transparent. It is a weightier fabric due to the polyester blend and so is best worn as a single-tiered veil but an excellent alternative for the brides seeking a non-tulle based wedding veil. English net is available in 45″ width only.
Point D’Esprit – This fabric features a criss-cross dotted pattern as shown in the photo at the top or dotted pattern without a criss-cross as shown in the photo at the bottom over English net or 100% cotton. It is a particular favorite for brides seeking to accompany a lace adorned wedding dress. Depending on the lot of fabric the texture can be a little coarse or soft depending on how the run of fabric is made from the fabric manufacturer. It can be worn as a single or two-tiered wedding veil in any length and is translucent although patterned. Fabric widths only come in 45″ at the widest, so any Point D’Esprit wedding veil will not be wider than 45″.
Swiss Dot – Veils made with swiss dot fabric to accompany wedding dresses designed by La Sposa or J. Crew have become increasingly popular. Swiss dot fabric is made of bridal illusion and features small felt dots throughout the material. Veil fabric is translucent and can be made in all lengths and tiers. This fabric is only available in 60″ width at the widest.
Chiffon – Chiffon is fluid soft flowing non-translucent material made with highly twisted fibers and a soft finish. Many wedding dresses are designed using poly and silk chiffon fabrics. As with other fabrics there are different types of chiffon fabric and they all differ by texture and quality. Poly chiffon is made of a polyester blend whereas silk chiffon is made of 100% silk. You will find typically two types of silk chiffon. One has a grainy crepe-like texture while the other has a very smooth soft feel. One might choose silk chiffon over poly due to personal preference for natural fibers or to match the fabric of a silk chiffon made bridal gown. Chiffon fabric wedding veils are best as single tier veils since the fabric is non-translucent and the fabric is weightier than bridal illusion or traditional tulle based veils. Chiffon most commonly comes in 45″ at the widest.
Organza – Organza is a elegant semi-translucent stiff synthetic polyester, nylon, or silk fabric. Silk is stiffer in texture than polyester organza. High quality polyester organza is most commonly used in bridal gown and veil design. It has a dulled shimmer as shown in the photo above. A lesser quality polyester organza will have a great deal of shimmer. We use the higher quality polyester organza. Silk organza is a stiffer and coarser fabric than the polyester due it’s natural fibers. It is used by higher end bridal gown designers and often a better choice if your gown is made with silk organza because it tones more deeply than the polyester version. Organza can be made in several lengths and tiers and is available in 60″ widths at maximum.
These are the basic veil fabrics used to create today’s wedding veils. It helps to understand a bit about textures and components of standard fabrics in order to choose a truly unique veil for a truly unique bride. Let us know your comments or questions, we happy to answer what we can.