No other fabric is as synonymous with weddings as lace is. Iconic and timeless, lace dresses have origins as far back as the 15th century, when Princess Philippa started the tradition of wearing white on your wedding day in 1406. You don’t have to be a princess to feel like one and lace has that special look and feel that is a mainstay of wedding fashion that has evolved and grown over the ages.
Today, there are many options for lace wedding dresses. From full lace dresses to accents and embroidery, the way you can sculpt and shape this fabric has a look and an elegance that is undeniable. This guide will go over what goes into a lace wedding dress as well as the most popular lace to choose from on your big day.
Characteristics of Lace
Lace is made from yarn or thread and is known by its intricate open designs and patterns made through a variety of methods. Lace — in its earlier days — was made from silk and linen by hand, but today, lace is made from wool, cotton, silk, polyester and even nylon, and can be machine-made to keep the price down. The higher the quality of the lace, the smaller the stitches and finer the thread is used.
Lace offers an ethereal and romantic look that can create a contrasting effect that highlights delicate designs and helps add a unique style to any wedding dress. This delicate fabric requires care so it does not get ripped or damaged as it is labor-intensive to make and takes an incredible amount of effort if made by hand.
Lace is used in moderation, as trims and necklines more often in wedding dresses, as the more lace you use, the higher the price of the dress. No matter how little or how much lace you use, it will always add a nice touch to your dress that draws the eye and elevates the look.
Some of the more popular varieties of lace come in quite a few different styles and more often than not, the lace will be named after the city it was created in. Let’s take a look at some of the more common varieties of lace that are used when creating wedding dresses and how they compare to one another as well.
Chantilly lace originated in the 17th century in the city of Chantilly, France and was a handmade bobbin lace until silks started to be used in the 18th century. It is a very detailed, open lace with a defined border when compared to others has larger embellishments or designs on it. Chantilly lace features many folds within which gives it a rich and whipped look. It is known for its elaborate detail with incredible motifs. Because of the detail, Chantilly lace is one of the more expensive of the laces.
Known as the “queen of laces,” Alençon lace is also named after a city in France. Alençon lace is a fine needlepoint fabric and resembles cotton in texture while featuring a raised cording above its pattern. This type of lace is known for its softness and is one of its defining features. Alençon lace normally features bold motifs on its net and can be used for trim or the main dress material as well. This exquisite lace is also known to have a bit more body and texture than Chantilly lace does.
Also known as Venetian lace, Guipure lace is an elegant fabric made by twisting and braiding threads, which in turn make incredible, jaw-dropping designs. It features more texture and has a heavier feel to it than the other laces do, while also being easier to work with as well as less prone to fraying. Guipure lace distinguishes itself from other types of lace by connecting designs with bars or subtle plaits instead of setting them on a net. Guipure lace has patterns that feature a close series of embroidered stitches that are made onto a fine fabric that almost disappears into the finished gown.
Other Types of Lace:
While the three above are the most popular, there are many other types of laces you can use on your wedding day, such as:
- Lace Appliques
- Eyelet Lace
- Floral Lace
- Brocade Lace
- Sequined Lace
- Beaded Lace
- Laser Cut
- Velvet Lace
Be creative with your dress and don’t be afraid to ask your bridal consultant about your options! Incorporating lace into your look can make a big difference on your big day!
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