As you shop for your wedding dress, one of the first decisions you’ll have to make is the material you want. Dress fabric impacts the styles you’ll shop for and the prices of the gowns. Silk and polyester are two popular choices that exist as stand-alone fabrics and as fibers used to make other materials. Discover the difference between silk and polyester bridal gowns and decide which is best for you!
Silk is a popular option for wedding gowns for various reasons. First, the fabric is natural, and like most pure materials, that makes it more breathable. Silk is a great quality fabric because it keeps you warm during the colder months and cool during the warmer months. Natural fabrics are also more durable than synthetic materials such as polyester, meaning a silk gown is more resistant to tearing or damage.
The Many Types of Silk
Usually, when we think of silk, we think of a single version—a plain and slightly shiny fabric, such as silk sheets. However, this is just one of many forms of silk. Other types of silk include the following:
- Silk lace
- Silk tulle
- Silk chiffon
- Silk taffeta
Essentially, we use silk to craft “other materials.” For example, if you go to the fabric store searching for lace, you’ll find it has its own section. This is because manufacturers create it with silk, linen, or polyester.
It’s Better for Sensitive Skin
Most natural materials, including silk, are gentle on the skin. In fact, silk is great for people with allergies or other skin sensitivities because it is hypoallergenic. No bride wants to break out in a rash on her big day, and with a silk dress, you don’t have to worry about that happening.
The Downside of Silk
As amazing as silk is, there is one major con to consider before deciding this is your perfect option—the price. Silk dresses cost more than synthetic fabrics because obtaining the material is challenging. Making a single yard of silk requires at least 3,000 silkworm cocoons. The typical tea-length wedding gown requires at least three yards of fabric, while a ball gown requires at least eight yards. Due to this, a silk dress comes at a higher price.
Polyester is a synthetic fabric, which means it’s artificial. This is a great option if you want a finer-looking material at an affordable price. Since you don’t have to rely on silkworms to make polyester, these gowns remain affordable. This also decreases the risk of making sacrifices in dress style—ball gown, mermaid, A-line—to accommodate price.
Manufacturers can create various fabrics out of polyester material or create purely polyester garments. Examples of fabrics you can make with polyester include:
By shopping for polyester versions of the above materials, you can get the dress of your dreams without overspending on the product’s price.
The Downside of Polyester
Unlike natural fabrics, polyester isn’t very breathable, so on a hot day, you’ll feel warmer than in a silk gown. Likewise, it isn’t hypoallergenic, so if you have skin sensitivities, it may not be the ideal option, especially if it already feels itchy as you try on dresses. Another downside of this option is that it can create a glare in flash photography due to how it reflects light.
Which Is Best?
When evaluating the difference between silk and polyester bridal gowns, it’s important to listen to your heart. Similar to any other aspect of your wedding, there is no defined answer to whether silk or polyester is best. We all have different opinions, needs, and weights on gown criteria. If you have sensitive skin, you may be willing to pay more to ensure you get a comfortable dress. However, if you have a tight budget and can comfortably wear all materials, polyester may work fine for you.
As you choose the best wedding gown fabric, consider how the look and feel of a material compare to the price. Determine each dress option’s value for your dream wedding.
A Final Note
If you can’t decide which fabric you prefer, evaluate dresses of both materials that fit your budget. This, of course, means having an open mind when it comes to style. However, if you’re dead set on a specific dress cut, then looking at polyester and silk options that remain within a fixed budget likely won’t work. It’s time to pop a bottle of champagne and begin the hunt for your perfect dress.