Lace, with it's beauty and romance, is the perfect fabric for a very special wedding dress! Thanks to Queen Victoria’s choice of Honiton lace from Devon as part of her wedding dress and veil, lace has endured as a beautiful and exuberant choice of fabric for that special dress, but with so many options out there – how on earth does one begin to choose what to work with? Have no fear, a guide to lace awaits you…
We’re going to start with probably the most enduring and popular laces: Chantilly Lace – a very fine and delicate lace with a soft handle. The motifs are sometimes outlined in a heavier silky thread or exhibit shading effects and it normally has doubled scalloped edges. This French lace featured in Kate Middleton’s dress, (called Kate by us!) and is named after the town in the north of France where the fabric was first created by the Duchesse de Longueville, a noted member of the aristocracy with a reputation for being a bit of a trendsetter! Also known as Galloon Lace, the fabric is created from an orderly mesh of hexagons, imbuing it with extra strength and a unique handle. Gorgeously tactile, delicate and feminine, with a sweeping drape unlike that of any other wedding material, Chantilly Lace is a staple of bridal couture. Please browse our extensive collection. As well as a range of Chantilly Lace in both ivory and white, we also stock hand beaded Chantilly lace, hand embellished it is a wonderfully artisan and sparkly fabric to use on a dress.
Totally different in drape and handle to Chantilly, rather denser and heavier, is another mainstay of the bridal industry - Guipure Lace (think of the other Middleton sister!). Guipure lace is one of the earliest and most enduring types of the essential bridal fabric. References to the beautifully-designed lace date back as far as 1327, when the clergy of Exeter Cathedral proudly listed four pieces amongst their possessions.
Guipure Lace can also be known as Venetian Lace and is one of the most elegant of all lace qualities. The lace is made up of a continuous motif, which creates a denser, more raised pattern than other qualities, and often contains a floral or geometric design. Splendid examples of geometric designs include Penny, Haven and Gretel. The motif is made by a series of closely packed embroidery stitches onto a fine fabric that disintegrates in the finishing process. This means that the “backing” fabric cannot be seen in the finished article as with other types of lace. For Guipure floral designs, explore Anouk and Guinevere.
For the bride who dislikes the look of net but who would like to lace in her wedding gown, Guipure lace is an elegant choice – it is surprisingly easy to use, being a robust fabric and can be used either in the bodice, skirt or train of a dress.
Similar to Chantilly, but offering rather more value for money is Raschel Lace. Raschel laces are knitted rather than woven and are created in a versatile range of looks and weights. The machines were developed in the 19th Century and seen as an alternative to the more expensive Chantilly laces which were, and still are, woven on Leavers Machines.
Designs that are made on Raschel machines are every bit as delicate and sophisticated as those made in Chantilly but the production tends to be faster and therefore the price can be less. The handle is lightweight with a soft drape, resulting in an exquisite fabric. Click on Bethany, Katherine and Freya and evaluate the qualities of this delicate lace.
Embroidered Laces typically use a tulle backing, on to which is embroidered first a decorative pattern, normally in rayon yarn in the modern era. Embroidered Lace is extremely versatile as the designs can range from compact satin stitch which creates a heavier and stiffer handle, yet a more opulent quality, to perhaps chain stitch or a lighter embroidery to create lighter, gauzy feel suitable for a bohemian bride perhaps.
Each of the laces can be embellished and Corded Lace is a forever favourite in the bridal industry. This elegant type of lace was originally made exclusively in Northern France but is now made all over the world. Originally known as Alencon lace, it is formed by highlighting details in the pattern using a cord, which gives these laces a slightly textured look. Adele, Danka and Allegra all deserve your attention.
Alternatively, or in addition to cording, sequins and beads can also be added to a lace to secure some sparkle. Sequinned Lace secures a shimmer and a shine, ensuring all eyes are on the bride!
Beaded Lace, similarly establishes glitz and glamour! Many laces are hand beaded, often in India using only the most skilled craftsmen. Literally, each individual bead is attached by hand so that the fabric is wonderfully artisan and wonderfully sparkly. These laces sit at the upper end of the price range, but are sensational! Some sensational examples include Britte, Briar and Tabitha.
3D Lace is a relatively recent style, and allows extremely striking patterns to be made, using 3 dimensional designs. Satin Fabrics are laser cut into various shapes and then embroidered onto different fabrics to embellish their design. Alternatively, embroidered flowers or leaves are sewn on to the tulle base. 3D designs are currently at the top of the trend list for bridal!
Lastly, but certainly not least, are Glitter Laces, a modern addition to the selection for the atelier. These are a range of tulle based fabrics that produce a lace effect. A combination of sequins and glitter are adhered to the tulle using modern fabric adhesives to produce eye-catching designs whilst maintaining a great drape. The manufacturing process is low cost and so this fabric offers a good value alternative to traditional lace. See what these gorgeous fabrics have to offer.Bridal Fabrics offers a wide and varied range of all types of lace fabrics, suitable for wedding dress making, including Chantilly, Guipure, Raschel, beaded, corded, glitter and 3D laces. We have no minimum order quantities and we carry stock to secure speedy delivery. We also offer a FREE sampling service.