Fantasies of happily ever after and fairy-tale princesses bring to mind lush and full tulle wedding dresses. Tulle is a sheer, breathable mesh fabric with a hexagonal pattern. It can be made from various fibers and can be quite stiff or somewhat soft.Tulle wedding dresses can look classic, retro or modern, depending upon their style and silhouette. Consider your figure, your wedding style, and the look you want when deciding whether a tulle dress is right for your special day.
Tulle was first manufactured in Tulle, France, in the 18th century. Before mass production began, similar netting was made by hand or machine as the basis for embroidered or appliqued lace. The Swedish ballerina Marie Taglioni wore tulle tutus on stage for the first time in the 19th century, creating the fitted dancer-style dress still worn today. Queen Victoria made tulle a popular choice for wedding dresses when she wore an off-the-shoulder tulle gown for her wedding in 1840.
Nylon, rayon and silk tulle are all used for wedding dresses and veils. Nylon tulle is typically somewhat stiffer and coarser. The hexagonal pattern is often larger. Rayon tulle is softer and more pliable than nylon–and of a better quality. Silk tulle offers the sheerness of tulle but has a soft drape and can create a flowing fabric or a fuller one, depending how it is used.
In most tulle wedding dresses, tulle is used for the skirt of the dress. Wedding dress bodices may be silk, satin or another fabric, but may have a tulle layer over an opaque fabric. The skirt can be made up of multiple layers of stiff tulle for a full ballgown style or have a simple and light silk tulle over the skirt for a simpler and fresher look. Tulle may also be used for the lower portion of a longer, fitted skirt.
Your tulle bridal gown can help to evoke the feeling you want on your special day. Choose a tea-length tulle dress for a retro look, worn with a small birdcage veil and colorful shoes. A full ballgown-style tulle wedding dress with a fitted bodice and floor length skirt is classic, elegant–and for many brides–a dream dress. Choose a sleeker or simpler dress with less fullness in the tulle skirt or a softer and more pliable tulle for a more modern look.
Tulle wedding dresses offer options you may not have considered. Embroidered or metallic tulle fabrics can add personality to your wedding dress. While white, ivory and champagne are traditional wedding colors, shades of pale gold and pink work well for some brides. If you don’t want to opt for a tulle dress, but like the look of tulle, consider wearing a colorful tulle petticoat under your dress to bring a touch of color and your own personality to your wedding attire.