This was originally posted on May 19, 2010.
It's very important (in my opinion anyways) to know at least a little bit about fabric before you go shopping for wedding gowns/ maids dresses/ mom's dresses etc. Most assume that the price of a dress is mainly based on the how much detail it has (embroidery, beading) but that's not totally true. Fabric actually has a much greater impact on the price of a dress. Because most dresses are made by machine in far away places like Taiwan or China, they really don't cost very much to make because the labor costs are (sadly) so cheap. The materials, along with the complexity of the design, are actually what really drive the cost up. A dress that is made of polyester satin and covered in embroidery and beadwork will still most likely be less expensive than a dress made of silk satin with no embroidery or beadwork because silk satin is really expensive. There are pros and cons to different types of fabric, so it really just depends on what your looking for and how much you want to spend. Being a fabric junkie (design school will do that to you), I am partial to richer fabrics but everyone is different. So, here is The Ethereal Bride's handy fabric guide to hopefully help you make sense of the big sea of white that lays before you.
Flower girl dress with tulle skirt by Johanna Grace; style# "Arabesque"
Tulle gown by Impression; style# 3073