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choosing the right wedding drapery fabric

Drapes are an essential part of the decor for an indoor wedding. It plays perhaps the largest role of all in defining and enhancing the environment.

With so much to think about and plan already, choosing the right wedding drapery fabric can be a chore unto itself. To help you out in preparation for your big day, here are some things to keep in mind when you’re choosing the right wedding drapery fabric.

Avoid Stiff Fabrics

Stiff fabrics don’t “drape” over things effectively—they tend to crumple and bulk out, instead of flowing and pooling like proper fabrics for draping.

Fabrics that drape well are usually “flowy” and fluid, like water, and can be...

  • Wrapped
  • Hung
  • Drooped
  • Puddled
  • Pleated

To test fabrics, try hanging them over your arm, and see how they fall. Check how they look bunched together. It should be easy to tell from this how they’ll work for draping.

Check for Flame Resistance

If you’re going to be decorating using lights along with draped fabrics, or decorating using ceiling drapes, you’ll want to make sure the fabrics you choose are flame-retardant. Some venues are very particular about the kinds of decor you’re allowed to use because of concern over fire hazards.

Look for Wide Rolls

Choose the widest rolls of fabric you can find—at least 60 inches is ideal, and even better if it’s 120 inches wide or more. Wide fabric is easier to work with and customize than narrower fabric.

Choose the Thinness

How much light do you want to come through the drapes? You can choose from translucent, sheer, and opaque.

  • Sheer: Transparent, or see-through.
  • Translucent: It allows light to pass through, but it isn’t completely transparent.
  • Opaque: Is not see-through, nor does it let light pass through.

Popular Fabric Choices

The following are some fabric types popular for event drapery that you might want to look for when you’re choosing the right wedding drapery fabric.

  • Satin — opaque; matte or shiny; can be heavy, so be sure and find something 40 denier or lighter (“denier” refers to the thickness of the fabric—a lower number indicates finer, lighter fabric).
  • Chiffon — sheer; very flowy.
  • Charmeuse — opaque; matte or light shine.
  • Gossamer, or tobacco cloth — semi-translucent or sheer; very light.
  • Voile — sheer; matte; very light.
  • Poly Premier — a look and texture similar to fabric used for table linens at gourmet restaurants, which suggests sophistication and romance.

Choose Colors

White drapery for a wedding is the obvious choice, but don’t be afraid to break from tradition. Just ensure that the colors you choose work well together and match the rest of your wedding decor.

Watch Your Budget

The average amount spent on an American wedding is $35,329. Yours doesn’t need to be anywhere near that number, or it could be far above it. The point is to know what you’re prepared to spend before you start looking.

Watch for Reflectiveness

Especially if there will be photography at your event, you might want to avoid fabrics with a highly reflective sheen to them, as these can make the lighting look funny in photographs.

These tips should help you out as you’re choosing the right wedding drapes for your special day. With thought and care, wedding drapes can add a lot to the look-and-feel of your perfect wedding.

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