Monday, April 12, 2010


Since I last wrote about going with the green fiber bridal gown, the fashion as well as wedding industry has blossomed yet greener.  Not only do we want natural fibers, we're interested in how those fibers are grown and treated before buying a garment and putting it on our body--the wedding dress being the pinnacle buy of them all. So what makes for an eco-friendly fabric?

1. Production of fabric follows fair trade practices (read: no prison contracted or sweat-shop labor involved)

2. Free or low on chemicals and pesticides

3. Eco-conscious land management practices

4. Sustainable farming

5. Animal friendly practices
Dharma Trading                                     Custom designed hemp wedding gown by  Amy-Jo Tatum

HEMP SILK and Hemp Charmeuse. (above) Here’s a fabric getting some rave reviews these days, combo hemp and silk. The silk has a luxe sheen while the hemp provides strength and body. Like silk charmeuse, Hemp Charmeuse has a shiny side and a matte side. Both sides highlight that slubbiness hemp has. This is really going to be a popular fabric for bridal wear in the next few years.

                         Dharma Trading                                                                                                                             Econica
BAMBOO-(above) Some Bamboo drapes and acts like silk but has a stronger make-up. Bamboo also has a property called, Bamboo Kun, a micro-bacterial. Because of its nature, bamboo can be washed, go through fifty washes and still hold onto all its anti-fungal properties. I’ve also heard it prevents body odor . . . . well, all I can add to that is, we’ll see.
SOY JERSEY-Yes, you heard right, soy is now something you can actually wear.  Soy blends are making their way into the mainstream green as well as bridal arena.  Dharma Trading has a part Soy, part Organic Cotton selection with a touch of spandex.  The result is a gorgeous jersey that would drape perfectly for evening gown and Grecian-style gowns.

ORGANIC COTTON-Here's a question I get all the time. What’s the difference between organic and regular cotton? First answer: it has been grown free of chemicals and pesticides. Second: If whitened, it’s done so via a peroxiding process (approved method of G.O.T.S.—Global Organic Textile Standards) not bleach. One of my own contributions to going green has been replacing some of the collection samples with crinoline petticoats in 100% organdy (stiff cotton). The bad news is, the fabric has gone fast and I need to reorder more . . .

COTTON OR RAYON VOILE- Above is the famous Letty Lynton dress from the obscure 1932 classic film of the same name. When I first laid eyes on this design by Hollywood designer, Adrian, I swooned and never forgot it. How could I? Made of light weight cotton voile, this dress sold copies in record numbers back in the depression when Macy’s—in a special arrangement with MGM was able to offer it to the public. Rayon and organic cotton voiles are making comebacks for daytime formals, maybe not as exaggerated as this one but light weight and flowing. Yes, you can get organic voile.

A last word about silks. With all the new fabrics out from soy to bamboo, when it comes to bridal wear, silks still rule big whether they are organic or not. If you’ve been wondering why everything is going down in price while wedding gowns keep those high price tags, here’s a bit of info from Dharma Trading that might help. A couple years back China revalued their currency.  Once they did, the price of silk yarn went up so naturally shipments to our manufacturers and designers cost more. Once silk prices go down (if they do) hopefully the cost of a wedding gown will come down as well. Till then, be prepared to pay more on most fabric imported from China which would include hemp, bamboos and silk.


Gina said...

This is great information, I had no idea there were so many options. Too bad I already have my wedding dress!

Andre@Vermont Wedding said...

The dresses were all great. They look so stunning. Every detail of this dress were lovely, I think I would get my wedding dress early with this creation.

Ms. Bunny said...

Unfortunately bamboo fabric is a misleading term and the fabric is not environmentally-friendly. In reality, bamboo fabric — the soft kind that bedding, bath products, and clothing is made out of — is actually rayon.

To create rayon, usually they use cotton linters and wood pulp and then put them through a viscose solution that is bad the the earth. Using bamboo as the original source is no different than using cotton linters and wood pulp. The end result is the same, so is the process. Bamboo fabric does not retain the original qualities, like being micro-bacterial, after undergoing the viscose processing.

The FTC is starting to crack down on companies that market their products as bamboo because it is misleading advertising. You can learn more at