Bridal Veil Materials – Differences between Bridal Illusion, English Netting, and Silk Tulle
Bridal Illusion Veil
Bridal veils are available in three kinds of fabric–bridal illusion, English netting, and silk tulle–but they have very different characteristics and appearance.
Wedding veils made from bridal illusion are by far the most common available around the world. In fact, bridal illusion veils are so ubiquitous that most bridal salons and major manufacturers carry only veils made from bridal illusion. Bridal illusion is typically simply called “tulle” in the wedding industry, though technically it is a 100% nylon tulle. Bridal illusion can be identified by looking very closely at the fabric: like all tulles, bridal illusion is an interlock fabric, but with illusion, the holes created make a diamond shape.
Bridal illusion is the most sheer option available, and is excellent for use in a blusher layer (the top layer of a veil that is brought forward to cover the face). It has a medium body, and can get very poofy when gathered on a comb. The way a veil is constructed can have a great deal of influence on how tall and fluffy a bridal illusion veil is, but a veil made of this material will always have some body and height.
Bridal Illusion is the most affordable wedding veil material. A synthetic material, it is not suitable for long-term storage and use; it will yellow long before it can be handed down to a future generation.
English netting is considerably harder to find, but there are a few high-end retailers that carry veils made from this premium fabric. English netting refers to any tulle made from 100% cotton with a hexagonal interlock. It is still a sheer fabric, but it is the least sheer of the three. It is not suitable for brides who want a blusher.
English netting has the most body of the three types of veil material. This means that it will have the most bulk when gathered on a comb to make a veil, but the fabric is also heavier, which helps to negate the pouf. The fabric is also slightly stiffer than bridal illusion or silk tulle, so it holds its shape and doesn’t flow and drape like the other two options.
English netting material is substantially more expensive than bridal illusion, but less expensive than silk tulle. A natural material, it stands the test of time well.
Silk tulle is the most luxurious fabric option in bridal veils, and is also the hardest to find. Like English netting veils, silk veils are only available in a few of the most high-end bridal salons and online retailers. And even the very high-end bridal salons will stock mostly bridal illusion. Don’t assume that because a veil is several thousand dollars in a high-end salon that it is silk. Despite the high price tag, it is probably bridal illusion.
Silk tulle is easy to identify once you know the difference. It is made from 100% silk and also features a hexagonal interlock. It also is much softer than either bridal illusion or English netting, and drapes and flows much better than either fabric. It is very flat, even when gathered, so it is ideal for brides who don’t want a poofy veil. It is almost as sheer as bridal illusion, and is suitable for a blusher layer.
Silk tulle is the most expensive bridal veil material, but it is also the most luxurious, softest and least poofy. Because it is a natural fabric, it will last through the generations without the yellowing and deterioration problems typical to synthetic fabrics.