Different Types of Lace Fabrics for Wedding Dresses


Guide to Different Types of Lace Fabrics for Wedding Dresses

Many materials can be called on to form a breathtakingly beautiful wedding dress, but few are as intricate or lovely as lace. A classic option, lace can bring a graceful quality to any gown, instantly turning it from an ordinary dress to something truly special.

While the term 'lace dress' tends to bring a specific aesthetic to mind, this look is far more versatile than most brides-to-be realize. Simply stating this fabric as a preference doesn't significantly narrow down the myriad of available dresses. In fact, for many, this is often when the planning complications begin. After all, several distinct lace categories exist — and each comes with its own unique benefits and challenges. 

Not sure which look is right for your big day? We've clarified a few of the top styles below. Here are the different types of lace we will go over: 

  • Chantilly

  • Guipure

  • Embroidered Lace Appliques

  • Re-Embroidered Lace Appliques

  • Alençon

  • Eyelet 

  • Cotton

  • 3d 

Keep reading to learn which looks are most trendy or traditional — and how lace, in general, can elevate your bridal gown.

Chantilly Lace

Named after the French city in which it was introduced hundreds of years ago, Chantilly lace is among the most elegant and traditional. It's also one of the most familiar options for brides.

Featuring a plain net background with numerous ribbons and flowers, this delicate look works wonderfully as a fabric layer for an entire dress, for both long and cap sleeves, or as lace trim on a gown. Likewise, the bridal veil provides an excellent chance to display Chantilly lace, which can be used for the edge design.

The attention to detail that exemplifies this style can give dresses an upscale feel, but the complexity of the production process may cause dresses with Chantilly to be a bit more costly. As such, it may be used sparingly to keep gowns affordable.

Guipure Lace

Sometimes referred to as Venetian lace, Guipure joins its motifs with braids or twists, rather than relying on net. The motifs themselves can be sizable, making them easier to identify from a distance. Like Chantilly, this is a delicate look, and therefore, best used with formal dresses.

Guipure lace can be used for several aspects of the wedding dress but is most frequently found in the skirt or train. Some brides also prefer Guipure for the neckline. Often, it's used alongside wedding dress materials such as satin, chiffon, or crepe. It can be modernized with geometric details or a plunging sweetheart neckline — features that set Style S2195 apart.

Embroidered Lace Appliques

Sewn on tulle or other existing fabrics, embroidered lace appliques allow brides to make the most of preferred materials while also enjoying the intricate appeal of lace.

These appliques can be either machine-made or created by hand. They bring an appealing level of versatility to the wedding lace concept, especially among those who like the look of this fabric but prefer it as a detail or embellishment rather than for large portions of the bridal gown. 

Re-Embroidered Lace Appliques

As a specific type of Chantilly, re-embroidered lace was common in the 1960s. It continues to hold a lot of vintage appeal, bringing ribbons to motif patterns to create a more dimensional look.

Re-embroidered lace appliques are similar to the embroidered appliques described above, in that they can be used with a variety of types of dresses and materials. These appliques may also incorporate beading or other details to form a unique and intricate look. 


A rare needlepoint technique attributed to a Normandy town, Alençon involves a high degree of craftsmanship that arguably exceeds that of even Chantilly or Guipure. After all, it can take up to seven hours to produce just one square centimeter of this amazingly intricate lace.

Alençon lace is often used for religious settings, where it is meant to inspire viewers with its ethereal appearance. Traditionally, this type of lace has also been highly sought after by royalty.

As a modern bridal dress material, authentic Alençon should be reserved for the most formal, upscale weddings. That being said, a lovely machine-produced version is now available, making Alençon more accessible to today's brides.

No matter how it's produced, Alençon attracts attention with its signature raised edges and underlying lace pattern. Together, these create an impressively dimensional appearance. The edges may also feature dainty eyelash fringe. With or without fringe, this can be used to add details to trains, sleeves, or even the gown's bodice.

Eyelet Lace

As one of the most durable types of lace, the eyelet category brings a different approach: it's produced by creating precise holes within the preferred fabric type. The locations of these holes are carefully selected to create an eye-catching pattern.

While often used in simple designs and summer dresses, eyelet laces can be applied to some formal gowns. Often, this durable and breathable material is far preferable to heavier or more fragile options typically associated with formal ball gowns.


Many brides-to-be are surprised to discover that lace can be constructed from cotton. This material can feel far more glamorous than most brides anticipate. It often features a lattice-like look, which works nicely for many bridal silhouettes and styles.

Mermaid silhouettes can be used to give cotton lace dresses a more sensual appearance. This idea is used to great effect with the re-embroidered cotton lace gown known as Style S2181.

A key benefit of this type? Comfort. This material is far more breathable than most used for wedding gowns. As such, it can be reliably used in a variety of settings, seasons, and situations. Many brides, for example, favor the cotton type for outdoor weddings.

3D Lace

Also known as laser lace, 3D lace represents one of the most technologically advanced takes on this material. This impressive innovation makes it possible to achieve daring designs.

Under this approach, chiffon or satin are cut into eye-catching shapes before being embroidered onto base fabrics such as tulle. Brides hoping to wow their guests with an unexpected style will appreciate the astounding opportunities that 3D lace provides.

Final Takeaways: Choosing the Most Beautiful Lace for Wedding Dresses

With so many options available, the prospect of choosing the right lace for your wedding dress might seem overwhelming. In reality, however, this selection will be guided by your existing preferences.

For example: if you want to wear a formal dress with a traditional feel, you may opt for Chantilly sleeves with a floral pattern — or perhaps, a delicate Guipure lace train. If, however, you're on the hunt for more of a Boho look, you could be the perfect candidate for eyelet lace. Only interested in using this material sparingly? Look to embroidered lace appliques to integrate the concept with several other wedding dress fabrics.

Another consideration: how much detail you desire. Sequins and pearl beads can be beautiful, but incorporated with embroidered lace, may be excessive for a minimalist aesthetic.

Think about your options carefully, but remember: you don't need to make this important choice all on your own. Our authorized Moonlight Bridal retailers are happy to help you every step of the way.

We're pleased to offer a variety of lace wedding dresses that appeal to modern brides, lovers of vintage, and everyone in between. Contact us today to learn more about our dress collections.

'Different Types of Lace Fabrics for Wedding Dresses' Image #1
'Different Types of Lace Fabrics for Wedding Dresses' Image #1
'Different Types of Lace Fabrics for Wedding Dresses' Image #1


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