The Truth about Tulle

The Truth about Tulle

So you've found your absolute perfect dream gown and you've always dreamed of wearing a veil on your wedding you begin your search for the perfect veil to adorn your perfect gown and you discover that there are so many different styles of veils and so many different qualities of tulles and nettings to choose from!  
Don't panic! We have you covered!  We've scoured the world for the past 8 years to find the best quality tulles and nettings. We get asked all the time about tulle. Different qualities, different weights, different drapes and colours.
Over the next few blog posts we will dive into all things tulles and nettings, veil colours, veil styles and veil lengths!  We will arm you with ALL the knowledge to find the perfect veil for your dream gown!

Lets start with the basics.  Tulle vs Netting

Tulle is the most common fabrication used to create wedding veils.  You will see so many types of tulles on your search for the perfect tulle.  The most common terms are English Tulle, Illusion Tulle, Silk Tulle, Italian Tulle.  Each tulle has different qualities, hand feel, knitting (hexagon) size.  Tulle in itself is generally more of a stiffer fabric. It has a firmer hand, it floats away from body and it has in itself body (which means it has some volume to it) Perfect for a more traditional full veil or a super slick modern veil.
  • Illusion Tulle:  This is the MOST common tulle on the market. It is prominently made in Asia, but there are still knitters producing it in North America.  It's relatively inexpensive, it has a stiff hand, lots of body and a fine weaved knit.  It has a slight bit of sheen to it and it can catch the light and add a bit of shimmer.  Many mass produced bridal design houses use illusion tulle as it's easy to find on the market and its more affordable to produce. Wrinkles tend to stick around and are very hard to remove as this tulle is made of Polyester. (We do not use illusion tulle)

  • English Tulle: This tulle is a softer sister to Illusion tulle. It is knit on century old knitting machines in England so it's authentic. It has a soft hand, but still has body to it, but hugs the body a little closer than Illusion tulle.  It is matte (no sheen) and mimics silk tulle in it's finish and size of hexagon knit. Wrinkles fall out easily with a quick steam or hanging the veil for 24 hours as this tulle is made of nylon and or polyamide. This is our personal favourite tulle (and we exclusively use it on 90% of our tulle veils) 

  • Italian Tulle: Absolutely exquisite, Italian tulle is exclusively made in Italy on italian knitting machines and has all the body of  illusion tulle but it's a bit softer and has a beautiful fine weave. A touch of very light sheen provides a bit of a shimmer. Wrinkles fall out fairly easily when steamed or hung.  It is made of Nylon.
  • French Tulle:  This tulle is exclusive to our millinery.  Made of polyamide, this gorgeous tulle is soft, light and sheer. It has a fine knit and a light sheen that sparkles in the sunlight.  It drapes beautifully and hugs the body, but still has a bit of lightness and airiness to it that is can stand away from the body and float in the breeze.  It has natural stretch to it so it is PERFECT for Juliet cap veils.|

  • Silk Tulle: The most exquisite of tulles. Hand knit in England and worn by Kate Middleton on her wedding day.  The most expensive but ethereal and beautiful to touch tulle in the world.  Silk tulle drapes like a dream, is soft like butter and has a larger more vintage like hexagon knit.  Wrinkles fall out easily and the more you steam the fabric the softer it gets. Just perfection.

                      bridal veils by blair nadeau millinery english tulle, illusion tulle, silk tulle, french tulle handmade in Toronto Canada

 Tulle Types - Image 1,2 & 3 - English Tulle, Image 4 French Tulle
Now lets talk about Netting! This is a whole different world!
Netting has recently taken the wedding veil scene by storm over the past few years.  Reminiscent of veils of yesterday, netting is soft, dense and hugs the body and frame.  It is perfect for more vintage inspired looks (juliet veils and caps) as well as more ethereal looks like the ever popular drop veil.  There are quite a few beautiful nettings available on the market nowadays, English Net, Irish Net, Silk Net and Italian Net
  • English Net: This is by far the most popular and common netting on the market. This netting has natural stretch to it (perfect for juliet veils) is a bit dense, has a tighter hexagon knit and is very soft and drapes beautifully. As the net is dense, it is not recommended for drop veils or blusher veils (we want to be able to see your beautiful eyes as you walk down the aisle...and most importantly, you want to be able to see!) English net will hug the body close. It is not light enough to catch the breeze.  

  • Irish Net: This is another exclusive fabric to Blair Nadeau Millinery. It is extremely soft and drapes like a dream.  Sheer, but has body and some weight to it.  It is very delicate, so you have to be gentle with it and is not recommended for highly embellished gowns as it tends to snag on rhinestone and crystal settings (glass beaded gowns are fine) It creates a haunting veil as it can hug very close to the body and provide almost a cape like look.  Perfect for ethereal drop veils and draped back veils, it's sheer enough to see though, but dense enough to create a vintage look.  This beautiful netting mimics that of silk netting, but for a fraction of the cost.

  • Silk Net: Silk Net is another dream fabric.  It is soft and light, but has a more dense knit than English and Irish net as it is knit like a jersey fabric.  It is very clingy and hugs the body.  As it is heavier it tends to hang and shape to the object that it's hanging too so it's perfect for a face framing mantilla veil. There are two types of silk net available on the market. French silk net which is beautiful, a bit more sheer and has a natural silk sheen to it, or Chinese silk net which is equally as beautiful, a bit more dense and has a silk sheen.  French is the most expensive of the two types of silk net. 

  • Italian Net: Like Italian Tulle, Italian Net is knit in Italy. It has a beautiful hand to it and natural stretch making it perfect for juliet cap veils.  It is a bit more dense but will still work beautifully for drop veils. Italian net is very matte (no sheen) and has a slight stiffness to it so it does provide some body.  It is hard to come by as it's not a common netting on the market. 
                          bridal veils handmade in toronto canada by blair nadeau  millinery silk net, irish net, english net, italian net
              Netting Types: Image 1 Silk Net, Image 2 Irish Net, Image 3 Italian Net

 So...Cole's Notes Verison to sum it up

IIlusion Tulle
Stiff Hand
Fine knit
Sheen finish
Holds Wrinkles
Light and Airy

English Tulle
Moderately priced
Softer Hand
Larger Knit
Matte Finish
Wrinkles Fall Out
Light and Airy, but still has some density to it

French Tulle
More Expensive
Super Soft Hand
Natural Stretch
Sheen Finish
Wrinkles Fall out
Light and airy, hugs the body but still has some fullness to it

Silk Tulle
Most Expensive 
Soft Hand - more you steam the softer it gets
Natural Silk Sheen
Wrinkles Fall Out
Light and Airy, has some body to it to provide fullness
      English Net
      Most Affordable and Common
      Soft Hand, Lots of Drape
      Natural Stretch
      Matte Finish
      Wrinkles Fall Out
      Dense and a bit heavy, hangs to the body

      Irish Net
      Fairly Affordable, harder to find (Exclusive to us)
      Soft Hand, Lots of Drape
      Natural Stretch
      Extremely Delicate (not recommended for gowns with rhinestones in settings)
      Wrinkles fall out but knit will always have a texture
      Minics French Silk Netting
      Dense and hugs the body but still light and airy for great breeze shots!

      Italian Net
      More Expensive
      Made in Italy, less common on market
      Soft Hand
      Natural Stretch
      Dense fabric but not too dense
      Has a lot of body to it so it can fall away from the body
      Wrinkles fall out

      Silk Net
      The Most Expensive Netting
      Super Soft
      Natural Silk Sheen
      2 Versions - Chinese (more affordable) French (most expensive)
      Natural Stretch
      Dense as it's a jersey knit fabric
      Hangs and holds to the body
        Photography by: Whitney Heard
        Makeup by: Maya Goldenberg
        Hair by: Ladylyn Gool
        Gowns: Catherine Langlois
        Model: Ivy from Lang Models

        Leave a comment


        • I work for an English Tulle manufacturer and found your article very insightful. Excellent, thank you.

          Paul |
        • Amazing article, really thankful for sharing all this information

          Laxmi |
        • Thank you!

          Marita |
        • I am going to pass this on to my clients. Such a great blog!

          Rebecca Dey |