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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Dear T30SB: Types of Tulle for Your Veil

I love questions from readers. If you have a question, it generally means that someone out there has the exact same one, so don’t be afraid to ask! Reader Courtney is having trouble telling her seamstress what kind of veil she wants and came to me to see if I could help.

Dear T30SB,

I've been 'lurking' for a while now, and I just love reading your blog. You and I would be friends, I'm convinced, if we knew each other in real-life. Your honestly and candor are refreshing when so many blogs are CLEARLY edited and photo-shopped to look like 'my life is so shiny perfect.’ And your creations are incredible. I'm getting married in May, which is the reason I first found your blog, and I drool over the winter cape you just posted about!! If I had a need .... ooh it would be hard to pass up.
I have a question that I was hoping you could help me with? I am so not a wedding-materials person, but I have been trying to describe the veil I want to our seamstress for the dress, and I don’t know what it's called. With your expertise, I was hoping you might could help your imaginary-friend/blog stalker...? :)
I die over veils made out of whatever material is in this post:

image image

Photographs by Houston Photographer Archetype Studio

I love how it's heavier than just the typical (cheap) netting I've seen... do you have any leads/suggestions on how I could explain this to the lady making my veil?? Or do you have one like it, possibly, in your shop??
Appreciate the help, in advance, internet-friend :)

Well now, Courtney. First off, thank you for your kind words and for being a continued reader. We like that around here. Lurkers hold a special place in my blogging-heart.

Now, let’s get down to business, shall we?

This is an EXCELLENT question, first of all. Types of tulle affect the cost, drape and overall look of a veil, so it’s good to understand what the hell your looking at in order to figure out what you’re buying. There are basically three types of tulle.

Bridal Illusion


Bridal Illusion (which is probably the lamest name ever given to a fabric) is your standard tulle. It’s used for most veils these days. It comes in a plethora of colors, styles of shimmer and widths. For basic tulle, you won’t be paying over a $1/yard for the stuff. If you are, you’re paying too much. It is made from nylon, it has a diamond pattern and has the most body of all the tulles. If you’re looking for a high ‘pouf’ factor, this is your material.

*WARNING* do not get confused by tulle and NETTING. Netting is often used in costumes and it is much heavier. It feels coarser and is definitely not the same as Illusion, although some ass-hats like to interchange the terms. It ain’t the same thing.

English Tulle


English tulle (also called English NETTING, gah) is made from cotton and has a hexagonal weave. It has more drape to it than Illusion. It is also a lot more expensive. I’ve seen it as low as $18/yard and upwards of $50/yard, depending on the brand/quality.

Silk Tulle


Silk tulle is the crème de la crème of potential veil materials. It’s super soft, way luxurious and like English tulle, has a hexagonal weave. It is also WAY drape-y. When I made my own veil and was deciding on what to use, I found that I personally didn’t care for the silk tulle because it’s a little stretchy and physically a heavier material, making it less gossamer in its movement.  Silk tulle is  less transparent than Illusion and English tulle. It’s also the Ferrari of tulle in regards to cost. I’ve not seen 100% silk tulle for less than $70/yard (if it’s less than $50/yard, doubtful it’s 100% silk, check before you buy!). It can be over $100/yard for the real good stuff. Kate Middleton’s veil was made from silk tulle, as another reference point. This picture is PERFECT for showing both the drape and the stretchiness.



You can see how the three fabrics differ with the exact same construction. Each of the veils shown below is elbow length with a cut edge and is 54" wide. The Illusion is more transparent and has more pouf. The English tulle still has some body, but has more drape and is less transparent than the Illusion. And then the Mack Daddy is the silk tulle with superior drape, very little pouf and lots of pretty. It too is more opaque than Illusion.

image image image    

                       Bridal Illusion                         English Tulle                             Silk Tulle                            

Thank to this site for a posting these PERFECT pictures of the differences of these 3 fabrics!

Since tulle comes is all sorts of colors, it can be confusing as to what to pair with your dress. Here’s the best way to consider the color of your veil/tulle.

*WARNING* This is a guide ONLY. If you’re having your veil custom made or are purchasing online, it’s best to show a picture of your dress to the seller/seamstress to ensure a best match.

  • If you’re gown is labeled WHITE by the manufacturer and it is NOT  made from silk, choose a a WHITE tulle.
  • If your gown is labeled WHITE  or DIAMOND WHITE by the manufacturer and is made from silk, choose a DIAMOND WHITE tulle.
  • If your gown is labeled CANDLELIGHT, PEARL or NATURAL by the manufacturer and is made from any material, choose ivory tulle.

This little tulle infomercial isn’t going to get into Russian tulle, which is primarily used in birdcage veils. That’s just info overload for one lil’ ol’ post as that too comes in a myriad of styles, colors, sizes, widths, etc.

There are synthetic versions of silk tulle, made primarily of nylon. Sadly, they have a shine on them that silk tulle doesn’t and it looks uber-cheap, like you’re wearing a nylon slip on your head. I don’t personally recommend it, but someone out there might like it. And nylon silk-tulle knock-offs? Dude that shit would be HOT. Trying to wear it over your face like Kate or that Houston area bride shown above? Ick. Your make-up would be sliding off your face into your décolletage. NOT a good look.

And using Illusion doesn’t mean you’re cheap. It all depends on how you want to look on your wedding day. So there.

Hope this helps a bride out there wade through the sea of  veiling options. Education is the key to getting what you want for a price that fits your personal budget.

For more answers to your questions, feel free to email me. Just click CONTACT and send me your question!

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Reader Comments (16)

Umm...I kind of love this post, and I've been married for almost 4 years...ha! I'm not sure what my veil was made out of...it was my mother's. I shortened it to match my dress and style. Crazy, scary moment when I took those scissors to it!

And I can't be the only one who wants to hear about Russian tulle. Do tell!

January 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBecca


January 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterflo

Nice ideas to share. Thanks for posting.Gee I wasn't really sure what veils made of.

January 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTina @ Wedding Favors

That is/was me in the referenced bridal portrait- and I can confirm that I made the veil out of silk tulle. I know it's a little late, but hopefully it'll help!

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterA

@A - STUNNING veil. Would love to hear where you bought the silk tulle!

February 8, 2012 | Registered CommenterLouise

This post was really helpful! I'm getting married end of June 2012 and I'm in the process of selecting veils! Thanks for the details and quality/cost information!

April 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGina

Making the veil wider 72" vs. 54" will get rid of some of the poof so you can have an illusion veil that drapes closer to what a 54" english tulle veil would without much extra cost.

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

This is the most useful thing I've read all day. Maybe all week. I'm 6-months out from my wedding and am starting the DIY projects and supply gathering. I want a birdcage veil in tulle, and now I know what kind to purchase.

All the best.

January 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Glad I could assist!

January 19, 2014 | Registered CommenterLouise

Thank you for the explanation. I'm very happy that this post is still around.

I have a question about illusion tulle that I was wondering if you can answer. In the online fabric store in my country (Denmark), they have two types of very differently priced tulle:
100% polyamid tulle, which they describe as "stiff" in ivory – $2.5/yard
100% nylon, called "Bridal tulle", described as more soft also in ivory – $9/yard

Is the nylon illusion tulle that you mention equivalent to the more expensive one here? I'm wondering if they're trying to make a little extra by just calling it bridal...

April 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLine

Well, $9/yd is pretty steep in my opinion, but I can't say I'm familiar with pricing in Denmark! :) The polyamide tulle is the stuff used for ballerina tutus and such. It is very stiff and not what you want for a veil. The nylon is the one you want, but again, I'd shop around. The cost is WAY high. I'd try eBay or another resource if you can. Thanks for reading!

April 28, 2014 | Registered CommenterLouise

Thank you so much for this post! SO helpful :)

May 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBel

Most helpful post on veil material EVER, but during the romance of it all in description.... somehow your potty mouth didn't quite 'mesh' ....no pun intended. Oh, and my entire life I have searched for shiny veil material. It looks magical, and was used for the original Camelot movie, not cheap to look like you are behind glass.

July 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMe

Thank you sooo very much for this blog & post. I was getting lost in all this material research, and you helped out tremendously! The website you provided for drape-factor was also awesome, and helps me to decide on the silhouette.

July 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSabrenah

I'm making a cathedral length veil for my daughter. Which type of tulle do you suggest for that length? She will be wearing a tiara as well, with the veil fitting close to it. We want it to look regal.

October 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJean S.

I need to make a cathedral veil, soft ,
Not too much gathering but the bottom needs to be wide
I'm thinking that I need over 100 inches and will taper the top

The soft micronet fabric I found is only 70 inches
Is there any way to make a seam that doesn't show so
I can increase the width?

November 18, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSherry

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