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A Trip to Paris

Duncan Weisters is the MD of DHJ Weisters Ltd, whose founders became involved in the textile industry in 1932. He graduated from Durham University with a degree in Economics with French and joined the business in 1998, since when he has watched it grow and experience many changes. Specialising in wedding dress material, Platinum Bridal Fabrics was a venture launched in 2010 with the aim of penetrating deeper into the textile marketplace and especially increasing the sales and popularity of our in-house woven Jacquard Brocades. When an opportunity to visit Paris to purchase new lace occurred, Duncan, with his expansive technical expertise and instinctive eye for the latest in changing trends, was the natural choice to take the journey.

Paris has long been seen as one of the main centres of the fashion world, with Paris Fashion Week being perhaps the best known of the global events which also take place in London and New York. Lace has been steadily rising in popularity on the catwalks recently, with top-name designers using the delicate fabrics to create stunning and unique garments. The recent Royal Wedding has also added to the growing worldwide trend for lace, with 57 million viewers in the UK and USA alone watching the ceremony and particularly admiring the beautiful bridal dress.

Duncan had the pleasure of examining many fine laces; after lengthy deliberation to choose only the finest selection, he has ordered 15 new laces to add to our already-extensive range in 2013. There will be a mixture of corded lace, beaded lace and the beautifully-cut laser lace along with 12 new crystal embellishments available from December 2012, ready for the spring wedding season of 2013. Lace appliqué is an ever-popular way of personalising and adding detail to a bridal gown so there will also be a new range of these beautiful products to choose from.

These new selections are intended to further our reputation of having the best and most varied choice of wedding dress material in the UK. As with our other product ranges, pictures of the new products will be added and updated as the samples become available for photography, making selecting exactly the right lace a simple, aesthetically-pleasing process.

To get updates and to find out when the new laces will be available in the pre-order section of the website, check back regularly for the latest information. Alternatively, you could subscribe to our newsletter and receive the latest news and promotions directly to your email inbox.

We look forward excitedly to receiving the new products and sharing them with our customers. If you require any further advice, information or support on the new laces or any of our other products, do not hesitate to contact a member of out dedicated, expert team.

For more information then please call us today on 01254 873333 or email info@bridalfabrics.co.uk.

Trendspotting - Our Top 5 Guide

The bridal dress has been steadily evolving for centuries. Traditional designs have remained constantly popular while new trends have come into fashion; combinations of the two have led to some truly unique and stunning gowns.

At Platinum Bridal Fabrics we like to keep our finger firmly on the pulse of changing trends in order to enable our customers to create fashionable yet personalised garments for their special day. Here we present the top five current trends in the wedding dress world.

1) Peplums

Peplum comes from the Greek word meaning ‘tunic’. A small frill of fabric at waist level is added to the gown which creates a stylish feel and accentuates the appearance of a narrow waist. The trend was seen earlier this year on Paris catwalks and is tipped to follow into the bridal industry in 2013. Utilised by notable designers such as Tobi Hannah and Jese Peiro, the peplum is set to grow massively in popularity.

2) Boleros

Cute capped sleeves are gradually pushing aside the classic strapless A-line bridal gown. As brides seek more cutting-edge looks, the addition of shrugs, bridal coats and the bolero is on the increase. A great number of designers are now creating lightweight lace coats to transform the classic gown into something extra-special and the rise in demand for three-quarter length sleeves has grown simultaneously. The picture shows our Francesca lace used to beautiful effect.

3) Sheer Necklines

The staple A-line gown is being given a glamorous and daring twist by the addition of a sheer neckline. This gives an instant sophisticated edge and was hugely popular throughout 2012, a trend that looks set to continue well into 2013. Embellishing the sheer layer with crystals or motifs to further increase the eye-catching aspect of the neckline makes this a truly dazzling look.

4) Modern Romance

A distinct turn towards feminine, delicately-layered skirts using chiffon and organza has been noticed; these partially-transparent fabrics give the dress a wonderfully floaty look and feel which particularly appeals to the romantic bride who desires a fairytale wedding. Movement within the fabric allows for an unhindered walk up the aisle, making this an elegant choice.

5 ) Lace

Throughout 2012, lace has enjoyed a consistent rise in popularity. This was added to by the Royal wedding and the growth is predicted to continue into 2013. Plainer dresses are being enhanced with appliqués and trim with full width lace being used in smaller areas. As there is such a variety of types and designs of lace, creating a uniquely beautiful look is easily achievable.

We hope these ideas have inspired brides-to-be and invite you to browse the rest of our website to see our comprehensive range of wedding dress material, bridal lace, brocade fabric, lace appliqué and much more. Our team are always available to assist with any aspect of designing the perfect dress for the perfect day.

For more information then please call us today on 01254 873333 or email info@bridalfabrics.co.uk.

Beautiful British Brides

Set in the beautiful Harrogate area, the 2012 British Bridal Exhibition was a truly stunning and memorable event. The exhibition is the largest trade-only wedding fair of its kind in Europe and we always eagerly anticipate attending each year; showcasing our wide range of bridal fabrics, lace and embellishments while meeting with our couture customers is a vital way to keep at the very forefront of modern trends and maintain our enviable reputation and position in the modern wedding market.

Despite many cultural and economic changes, the wedding industry remains as strong as ever. Couples continue to desire marriage and the wedding dress remains an essential component of the big day. Innovation continues to flourish, embracing the traditional whilst bringing it sharply into a modern-day focus.

A stunningly lit backdrop in the Royal Hall hosted ten catwalk shows, displaying the very latest in creative bridal fabric trends. There were 370 collections displayed which included everything from simple yet beautiful dresses to more outlandish and individual creations, with a range of sizes and prices to suit every bride-to-be. Classic, flowing gowns in ivory and white, complete with lace, veils, ruffles and high heels featured in large number on the catwalks. The traditional never seems to go out of fashion but can easily be brought up-to-date with the creative use of accessories and embellishments. Several more flamboyant designs were also featured, catering to the increasing numbers of fashion-forward and unconventional women who want their special dress to be truly unique.

Our representatives noticed a number of trends emerging which will become popular in the spring/summer fashion season of 2013. One of these was the increased use of satin and lace to further enhance the feminine silhouette; corded lace was especially popular. An increase was also seen in the popularity of crystal embroideries for highlighting, drawing the eye to beautiful shimmering tones. Perhaps the cutest garment was a vintage dress which had been customised with a nipped-in waist and ruffled skirts to complete a uniquely stunning creation.

We are already looking forward to the next British Bridal Exhibition. Our range of bridal fabrics, brocade fabrics, bridal lace, wedding dress material, lace appliqué and more is already truly comprehensive, stocking everything needed to create a personalised wedding dress. We constantly seek to update this already vast range to provide the maximum possible amount of choice for customers wishing to make their wedding day as perfect as they deserve it to be and can help every step of the way. Please contact a member of our expert, dedicated team for ideas and inspiration, advice and support.

For more information then please call us today on 01254 873333 or email info@bridalfabrics.co.uk.

From Queen Elizabeth I to Louis Vuitton - Five Centuries of Lace

From a baby’s Christening to Paris Fashion Week, lace in its many guises has become an essential and beautiful feature of a vast array of garments. With infinitely possible colours, patterns and embellishments, this luxury fabric has, for centuries, been used to decorate clothing in an astonishing number of ways.

Although fine nets and openly woven fabrics can be traced back much further, the material we know today as lace first came to prominence in the early part of the sixteenth century. As it evolved from a variety of techniques, there is no real way to say lacemaking originated in any particular place although Venice was the first real city to have its name associated with the rapidly-growing product. The first pattern books were printed in this important European trading hub and spread quickly around the continent.

The production of lace has always been driven by changing trends and fashions through the years. The stiff ruffs and collars of the late 1500’s, requiring bold geometric patterns, gave way in the early part of the seventeenth century to softer collars and narrower linen lace. An increasing demand for gold and silver lace for edging gloves and other accessories accompanied this transition. Raised and flowing needlelace was created in the middle of the seventeenth century as the skill became more refined, a precursor to the explosion in incredibly detailed and intricate lace that became and remained popular throughout the 1800s.

The Guardian newspaper recently published an enlightening article-in-pictures on the history of lace in fashion, which Bridal Fabrics wish to share. The pictures, dating from Elizabethan times to the present day, detail an enchanting journey through the beautiful ways lace has been and continues to be worn through the centuries. You can visit the site at http://www.guardian.co.uk/fashion/gallery/2011/oct/19/a-brief-history-of-lace#/?picture=380231236&index=0

Bridal fabrics supply a comprehensive range of lace and accessories including bridal lace and lace appliqué. Our bespoke dyeing service means any colour can be chosen and we also supply the increasingly-popular black lace. This is in addition to our large stock of wedding dress material, brocade fabric and embellishments. Enjoy the history of lace in pictures and if you feel inspired, please contact a member of our dedicated team for further advice and information.

For more information then please call us today on 01254 873333 or email info@bridalfabrics.co.uk.

Beautiful Lace, Too Precious to Waste

Exquisitely beautiful and ultimately feminine, lace added to a garment creates style, elegance and grace. Although our prices are kept competitively low, lace can be a somewhat costly material due to the workmanship that has gone into creating it. For this reason, avoiding waste is crucial.

When choosing a lace, you should choose the best you can afford. Fibre content is important; cotton laces which have a 10% polyester content are slightly more expensive but are longer lasting and do not turn yellow from washing or age. Nylon lace, although more cost-effective, can be more difficult to work with and also can lose its shape and melt when it is ironed. Consideration should also be given to what type of lace is most suitable for the project in mind, for example the amount needed and the placement on the garment.

Chantilly lace is very beautiful and ruffles well; it is particularly suited to embellishments. Another popular type is Alencon or Corded lace; outlined in threads, whiskers or silken cord, the net background has an attractive floral motif. Manufactured in a slightly different way, Guipure lace is first embroidered onto a foundation which is then dissolved, leaving behind only the motifs. Very personalised lace can be created in this way and the usually directional pattern is easy to cut, stitch and embellish.

Lace should always be pressed before use, positioned face down on terry towel material with a silk organza pressing cloth on top. If the quality of the lace needs restoring, waxed paper can also be used. After applying spray starch and waiting a short time for the fibres to absorb it, the lace can be gently pressed with the iron set to a low heat and minimal use of steam.

After the lace is pressed, the sewing can begin. Start with a full set of pattern pieces in muslin, marking the top edges and side seams; a wide seam allowance should be used. Position the lace on top of the muslin pieces and pin down before using small sharp scissors to cut the lace. Always double check the pieces of lace against the border layout and overlay or piece the lace if it doesn’t exactly match the pattern. The fabric must be marked underneath, the two pieces joined and then treated as a single piece of fabric. All important seam lines should be thread traced with contrasting threads after the lace is pinned to the muslin.

Lace borders and trims are easily created and are very attractive. After lining up the apexes of the scallops right at the edge of the fabric, pin them together. Use a narrow zigzag stitch to attach the lace to the fabric and then press, before shaping borders around curves. For a concave curve, cut into the lace and spread it out, patching with extra lace if necessary. If a convex curve is preferred, pin at the apex and shape around fabric, flattening the lace in the process. Then, avoiding cutting through the cords, trim the netting and sew. To create invisible darts on the lace, take a corded or leading edge, overlap and pin then hand-stitch into place. If side seams need to be pieced, the lace should once again be overlapped, pinned and hand-stitched before trimming away any excess lace.

Platinum Bridal Fabrics supply many types and styles of lace and other wedding dress material. Our bridal lace fabrics are of the highest quality and can be dyed to order, allowing for an array of unique and individual effects to suit any bride. Please contact our dedicated team for any further advice or information.

For more information then please call us today on 01254 873333 or email info@bridalfabrics.co.uk.

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