Saturday, July 26, 2008

Decorating with fabric: tulle vs. English netting

When I was decorating weddings, my weapon of choice was always fabric. A variety of fabrics, actually -- English netting, organza, sequined fabrics, whatever I could get my hands on. But it seems there is a lot of confusion when it comes to whether you're looking at tulle or English netting.

To me, the distinction is easy. Above, I used English netting on this cake table for my friend Cathy (for whom I was a bridesmaid). English netting is soft to the touch, it floats, flows and hangs easily. English netting, in my experience, has been best used for accents to more high-impact fabrics like organza. English netting is what you might actually wear, its so soft and nice to feel against the skin.

Photo by Flickr's Kyrielle

I believe there are many different types of tulle, and above is an example of what I call a crunchy variety. Tulle for many brides can be preferable -- its cheaper and its easier to mold. Its often used for giveaways and favors like this one.

Photo by Flickr's Details of the Day

Fabric is probably most often used for draping along the aisle for the ceremony. Even in a case like this, I like using English netting more than tulle, even though tulle might behave better. However, when decorating with fabric outside, just beware the wind -- fabric is still fabric and it can act like a sail in windy conditions.

I have generally used English netting sparingly, but it can be very pretty when used in excess, like the gazebo above. A set up like this is not difficult, even for you DIY brides -- buy a couple dozen yards of English netting (seriously), attach one end to the top, let it fall to the ground, and loop it back up. Repeat as many times as the fabric will allow and feel free to vary the lengths. But I gotta say, recreating a set up like this one will require several yards of English netting, and it can get expensive. Maybe try different fabrics.

Photo by Flickr's mcwaneevents

Check out this ceremony set up. Spectacular, no? Ceiling and wall decorations, however, take a lot of time, so remember that when you're booking your site, if this is the type of decor you want. The fabric hanging from the walls and ceilings of this tent have to be English netting because I don't believe tulle can hang like that. Or maybe it can, but you probably have to shell out for the more expensive varieties. Don't forget to check out that pretty little backdrop. I believe those are stargazers and gerber daisies hanging along the backdrop.

Now, I need your help. I have tons of pictures but am unsure of what y'all want. Do you want to see more pictures of tulle, English netting, organza, etc? Do you want to see more about individual flowers? Or do you like the weird wedding asides? Let me know, because if not, I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing.

1 comment:

Kasey said...

My best friend is getting married this month and she saved a bunch of money on tulle for her wedding by ordering 25 yard rolls of tulle from It looks great and it's only 4.99 per roll.