What is the Difference Between Satin and Jersey in Bridesmaid Dresses?

/ Post by MiaAnderson in

Satin and jersey are the most commonly used fabrics for bridesmaid dresses. They are elegant, gorgeous, fashionable and versatile. But often, when people choose these two fabrics, they don't understand their respective characteristics, which leads to different experiences when bridesmaids wear them, such as fabric weight, wear, and wrinkle resistance.

Don't worry! In this guide, we'll cover the differences between satin and jersey to help you choose the right bridesmaid dresses.

What is Satin?

Satin is a type of weave created out of silk and synthetic fibers and has a glossy face side. Satin weave creates a fabric that is soft, smooth, and lustrous with a nice drape.

The Origin of Satin

The origin of satin dates back to ancient China, where satin is exclusively made from silk. The satin weave originated from Quanzhou, a Chinese port city referred to as Zaitun by the Arabians, hence the name satin.

Characteristics of Satin

  • Beautiful Drape: Satin weaves create a beautiful drape as a result of the concentration of fibers.
  • Durability: Satin is made of filament fibers woven in a tight manner and is durable
  • Lustrous Front: Satin has a soft sheen on the front side and a dull back side.
  • Wrinkle-Resistant: Satin is wrinkle resistant, especially thicker satin fabrics.
  • Dual Sides: Satin has two sides, smooth and dull, and cannot be used for all dress styles.
  • Slippery: The slippery nature of satin makes it difficult to manipulate during sewing, as it can easily slip.

A Brief History of the Use of Satin in Bridesmaid Dresses

According to Mary Mitchell, curator at the Museum at FIT, “Satin's popularity as a bridesmaid dress fabric can be traced back to the Victorian era, where it symbolized elegance and wealth.” Satin is soft, smooth, and falls dramatically, giving it a classic and luxurious appearance when worn as a wedding gown. It is no surprise that satin is used in evening and wedding dresses, such as bridesmaid dresses. 

What is Jersey?

Jersey is a knitted fabric that was traditionally made of wool but is now commonly made of cotton and other synthetic fibers. Jersey has always been primarily used to make dresses and athletic wear.

The Origin of Jersey

Jersey traces its origins back to the first material produced in Jersey, Channel Islands. This Island is one of the Islands in the English Channel. At the time, fishermen's sweaters and underwear were made from jersey.

It was not until 1961 that Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, the legendary fashion designer, improved its use by producing elegant dresses and garments from jersey fabric.

Characteristics of Jersey

  • Elasticity: Jersey has a highly elastic due to their tight weave and can return to their original shape after being stretched. 
  • Absorbent: Despite being close-knit, the jersey is highly absorbent and breathable as well. 
  • Lightweight: Jersey is lightweight which makes it ideal as a base layer for more durable clothing.
  • Less Durability: Jerseys are generally less durable and more susceptible to wear and tear.
  • Shedding: Jersey fabric is prone to shedding and snagging, affecting the fabric's overall appearance and life.
  • Shrinkage: Jersey fabric shrinks a lot, causing weft yarn to skew over time.

A Brief History of the Use of Jersey in Bridesmaid Dresses

Initially, jerseys were made exclusively from wool, but as they became widespread, cotton was used as one of their raw materials. Finding its usefulness in producing jersey bridesmaid dresses. The drape and stretchiness of jersey material make it comfortable for bridesmaid dresses. 

"I make fashion women can live in, breathe in, feel comfortable in, and look younger," said Coco Chanel proudly. After Chanel upgraded the use of jerseys by introducing the fabric into the women's fashion business. Jersey became a staple fabric for sewing other apparel, from bridesmaid dresses to blouses and evening wear.

Features of Satin and Jersey

Satin  Jersey
Appearance Smooth and shiny Slightly rough
Comfort Smooth and shiny surface, cool and soft to the touch Soft, breathable, elastic, smooth surface, light against the skin
Durability Satin still has even more durability than jersey due to its drape nature.  Jersey is a stretching material and can recover its shape
Wear resistance Durable Easily worn
Versatility Wedding dresses, casual wear, interior decoration and bags, etc. T-shirts, dresses, sportswear, blankets, curtains and more.
Maintenance Satin requires high quality maintenance to keep its lustrous and smooth nature.  Jersey doesn't require much maintenance all you need to do is to store it properly after washing. 


Which fabric is more suitable for your bridesmaid dress, Satin or Jersey?

If you have already chosen your wedding gown and are looking for a bridesmaid dress. You probably have a few fabric ideas like satin and jersey in mind and are unsure how to make a final decision. In this guide, we will go over the factors to consider before deciding on a fabric.

Bridesmaid body shape

Consider your bridesmaid's body shape and choose a fabric that is suitable for all body types (if possible). All of your bridesmaids are likely to have different types, which influences the fabric you choose. Finding a dress that looks good on all of your bridesmaids can be challenging. So, choose a fabric and dress style that will make all of your bridesmaids feel comfortable. Satin, for example, is suitable for all body shape you can incorporate this fabric for your wedding.

Personal preferences

If your bridesmaids want a classic wedding look, satin is the best fabric choice. Satin's soft drape and lustrous feel contribute to your bridesmaids' classic appearance. If they want a bohemian look, jersey fabrics are a good option. Due to its lightweight and breathability features. However, if your bridesmaids want to wear different fabrics, respect their wishes and allow them. A mix-and-match bridesmaids style adds a touch of personality to weddings. All you have to worry about is the formality of your bridesmaid dresses, which is very important!

Wedding theme

Your wedding theme, whether vintage or garden-themed, can influence your fabric selection. If you want a deep hue, choose fabrics that reflect that theme, such as velvet fabric. However, if you want a warm or cool hue, jersey and satin are excellent fabric choices. 


When selecting the fabric for your bridesmaid dresses, keep your wedding location in mind. While your wedding theme influences your fabric selection, the location is another factor to consider. Your wedding location creates the atmosphere and ambience, and your bridesmaid dress should reflect that. For an outdoor wedding or a beach wedding, you will want to use durable, heavyweight fabrics like Duchess satin. For an indoor wedding, jersey fabric would be a perfect choice! 


The season of the year can have a significant impact on the fabric and style you choose for your bridesmaid. In the warmer months, choose a lightweight fabric, such as jersey. For winter weddings, choose a fabric that will keep your bridesmaids warm, such as duchess satin. While charmeuse satin fabric is a better choice for summer weddings.

Dress design

Before you choose a fabric for your bridesmaid, make sure the design of your dress matches the fabric. Not all dress designs can be made to fit into a fabric, so consult with your designer first. To determine the type of fabric that best complements a dress design.


The final factor to consider when selecting the appropriate fabric for your bridesmaid dress is your budget. Your fabric choice is influenced by your budget as well as that of your bridesmaid's to avoid running into debt. Instead of expensive fabrics, opt for more affordable options such as synthetic fibers of satin- polyester, cotton, and rayon. Jersey is also an affordable fabric that you can use for your bridesmaid dress.


Understandably, selecting a fabric for your bridesmaid dress can be both difficult and confusing. However, if you follow and apply the few tips listed above, you will be able to select the appropriate fabric for your bridesmaid dress. Begin sewing as soon as you have decided on your fabric. To avoid last-minute adjustments and corrections while also leaving room for changes. What is your favorite fabric between jersey and satin? In the comments section below, please explain why you chose this option. We are rooting for you!

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