Here at The Wedding & Prom Dress Bridal Factory Outlets we pride ourselves on providing the highest quality gowns at affordable prices, all complimented by unsurpassed customer service (have you seen our reviews?)
Our fabrics are luxurious and workmanship is of exceptional standards. We’ve complied an extensive checklist to make sure that you too can see exactly the standard we stock and be warned against any other gown that may have caught your eye for all the wrong reasons elsewhere!
Generally, natural fibers (silk, cotton) stand up better than synthetics, but some synthetics are also worth consideration, especially for technical or performance wear.
The “Hand” of the Fabric
Test for the “hand” of the fabric – how it feels when touched. You can really feel the difference between a good quality silk garment and one with lesser quality fiber content. You can use this test on clothing constructed from man-made fibers – some will feel better, drape better, and wear better than others.
(The definition of “hand” of fabric is the “feel” of the fabric against your skin. There are many adjectives that can be used to describe the hand, or feel, of a fabric, such as soft, smooth, rough, stretchy, stiff, heavy, thin, etc.)
The Trend toward Increasingly Thin Fabric
Even when you find a garment that is 100% wool or silk or cotton, the fabric may be of lesser quality.
These Pictures Speak a Thousand Words…
Sadly, fabrics are becoming increasingly thinner as time goes by…
To illustrate the “thinness” issue, see examples of two 100% silk blouses.
Fabric Grain and Nap
Clothing should be cut along the grain of the fabric (except for bias-cut clothing and a few other exceptions). You can tell the grain by looking closely for the longest line of woven thread.
Give Fabric the “Scrunch Test”
If it wrinkles up right away and doesn’t “de-wrinkle,” walk away from the garment. Wrinkling alone isn’t necessarily a sign of poor quality; some fabrics (cotton, linen, rayon) wrinkle more than others.
Stitching & Seam Allowance
This includes seams and any top-stitching. If you gently pull a seam from the inside of the garment, you will see a lot of daylight between stitches in a poorly made garment. Better quality garments have more stitches per inch and thus have tighter seams – and thus less of a chance to have the seam come apart. Quality top-stitching should be straight, in matching thread (unless the top-stitching is designed for contrast) and have a high number of stitches per inch. The stitches should lie flat to avoid snags (no loopy stitches).
Since the introduction of sergers that create an overlock stitch, it’s very hard these days to find ready-to-wear clothing with flat-felled seams (seen on a lot of jeans), french seams (for sheer fabric), or taped seams.
While inspecting the seams, also look at how much seam allowance is available, especially if you need to lengthen sleeves or hems or let out a waist. Seam allowance is getting very rare these days, too.
Skirt Hem Allowance Guidelines
The hem allowance is the width between the hemline and the hem edge. The hem allowance is folded back under the garment to the wrong side of the fabric; the clean finished edge is the finished hemline. The fabric and garment silhouette determine the width of the hem allowance. In general, the wider and fuller the skirt, the narrower the hem width needs to be.
Unless an exposed zipper is a design element, zippers should lie flat and be covered with a placket. There should also be an additional closure at the top of the zipper – button, hook and eye, snap – to help keep the zipper closed and lying flat. Unless it’s part of the design, the stitching holding the zipper in place should match the fabric.
Be sure to check out the many other reasons why we should be top on your list of places to visit. We can guarantee you won’t be disappointed! Open 7 days a week, no appointment necessary.