Advice – FAQs & Glossary
What is AB?
AB stands for aurora borealis, is the most popular choice of crystal and comes as standard on most of our veil and tiara designs. It is a coating on a clear crystal rather than being a coloured crystal. This coating gives a highly reflective surface to the crystal, adding another dimension to your wedding accessories. AB mixes well with coloured crystals, enabling the colours to shine out from among them.
Can I iron my veil?
A common mistake made by brides is to iron their veil. Unfortunately due to the fine quality of veiling that is required to produce a wedding veil they often get creased in transit, so it can be tempting for brides (or helpful friends!) to iron their veil when they receive it. However there are two reasons why brides should not do this:
- For most of our decoration we use heat-sensitive bonding which is broken down when ironed or steamed causing the decoration to be removed.
- Due to the fine nature of veiling it is also very easy to burn a veil whilst ironing it. Even low-temperature irons can discolour, burn or even melt the veiling.
All of this can be easily avoided however, by collecting your veil from the shop in plenty of time and hanging it in a safe place away from pets and small children. After a few days hanging, the creases will fall out and you will have a perfect veil for your big day.
Can I dye my veil?
We use dye on veils to produce particular colours that are not available elsewhere. Veils are dyed before decoration is added, as trims and gathers mean that the colour varies over the veil. Therefore we do not recommend dying completed veils yourself. Instead, you should ask your bridal shop to show you our colour swatches or they can send us a swatch of the colour you require and we can match this as closely as possible before decorating and completing the veil for you.
How stiff is Richard Designs’ veiling?
With almost 25 years of experience we have the knowledge and expertise to choose the very best quality veiling. The veiling we use for our veils is exclusive to us, so you will not find it elsewhere. It is called Fine Diamond Veiling because the threads are woven into very fine diamond shapes. This gives the veiling a beautiful outline when it hangs and it has a very soft feel to it meaning that it will not scratch or irritate your skin.
Will I be able to wear my tiara all day?
Our tiara bands are extremely comfortable, much more so than pressed bands which are the norm from most manufacturers. They are so comfortable that you’ll probably forget that you are wearing your tiara! We offer four standard colour bands: silver, gold and (on special request) dark brown or blonde. Bands are sometimes chosen by our designers to match the colour of the decoration, for example on bridesmaid accessories, or Boutique Collection fascinators.
If I have a long veil won’t it get in the way?
A long veil is a beautiful way to finish off your dress. You can ask for a detachable train which enables you to wear a long veil during the ceremony and whilst your photographs are being taken, but then can be removed from the comb leaving a smaller, easier to manage veil for you to wear for the rest of the day. You can also choose to have each tier on a separate comb so that you hair is not completely covered, and you are still able to remove tiers during the course of your day. We have recently created a blusher that is entirely on its own comb and has a unique fullness and shape, giving the full halo effect of a veil without being attached to the back tier.
How high is the quality of your products?
We have an excellent reputation for producing the highest quality bridal wear. All of our products are designed and hand made to order in Cambridgeshire, England. We employ highly skilled staff and are a member of the Guild of Master Craftsmen. The methods we use have been created and perfected by us over many years resulting in perfect results for every individual piece we make and often setting standards for the rest of the industry.
Do you discontinue styles?
We never discontinue any of our styles, so if you see an older style that you like we will still be able to make it for you. In fact, our collection through history extends into the thousands! All of these veil, tiara, jewellery, hat and bridesmaid designs can be colour-matched to suit you, creating an almost infinite number of different styles. This is another reason why our stockists are so brilliant – they will be able to suggest designs for you to match your style that aren’t available online or from unauthorised online retailers.
I don’t really like net; are there any alternatives?
You might not have looked closely at our veils; on comparison you will see and feel that the tulle used on a Richard Designs veil is so much finer and softer than that used by some other manufacturers. If you still aren’t keen, you can choose organza, chiffon, soft veiling (also known as faux silk) or millinery net as an alternative. There is also the possibility of having a single tier veil, which can be worn at the back of the head, cascading to the shoulders or all the way to the floor, without covering the face. Finally, our trails are an interesting alternative to a traditional veil.
These days, there are so many different options to choose from for your wedding and the terminology used to describe them can be confusing. The following is a brief list of terms regularly used that confuse both brides and stockists. We are happy to answer any further questions you might have about these, or any other terms used – just contact us.
|AB||AB stands for aurora borealis, is the most popular choice of crystal and comes as standard on most of our designs. It is a coating on a clear crystal rather than being a coloured crystal. This coating gives a highly reflective surface to the crystal, adding another dimension to your accessories. AB mixes well with coloured crystals, enabling the colours to shine out from among them.|
|Appliqué||Appliquéd lace is attached to the veil in sections rather than being a line of lace running around the edge of the veil. This gives a more delicate look, and means that the lace is more likely to match your dress.|
|Back comb||Back-combing a veil means that the gather is pulled up against the back of the comb, producing a fuller, bouffant effect.|
|Birdcage veil||A birdcage veil is a piece of millinery net that is shaped to delicately frame your face. It often incorporates decoration on the veiling itself or around the area where it secures to the comb.|
|Bouffant||This is another term for Fully Combed|
|Brim||A brim is the part of a hat that is horizontal|
|Chiffon||A fabric similar to organza but more delicate and draping, chiffon is used for both veils and headwear.|
|Combs||Combs are used to secure veils, face veils and some headdresses in place. We use two types of comb, metal and plastic, each being ideal for different uses.|
|Crisp Silk||Crisp Silk is more transparent than other silks and holds its shape, enabling it to be embroidered if you wish, or edged and decorated in the same styles as our standard veils.|
|Crown||The crown of a hat is the part that sits directly on the head.|
|Crystal comb||A crystal comb simply means that crystals have been attached to the top of the comb for some extra sparkle and luxury.|
|Diamanté||Diamantés give the ultimate crystal shine without being too heavy or overpowering for the delicate veiling. They are flat back crystals which we use on veils.|
|Faux Silk||Also known as Soft Veiling, this fabric has a larger weave than Fine Diamond Veiling and produces a more draped effect.|
|Fine Diamond Veiling||Fine Diamond Veiling is the highest quality veiling available. The weave of this fabric enables us to create delicate looking items that have a robust, wearable quality. The veiling is so fine that it feels soft and looks magical as it floats from your hair.|
|Floss||This refers to the fibres around the band that make it smooth and comfortable. Often floss is either silver or gold, but on special request tiaras can be made with brown or blonde coloured floss to blend in with the hair, or bridesmaid colours to match the decoration.|
|Fully combed||This refers to the way a veil is gathered before being attached to a comb. When a veil is fully combed, the decorative edge falls next to the face rather than by your shoulders. It also gives a fuller effect to the veil because more material is gathered.|
|Gather||The gather on a veil is the part attached to the comb.|
|Hackle Feather||A feather with a structured shape, but a fluffy appearance
|Half combed||This means that only half of the width of the veil is gathered, letting the edge sit below the face and around the shoulders. Half combed veils have a softer effect than fully combed veils.|
|Hoop||Another term for a petticoat or underskirt|
|Mantilla||A mantilla veil originates from Spain, and is a traditional lace veil. Unlike other veils, a mantilla is not gathered at all, and instead floats in one layer down from the comb, with a beautiful lace or embroidery edge.|
|Organza||Organza is a delicate, opaque fabric. It is available as the veiling for some of our veil styles, such as a C64C. We also use organza for delicate hair pieces, and the colour options mean that it is ideal for bridesmaid accessories and hat decorations.|
|Pencil edge||This is another term for the Stitched Fine Edge|
|Power net||Power net is the net that is used at the top of some of our petticoats to provide a comfortable yet structured shape to the petticoat. This gives the wearer a smooth and sleek outline.|
|Rhinestone||A crystal with silver backing, similar to a Diamanté.|
|Riding Hat||The soft, straight sided crown and small upturned brim make this classic hat perfect for brides.|
|Russian Braid||Another term for Cord|
|Scallop||A scalloped edge on a veil is one that is made up of a series of semicircles rather than a straight edge which is simply a straight line running around the edge of the veil.|
|Scatter||We use the word scatter to refer to the decoration on a veil when it is scattered across the veiling rather than being concentrated just on the edge.|
|Side spray||Side sprays are tiaras where the decoration is designed to sit at the side of the hair rather than the traditional central position. They are becoming increasingly popular as brides are looking for something a little different.|
|Silk dupion||Silk dupion is a soft, luxurious fabric that is ideal for headwear decorations, and is available in a vast array of colours.|
|Silk Tulle||There are two different silk fabrics available. Crisp Silk has a similar drape to regular tulle, and Soft Silk is very fluid and falls softly over the head and shoulders. Both are very delicate and light in weight.|
|Sinamay||Sinamay is made from strands of Abaca bark, which produces a medium weave fabric that is both stiff and flexible. We use sinamay for structured head pieces such as hats and some fascinators. Our process of mixing different shades of sinamay provides us with an almost endless combination of colour options.|
|Soft Silk||Soft silk can be used instead of Fine Diamond Veiling. It is so soft and draping that only certain edges can be applied, such as cord and ribbon.|
|Stitched fine edge||
A single line of stitching to create a subtle frame for the veil
|Studs/flat back||Flat back pearls or pearl studs are those that are not spherical, but have a flat back. Each design that incorporates these has them as standard.|
|Tier||A layer of veiling. Most veils are made up of two tiers, although single tier veils are becoming increasingly popular. The more tiers a veil has, the fuller and more bouffant it is.|
|Trim (hat)||The trim of a hat is the decoration, which includes the sash, and any feathers or crystals.|
|Tulle||Also known as veiling, this is the fine fabric we use to make our veils, face veils and some of our headdresses.|