Los Angeles Fashion Designer Lauren Elaine poses at the LA Equestrian Center's Horse Show Arena

What’s in a Name: Horsehair Braid

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I love a big skirt. From mermaids to ball gowns, a wedding is once-in-a-lifetime event, and something that deserves once-in-a-lifetime drama.  But because we’re not living in the 1800s anymore and hoop skirts just feel too contrived, we use a little magic something called “horsehair” to create the volume of bridal dreams in many of our fuller skirted beauties (hello Magnolia!)

Magnolia tulle and horsehair petal ball gown wedding dress by Lauren Elaine Bridal Los Angeles“Is it made from actual horsehair”?  – That’s one of the more frequently asked questions our Style House design team experts get from brides.  So saddle up!  I’m sharing the history of horsehair, and it’s many swoon-worthy uses in our gowns.

Wedding dress Designer Lauren Elaine explains the history and uses of horsehair braid in wedding gowns and dressesThe uses of horsehair braid in wedding gowns and dresses by Lauren Elaine BridalDesigner Lauren Elaine discusses horsehair hair at the Los angeles Equestrian Center

Never heard of horsehair? That’s because it’s been largely replaced and exchanged for the word ‘crinoline’ since the mid 1800s.  Crinoline, or ‘crin’ – the french word for horsehair – soared to popularity in the mid 19th century during the Antebellum days of fashionably full skirts and layers of petticoats.  Made from a stiff weave of actual horse hair (mane and tail) and a cotton or linen, it provided the structure and support for gowns and skirts up to 6 yards wide.  Fast forward to the 21st century, and horsehair is no longer made of actual horsehair — but it does still provide similar support for sculpting and volume.

Once Upon a Seam Blogger and Designer Lauren Elaine visits the Los Angeles Equestrian CenterFashion Designer Lauren Elaine shares the history of horsehair braid in wedding gownsHorses grazing at the Griffith Park trail ride los angeles equestrian center

Many of our gowns feature horsehair braid – a woven nylon  – inspired by (and named after!) the horsehair crinolines of the past.  And it’s not just about support anymore.  Horsehair is also a popular aesthetic choice – visible in many gowns.  From creating a modern, understated scallop shape in the hemline of our “Isla” gown, to the bold statement layers of our “Bijou” and “Gisele” gowns – horsehair braid takes center stage.  Wider horsehair braid trims the exotic lace petals of our “Arabelle.”  Thinner horsehair braid helps structure our detachable trains while keeping them light and weightless.

See below for some of our favorite gowns featuring horsehair. Like the look of horsehair but don’t see it featured on the skirt of your favorite style or silhouette?  You can customize any Lauren Elaine gown to feature added horsehair for look and shape.  Visit us at Los Angeles Bridal Salon Style House, OR contact us to learn more!

Horsehair scallop hemline on Isla Bridal Gown by Lauren Elaine Los AngelesLotus tulle and horsehair ball gown wedding dress by lauren elaine los angelesvivianna gown by lauren elaine bridalArabelle lace and tulle form fit mermaid wedding dress by lauren elaine bridal in los angeles, caLucite horsehair tulle backless mermaid wedding dress by lauren elaine bridal los angeles



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