China also makes a looooottt of polyester. They also export a lot of that polyester to “western” countries. In addition, the price of silk has risen ever since the market crash because we (the western market) were unable to purchase all the luxury goods at that time which meant: silk production went down, but synthetic production went up. They are also turning to domestic demands, and a lot of stuff is much more expensive in China now. Plus, you’re paying in USD which is worth much less in China now, so they may just be skimping on the quality of the fabric.
Just FYI, China also makes a lot of fake labels, i.e. they will make labels that have brand names on them, and that also say Made in Korea, or Made in USA when they’re actually still made in China. Your dress might say 100% polyester, but it could have been silk (or they could have really scammed you, you never know). I wouldn’t trust their labels 100%.
To test for “pure” fabrics:
1. if you have some experience with identifying fabrics, real silk should feel cool and slippery. If you rub it together, polyester will get really hot and kind of sticky feeling. Not all polyester is “bad” though. Rayon is actually a nicer synthetic fabric, and it’s actually more expensive to produce than a lot of other synthetic materials because it’s semi-synthetic (the fibers are made from natural polymers).
2. not that you would want to burn your dress but: ask for them to send you a sample of the fabric they are making it in. Cut it in half and burn one half of it. If it turns into fine ash it is 100% silk. If it burns into clumps, it has synthetic fibers in it. If the sample they sent you is 100% silk, keep the other half to compare the fabric of the dress to when you receive it.
I don’t really know any specific wedding dress companies, but if you are also looking for suits for your groom, I worked at an internship at Modern Tailor last summer, and I would recommend them because the two most important things to the owner are: customer service, and the quality of the product.(I was unpaid so this really doesn’t affect my salary since 1. I don’t work there anymore and 2. I wasn’t getting paid there anyways)
He has someone who goes out to the fabric market to choose new fabrics. This person has been in the business for a really long time. He can identify exactly what kind of material it is, and what is in it (like 60% rayon, 40% cotton). The company really works with you to make sure you are satisfied. My job was to check on all the orders and change their statuses according to where it was in the process so they could keep track of all their orders and be on time. Before they ship anything out, they recheck all the details to make sure the customer is getting what they asked for (which I also had to do).
Another suggestion is to use taobao.com. It’s the Chinese version of ebay. The picture you’ll find on there will probably be closer to what they really have. I believe you can find sellers on the website who can communicate to you in English and work out a way in which you can purchase the dress you want and pay for it (I’m not sure if the website accepts foreign credit cards). Maybe they’ll sell it to you on ebay instead?
The link I’ve provided below already has the Chinese for Wedding Dress typed into the search engine so anyone can check it out.
The prices are in RMB so divide by 6.5317