Satin vs Sateen

In the vast panorama of textiles available to retailers, designers, and creators, two materials often stand out for their unique charm and versatility: satin and sateen. In today’s blog, we’ll guide you through the distinguishing features of satin and sateen, from their historic origins to their modern-day applications. Whether you’re sourcing materials for fashion collections, home furnishings, or bespoke creations, this deep dive into satin and sateen will equip you with the knowledge to make informed decisions.

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What is Satin?

Satin Fabric is a type of warp-faced weave, which produces the classic glossy, smooth, lustrous finish on the face of the fabric.

The History of Satin:

Satin was originally made solely from silk fibres and originated from medieval China. It was then introduced to Europe in the 12th century as an imported fabric. It was an expensive fabric and was worn only by the upper classes. In the 1920’s/30’s when fibres such as rayon, acetate and polyester were manufactured, satin gradually became more affordable and available to the wider public.

How is Satin produced?

A satin weave is complicated, without getting overly technical, the warp and weft yarns are interlaced at least once every three yarns during the weaving process and at least five warp/weft yarns must be interlaced to form a complete satin fabric.

Cotton Natural Sateen Fabric

Some examples of popular types of Satin:

Crepe-Backed – A reversible fabric with a glossy smooth satin face and a crepe back.

Double-Faced – This has a glossy appearance on both sides.

Duchesse – One of the heaviest and richest looking satins often used for bridal gowns.

What is satin made of?

Nowadays satin can be made from a multitude of fibres, this will reflect the quality and price depending on which one you choose.

Can you dye Silk Fabric?

Acid dyes are the best and most reliable choice for dyeing silk. They work on any protein fibre. This means any fibre created by an animal: wool, alpaca, mohair, silk, and cashmere.

Washing and Ironing satin:

Instructions for washing and ironing satin will depend on which fibre the satin is made from. We would advise researching instructions for the particular fibre content you are using before laundering. However, if your satin is made from silk fibres, we would always recommend specialist cleaning to maintain its delicate appearance.

What is Satin used for:

Satin has a range of functions from interior décor to fashion: –

  • Due to its beautiful drape and shiny texture, it is a favourite for evening and bridal gowns.
  • Satin can be used for pillow covers, chairs, and other forms of cushioned furniture.
  • Frequently used for bed linens because of its flexible and silky texture.
  • A popular fabric for shoe makers, from ballerina slippers to court shoes.
  • Satin is commonly used for lots of different fashion accessories including clutch/ evening bags.

What is Sateen Used for?


What is Sateen Fabric?

Sateen Fabric is produced with a weft faced weave structure, which produces a dull sheen on the face of the fabric.

The History of Sateen:

Historically sateen was mainly produced from cotton or linen, but with the progress of manufacturing is now available in many other fibres.

How is sateen produced?

Sateen is produced using a similar weave structure to satin; however, the final finish is a soft, dull sheen as opposed to the high gloss of satin.

Vatellor Black Sateen fabric

Popular uses:

Originally used for bedsheets, drapery lining and other home décor. But can now be used for clothing such as dresses, skirts, jackets, and more.

Laundering Instructions:

Instructions for washing and ironing sateen will depend on which fibre it is made from. We would advise researching instructions for the particular fibre content you are using before laundering.

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