Satin fabrics are produced with the satin weave and come with a glossy surface and a dull back. It is constructed with a warp-dominated weaving process that creates a minimum number of interlacing in a textile. A fabric formed with a satin weave utilising filament fibres like silk, polyester or nylon, the resulting fabric is referred to as satin.
Satin fabrics have a high lustre because of the high number of floats on the fabric. Floats are missed interlacing where a warp yarn lies on top of a weft yarn, or vice versa. The floats are what give the luxury fabric its glossy look as well as its smooth surface.
Types of Satin Fabrics
Plain, satin and twill weaves are the three basic types of weaving of a majority of woven textile products and there are a number of variations that can be constructed using the basic satin weave, and this includes the granite and check weave.
There are a number of interesting types of satin fabrics and these can be found at fabric stores on-line. They include:
Antique satin – This type of satin is a rich heavy fabric with a dull uneven texture.
Charmeuse satin – Organzine warp threads with spun silk weft threads.
Ribbed satin – This type of satin fabric is Bengazine and faille woven with satin faced ribs that gives it a lustrous ‘broken’ surface similar to a moire finish.
Hammered satin – This unique satin is treated to give the visual effect of hammered a metal sheet.
Uses of Satin
Satin is commonly used for apparel wear, for example for baseball jackets, athletic shorts, women’s nightwear and lingerie, blouses, Pointe shoes for ballet and elegant gowns. The luxury fabric is also used to make men’s boxers, ties, shirts and dinner jackets.
The durability of satin for heavy use is not guaranteed because of the lengths of the warp floats, but it is non-the-less a beautiful and elegant material that is used both for stylish clothing and classy home décor materials. Satin is used extensively for drapery works, furniture upholstery and luxurious bed linen.
Sateen or satine is a lovely fabric with a lustrous face that must not to be confused with satin. It is more of an imitation of satin and is produced with floating weft threads that gives it a beautiful feature of being smooth from side to side.
If the yarns used are short-staple yarns such as cotton, the fabric formed is considered sateen. The better and more expensive sateen fabrics are mercerized and are usually made of cotton.
Mercerizing is a process where materials are subjected to a chemical process to give a high lustrous and silky surface. The name originates from a British calico printer called John Mercer.
Sateen was popularly used for vintage dress shirts and other vintage apparel, and today it is commonly used for bed linen and home décor items.