Fabric Dictionary: What Is Satin Fabric?

Fabric Dictionary: What Is Satin Fabric?

Shiny & elegant, satin's a type of fabric that's woven in a satin weave style. Read along to learn all about satin fabric from how it's made to how it's used.
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Introduction

Satin is an elegant group of fabrics that are known for being soft and shiny. Historically made from silk, these textiles can be sourced from any fiber or fibers, as the word “satin” refers to the type of weave used to create the fabrics. There are many types of satin fabric. Because of the variables involved during the manufacturing process, each type of satin can have different characteristics that may be useful or better than others depending on the application. Sit back and read along as we discuss everything about satin, from how it’s made to how to care for the fabric.

What Is Satin Made Of?

Satin was first introduced in the 12th century as a luxurious silk fabric from China. Woven in a satin style weave, satin fabric is created by weaving an alternating pattern of multiple warp yarns that are floated, or skipped, over a single weft yarn and multiple weft yarns that are floated, or skipped over a single warp yarn. This process results in a shiny, soft, and smooth fabric. During the fabric’s early history, Italy and several cities along the silk road became the first western producers of satin, and the textile soon spread all throughout Europe. Satin then became a popular fabric amongst the upper class and the royal families of Europe. In fact, the Palace of Versailles still has furniture that is upholstered with the original satin fabric from many years ago.


While historically it was sourced from silk, satin fabric can be made or blended from any fibers. Cotton and linen fibers have also been used to manufacture satin throughout the entire history of the fabric. Additionally, with the creation of nylon in the 19th century, and polyester in the 20th century, satin fabric started to be woven from synthetic materials. Soon after, satin became more affordable and widely available to a wider range of people

What Is The Difference Between Satin And Silk

There is a lot of confusion between the words “satin” and “silk.” As we discussed in the previous section, satin is a style of weave consisting of an alternating single-weft-multiple-warp and single-warp-multiple-weft pattern. On the other hand, silk is a fiber or strand, that is used for weaving and sewing applications, among other things. Satin can be made from silk fibers, but silk can also be used to make other styles of fabric.


What Is Satin Used For?

Satin is soft, shiny, and smooth, which makes this type of fabric elegant, comfortable, and great for a variety of applications. Most people have seen satin during a wedding or party as the fabric is commonly used for bridal gowns and dresses. Also, you may find at the reception that the draperies and table covers are also made from satin fabric. We have learned that satin is shiny and has a pleasant texture, but did you know that the textile is more wrinkle resistant than other fabrics? These qualities make satin popular for use as luxurious bedding. Another example of an application for satin fabric would be as an accessory. Because satin is so eye catching, satin accessories like purses, ties, and scrunchies are commonly found, and can really accentuate an outfit.

Which Satin Fabric Is Best?

Due to the fact that satin can be made in a variety of ways, each type of satin fabric has different characteristics. No satin fabric is better than another. It all depends on how the satin fabric is being used.


Check out some of these different types of satins, and what they are best used for:

  • Charmeuse: Charmeuse is a lightweight type of satin that has a lustrous face, and a dull back side. Because charmeuse is lighter in weight than other satins, this type of fabric is best used for delicate applications like linings, lingerie, and ties, to name a few examples.
  • Crepe Back Satin: Crepe back is a two-sided satin that features a shiny face, and a dull back side that has a ribbed, crepe texture. Crepe back satin is a versatile satin and can be used for any application.
  • Duchess Satin: Duchess is a type of one-sided satin that is heavier and softer than other satins and is used for elegant dresses and gowns.


Can Satin Be Ironed?

Some fabrics are easier to care for than others, it all comes down to what fibers were used in the weaving process. Generally speaking, satins can be machine washed and tumble dried. However, it is recommended to hand wash satin fabrics that are made from silks and linens, since these fibers are more delicate.


It is important to first see what materials the satin fabric was made from, and to match the settings on the iron or steamer. Next, ensure that the setting on the steamer or iron matches the fiber. Satins made from synthetic fibers like polyester, nylon, and acrylic need to be ironed or steamed with temperatures under 300° Fahrenheit, while satins made from natural fibers can withstand ironing or steaming temperatures in a range of 300-445° Fahrenheit. Finally, here is a professional tip. If your satin is delicate or if you want to be extra precautions, put a layer of fabric over your satin before you start ironing or steaming. By applying the heat to the protective layer, this removes any wrinkles from the satin without causing it any damage.

Conclusion

Satin is a shiny, smooth, and soft fabric that is known for being elegant and luxurious. With satin, its not about what it is made from, but how it is made. All satins are woven in a satin style weave, but the fabrics can be made or blended from any fibers such as silk, cotton, or polyester. There are many types of satins, each one having its own unique characteristics. Because satin is so versatile, the fabric can be found being used in a variety of applications. No satin fabric is better than another, but each type of satin can be the best fabric for specific applications. Satin fabric is such a stylish fabric that is easy to care for, try using it for your next sewing project.

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