Smooth and slick and in many places represents royalty. Prized for centuries this fabric has been thought of as the most luscious fabric in existence. Typically the weave of satin has a glossy surface and a dull back. This fabric weave is characterized by four or more cool fill or weft yarns floating over a wrap yarn or vice versa, four warp yarns floating over a single weft yarn. Floats are missed inter-facings, where the warp yarn lies on top of the weft in a warp-faced satin and where the weft yarn lies on top of the warp yarns in weft-faced satin’s. These floats explain the even sheen, as unlike in other weaves, the light reflecting is not scattered as much by the fibers, which have fewer tucks.
Uses for Satin
This fabric is commonly used in apparel: satin baseball jackets, athletic shorts, women’s lingerie, nightgowns, blouses, and evening gowns, but also in some men’s boxer shorts, briefs, shirts and neckties. It is also used in the production of pointy shoes for use in ballet. Other uses include interior furnishing fabrics, upholstery, and bed sheets.
Not all satins are trues satins
To be considered a true satin, a fabric must be woven in a very specific manner. The material must have at least four threads brought to the surface of the fabric to “float” over a single thread running perpendicularly to them. The threads on the top are called warp strands, which run vertically, while the one on the bottom is called a weft strand, which runs horizontally. This process is called floating, and allows large portions of thread to reflect light, which makes the fabric shiny and glossy on one side. Some types, called double-faced satins, are made to be shiny on both sides by using two sets of warp strands.
Types of Satin
Antique: commonly woven from rayon and acetate with various colors and yarn thicknesses giving of a textured feel and iridescent appearance.
Charmuse: cheaper and can often withstand machine washing, but it does not breathe as well as silk
Crepeback: one side of the fabric is silk while the other is crepe making the appearance of the fabric either shiny or dull.
Silk: the most luxurious of all satins is light weight very shimmery and is breathable, making it ideal for sleep wear
Stretched Satin: the same as ordinary fabric expect with a additional 5% spandex