Satin

Satin Manufacture

Satin weave is very similar to sateen weave. Satin weave originated in China and was only made using silk yarns. Nowadays Satin can be made from viscose, or synthetic fibres. It is characterised by having a smooth, shiny surface and a dull back.

Satin weave is one of the three main textile weaves; the other two being twill and plain weave. Satin weave is created using a loom, like most other woven fabrics. The warp yarns are evenly spaced across the loom and anchored at either end. Instead of the basic way the weft is usually taken over one warp yarn and under the next, in Satin weave it is passed over several and then under just one to anchor the weave. The most common number that the weft is taken over if four.

These long stretches of weft yarns are called ‘Floats.’ It is these floats that make the surface of the fabric so lustrous. The light is not fragmented by the interwoven weft yarns and it can reflect freely of the shiny yarns. This lustre can be heightened by the use of calendaring, where the surface of the fabric is flattened by the use of heated rollers. This is known as Panne Satin. Other types of fabrics that use the satin weave are Crepe back Satin, Duchesse Satin and slipper Satin.

Properties of Satin Fabric

  • Good Drape
  • Good elasticity
  • Lustrous Surface
  • Versatile
  • Luxury fabric
  • Challenging to Sew
  • Frays easily
  • Snags easily because of the long floats
  • Difficult to care for
  • Fluid
  • Made from filament yarns, this is how it differs from sateen which is made from staple fibres

End Uses of Satin Fabric

  • Eveningwear
  • Lingerie
  • Linings
  • Facings
  • Sportswear
  • Hats
  • Shirts
  • Ties
  • Wedding Gowns

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Kelly Mitchell

Written by Kelly Mitchell

Kelly Mitchell, extremely competent and reliable, she is currently in her third year at the University of Lincoln UK, studying Fashion. Kelly is responsible for the Fabrics, Fibers and Leathers sections of our Dictionary


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