Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Definition a Day: Sateen v Satin

Sateen, many people confuse with satin.  Sateen is made with a spun yarn and satin is made with a filament yarn.  Both are made using a satin weave.  A satin weave is when a yarn floats across four or more yarns.  Sateen is made with cotton yarn and satin is made with silk or polyester.  They look similar, both have a sheen to them.  Sateen gets its luster look from the way it is woven.

Sateen can be used for sheets and linings, it is much more economical than satin and very little if any shrinkage.

Cotton sateen from

Poly satin from
Satin is usually used for wedding dresses and other formal wear.  You can find it in non-silk fabrications; polyester, acetate or rayon. 

Both of these fabrics should be dry cleaned and are difficult to cut.  It's best to use a rotary knife and cutting mat, line some tissue paper on top and under the fabric when cutting.  When sewing, don't use a back stitch at the beginning of a seam, this is to prevent the fabric getting sucked into the plate.  When pinning, place pins parallel to the selvage to avoid making snags in the fabric.

Satins and sateens come as Jacquards, damasks and prints.  So the variety is wide and colorful accommodating many projects.

Here is a polka dot satin from

Personally I am not a fan of satin or sateen.  I find sateen is not very breathable and I think it is also because I am just not very blingy.  Is that a word? Even for prom I did not wear any sort of satin type dress, I am a cotton girl.  Which is probably why I became a sportswear designer.  However I do think both of these fabrics are important to mention.  Especially when I teach apparel sewing classes many people do  like to use these fabrics so it is important to be knowledgeable right?

February is coming to a close this week and I will be back to my regular blogging, no definition of the day.  I would love to hear any comments about the past month and if you enjoy learning about new fabrics?  Any thing I can do better or different?

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