Weaving technique – Silk satin

First of all, it should be remembered that SILK is a MATERIAL and that SATIN is only a METHOD OF WEAVING silk.

Don't be mistaken when you read the term “fabric type” and think that it is the material the fabric was made from.
A type of fabric simply refers to a way of weaving a material.

For example, the fabric type “Silk Satin” means that the Silk was woven using weaving techniques called Satin.
If you only find the mention “Satin”, it could be a satin weave made from a material such as cotton, wool or even polyester.

Now that the distinction has been made between silk and satin, we will describe the characteristics of this type of weaving, its derivatives, the use that can be made of it, as well as the way of maintaining the fabrics which result.

Learn more about the difference between satin and silk
Discover the different silk weaving techniques

Silk satin

The History of Silk Satin:

Silk satin dates back to medieval China. This weaving technique takes its name from the word Zaitun, the Arabic name for the city of Quanzhou, where the teachings relating to the “satin” weaving methods that we know today come from.
Silk production, as well as satin weaving techniques, were passed down along the Silk Road.
It was in the 14th century that silk satin became widespread and gained popularity in Europe.

Making silk satin:

Satin is a weaving technique that involves a minimum of four weft threads being woven onto one warp thread. The crossing points between these warps and wefts are distributed so as to conceal themselves and give a smooth and shiny finish.
This weaving method is difficult to work with. The soft and slippery nature of silk makes sewing very complicated.

The characteristics of silk satin:

Silk satin has an extremely shiny appearance and a very soft feel. The fabric is also strong and durable thanks to the weaving process of using long fibers and weaving them very taut.
The way this type of fabric is worked makes it difficult to crease compared to other fabrics.
Unlike other types of satin (cotton satin, polyester satin, etc.) which attract static electricity, silk satin does not cling at all.

The different possible uses of silk satin:

The use of silk satin is very varied. It ranges from clothing making to interior decoration.
With its beautiful drape and shine, silk satin is the ultimate choice when it comes to evening dresses, wedding wear and very chic linings of men's suits.
Its softness and flexibility also make it the perfect ally for designing bed linen. Moreover, one of the first uses of silk satin in Europe was for decorative furniture and bedding for the Palace of Versailles.

Silk satin washing instructions:

Silk satin is a very delicate fabric, which is why it is strongly recommended to wash it by hand or otherwise opt for dry cleaning.

Learn more about washing, drying and ironing silk


Derivations of the SATIN weaving technique


Satin is simply a weaving method. It has several derivatives which depend on the length of the threads used during weaving, their number, their thickness and the way in which they were woven.

The best-known derivatives of silk satin are 11 in number and are as follows:

1. Messaline: Very light form of satin. The resulting fabric will be very supple and very shiny.

2. Charmeuse: Very light fabric with an extremely shiny front and a matte back.

3. The satin crepe back: Reversible fabric. On one side the finish will be shiny and smooth, and on the other side it will be matte and rough.

4. The satin slipper: Solid fabric which will also be very shiny.

5. Duchess satin: Heavy, rigid fabric and less shiny than standard satin.

6. Baronet satin: Mixed fabric. This technique uses both silk and cotton. The fabric will be shiny in front and dull in back.

7. Antique satin: Fabric less shiny than standard satin. It will have a smooth, slightly shiny surface with a matte sheen.

8. Double-sided satin: The same weaving techniques will be used on the front and back of the fabric. So it will be very shiny on both sides.

9. Shaped satin: Medium weight fabric with a lustrous surface. The particularity of this derivative of satin is that small patterns are placed on the fabric.

10. Sultan's satin: Fabric in which wool and silk will be mixed, giving a dull combed side and a supple and shiny side.

11. Cut satin: This weaving technique mixes silk and fine cotton. The fabric will feature brightly colored woven stripes and floral designs.

As you will have understood, weaving is an art that translates into diverse and varied forms. However, what you need to remember is that regardless of the material used, a weaving technique will always give the fabric an almost similar appearance.
For example, a silk satin fabric will look very similar to a polyester satin fabric. The big difference will lie in the benefits that one material brings compared to another.
It is therefore important not to be fooled by the appearance of a fabric, and to always check the label of an item, to know the material from which it was woven.

Discover the benefits of silk
Discover the differences between cotton and silk

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