Smooth and Shimmery Silk Satin

silk satinIf you're thinking about creating a wedding gown or any garment for a super special occasion, chances are you are thinking about using silk satin for this very important project. One the most expensive types of cloth, silk satin is the perfect choice when you want to create something very grand and luxurious like the beautiful dress below.

silk satin

Origins of Silk Satin

First woven by the silk weavers of Quanzhou, China, the shimmery satin fabric is actually woven and is considered a fabric blend.  The original satin was made exclusively from silk thread, making it quite expensive, and it soon gained popularity among the royal families and the wealthy during the 12th Century. For several decades, the kings and queens of Europe and the emperors and empresses of China draped themselves with royal robes made from silk satin.

silk satin

Ancient Chinese Pagoda in Quanzhou, China

And then some weavers started to manufacture satin fabrics using other materials like polyester, wool, and cotton. This makes satin less expensive so that today when we say satin, we normally refer to a type of weaving that enhances the facade of the fabric by providing it with a glossy finish. And the good news is that normal mortals like you and me can now afford satin. In fact, it has become the fabric of choice for bed sheets, upholstery, and gowns for any special occasion. Satin is also popularly used as the material for athletic shorts and jackets, ladies’ lingerie, nightgowns, swimwear, boxer shorts, men’s shirts and neckties. The ballet pointe shoes are also made of satin.

Satin Weaving

The process used in producing satin fabric is called twill weaving. This is a type of weaving that utilizes weft threads with four or more horizontal yarns covered by a single vertical yarn. The result is satin’s unique smoothness that is largely due to the weave’s fewer interlacings. There are still many innovations being developed in the manufacture of the satin fabric blend and this is really good news for all of us.  Imagine working on stretch satin fabrics or being able to create something out of satin fabrics decorated with the latest trendy digital prints.

silk satin

Sewing with Satin

Are you getting ready to work with satin?  You probably know that it is a bit difficult to work with this special material because it keeps on slipping away. So make sure you pin its edges on tissue paper by using special satin pins. You should also take extra care that it does not get creases because it will be difficult to remove these creases later on. Finally, it is important to use only sharp and good quality scissors when you work with satin.  For guidance on choosing high-quality sewing scissors, please check our Tool tips – budget or quality? Sewing scissors.

Tool tips – budget or quality? Sewing scissors

And as you sew, you will surely agree that this is a material that is truly fit for kings –or anyone that you hold especially dear for that matter.  You see, no other fabric has this soothing feeling on the skin.  Satin made from natural materials lets the skin breathe by letting air pass through and this creates a cooling effect too.

Classy and comfortable, it is no wonder that after all these years, silk satin is still considered as one of the best things that ever happen to the history of fabric and fabric blends.  What delicious creations would you like to make with silk satin?  Please let us know in the comments below.

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8 Responses to Smooth and Shimmery Silk Satin

  1. inge jensen says:

    made my daughter’s wedding dress from silk satin, but now i know all about the material too.

  2. Sherry Rowe says:

    I line all my creations of Muskogee Creek Indian vest with silk. Can I fuse a light fusable pellon to silk to ease the delicate handling of the silk liner?

  3. Krista Garner says:

    I would love to make luxurious night gowns, bras and panties. No telling what I might make.

  4. Zoe says:

    I have a small amount of black satin and blue satin. i was wondering if you had any ideas of what to sew with them? I’m a beginner sewer who wants to make something nice for my grandma who bought me the sewing machine and the blue satin.

  5. patricia a ryan says:

    I decided I want to make myself a dress in red satin long sleeves, pockets, full skirt and below the knee., very 50’s

  6. Melanie says:

    Thank you for educating me on “sew” many topics! I would love to make a lovely satin camisole or two or three. LOL

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