October 04, 2021 5 min read
When you’re browsing through designer duvet covers, the word “sateen” comes up everywhere. But what is sateen anyway?
Sateen doesn’t refer to a type of material or specific cotton fiber, but rather a type of weave. This weave pattern follows a one-yarn-under, three-yarn-over structure that exposes the maximum surface area of each yarn.
You may know this luxe fabric for its buttery soft texture, irresistibly smooth feel, and gorgeous sheen. It’s a fantastic material for bedding that will leave you begging to spend all day in bed.
When choosing sheets, sateen is a great luxury option for many reasons.
These may typically be made from cotton fibers, but sateen isn’t like any old cotton. Instead, sateen has a unique sheen and incredibly soft feeling that’s silky smooth. On top of that, its wrinkle-resistant nature makes sateen effortlessly gorgeous, even after you spend all night in bed.
Let’s dive into everything you need to know about luxe sateen sheets, including what they’re made from and why they’re so unique.
So, we’ve talked about what sateen is, but what are sateen sheets made from?
Typically, these luxurious sheets are made from 100% extra-long-staple cotton. The long yarns are ideal for forming the sateen weave, which exposes a great deal of each thread’s surface area. Sateen also follows a satin weave, meaning that there are either warp (vertical) or weft (horizontal) threads on the surface of each side of the material.
The best sateen sheets have a thread count of between 300 and 600 yarns per inch. However, the finest quality cotton sateen consists of combed cotton. Combing removes all shorter staple threads, resulting in an overall smoother surface.
Plus, this primarily natural fabric is hypoallergenic and has a fairly tight weave, preventing dust and dust mites. Cotton sateen is safe for all sleepers — even the most sensitive people.
Part of what makes sateen sheets special is that the fabric goes through a process called mercerization. The woven material gets soaked in lye, followed by acid that secures the fibers, locking in each thread. This treatment smoothes the fabric, making it irresistibly smooth and providing sateen with its signature sheen.
Like all fabrics, sateen bed sheets have their own advantages and disadvantages. Here’s what you’ll love about this textile and what you might not be too keen on.
Although cotton is the most common type of fabric used in sateen, it certainly isn’t the only option. Here are some other materials you may find.
There’s nothing complicated about caring for sateen sheets. Though this is a luxe material, the maintenance is easy!
Keep in mind that every textile has specific care instructions that you can find on the garment label. However, here are some general cleaning guidelines.
Yes, sateen sheets are machine washable and machine dryable! For best results, start by turning your bedding inside out and closing any zippers. This step helps reduce any pilling and snagging in the wash. Then, add a mild detergent and set your washing machine to the gentle cycle.
Immediately remove your linens from the wash to prevent mildew, and toss them in the dryer on the coolest setting possible.
Friction in the washing machine has the potential to cause pilling, so if you’re worried about this, opt for handwashing. Just like with machine washing, you’ll want to use a mild detergent.
You can skip the dryer, too, by laying your sheets over a rack or clothesline to air dry. However, as long as you use the low or medium setting, machine drying is safe too!
Sateen is an ultra-soft, incredibly smooth luxury bedding material with a signature sheen. These sheets are naturally hygienic, wrinkle-resistant, and slightly silky, making you feel like a million bucks. But if you’re a warm sleeper or worried about snagging and pilling, sateen may not be the material for you.
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