July 12, 2021 5 min read
If you’ve ever shopped for bedding, you know the options are limitless. From organic percale duvet covers to linen bedding sets, you can find it all. Even just the cotton varieties go on and on. If you need a little help decoding the benefits and uses of these different fabrics, we’re here to help.
Let’s start with the most luxurious cotton weave: sateen.
This soft, smooth textile is downright indulgent. Sateen is cozy, shiny, and soft as butter. So how is this irresistible texture possible? Well, there are a couple of reasons. But, ultimately, it comes down to the materials used and the process they undergo.
Unlike many other textiles, sateen refers to a specific weaving pattern, not a particular material or cotton plant. However, it’s most often made of cotton fibers which are first combed to increase the length.
Sateen weave follows a strict one-yarn-under, three-yarn-over weft pattern to expose the maximum surface area of each thread. This pattern is unique to sateen and gives the fabric a wave-like look up close.
Once woven, these long-staple cotton fibers undergo a process called mercerization. This means that the fabric gets soaked in lye, then acid to essentially lock the threads in. Treating the yarns creates a smoother texture and a natural sheen.
Sateen may often be composed of cotton, but it embodies many unique properties. From its luxurious texture to impeccable safety to effortless beauty, there’s a never-ending list of reasons to choose sateen. Here are a few:
Satin and sateen may sound and look alike, but you can’t use the two terms interchangeably. These are two entirely different fabrics!
Both materials are glossy, smooth, and luxuriously silky. On top of that, they’re also durable and wrinkle resistant. However, some significant distinctions separate the two.
As we know, sateen is often made of cotton (or other short-staple materials, but we’ll get to that later), which makes it hypoallergenic, relatively breathable, and inexpensive.
On the other hand, the best satin is made of silk, while polyester, nylon, or other filament fibers are more durable, cost-effective options.
Filaments are long, continuous strands far lengthier than even extra-long staple fibers.
While sateen follows a weft (horizontal) pattern, satin follows a warp (vertical) pattern. As a result, satin has a more lustrous, slippery texture that drapes gracefully but readily snags and can be hard to work with.
Sateen offers unique advantages that make it an excellent material for many uses. So next time you go shopping, look for sateen in some of these everyday garments.
A common misconception about sateen is that it’s exclusively made of cotton. Though cotton sateen is the most common variety, it’s not the only one.
Sateen may be a luxury fabric, but it doesn’t require a ridiculous amount of maintenance.
It’s always integral to check the manufacturer’s instructions before washing your garment, as specific care directions can vary from piece to piece. However, there are some general guidelines to follow, so you can keep your cotton sateen looking great day after day.
It’s no secret that machine washings are the most convenient and cost-effective method. Luckily, cotton sateen can stand up to this! For best results, turn your garment inside out (this reduces pilling), add a mild detergent, and wash on the gentle cycle. You can even move your piece into the dryer so long as you tumble dry on low or medium. Easy, right?
To better preserve your cotton sateen, try hand-washing your piece if you have the time. Since your garment will experience less friction when you gently wash it by hand, your chances of unsightly pilling go down even further. Again, be sure to use a mild detergent. If you want to avoid machines altogether, lay your garment on a rack to air dry. Alternatively, tumble dry on low or medium.
Sateen is a unique fabric that excels in smoothness, safety, and effortless beauty. So next time you’re buying bedding, clothing, or upholstery, give sateen a shot! This durable, luxurious textile will reward you for years to come.
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