Satin was originally made of silk during the middle ages in China. As a result it was very expensive and only the wealthy could afford to use them or be clothed in them. However as time went by, the popularity of this fabric grew quite quickly. By the 12th century, it was the fabric of choice in Europe for royalty, the clergy, the wealthy and those who were considered fashionable. Variations of satin was soon produced which led to the different types of yarn being used to keep the cost down.
Although most of these materials have a sheen or glossy surface on one side, there are some which have both sides of the material having this sheen or gloss. This type of fabric costs more particularly if it is made from silk. There are also instances where satin is used as a backing or lining in clothes made with material that is a bit rough such as wool to give them a soft feeling.
There are different kinds of satin materials and among the common are satin faconne, duchess satin, slipper satin and de-lustered satin. Many brides choose duchess satin for their wedding outfits as it is a heavy material and has a gloss and shine to it. Slipper satin is great when used on shoes as it can be coloured or dyed to match outfits. It is also used primarily by ballet dances for their toe shoes. Satin faconne also known as satin jacquard, has a softer drape as a fabric material and is particularly enchanting as it has patterns that are incorporated in the materials. These patterns can be in any form from paisley to stripes and leaf designs. A less glossy and lighter variation of this material is the de-lustered satin. This type of material commonly has the same finish on both sides of the fabric.
When satin is made with silk fibres, it is very smooth and comfortable as it is also breathable. However, these can be expensive but some will say it is worth it for the comfort that it gives. For many others, satin made with fibres such as polyester or rayon is equally comfortable with the price being reasonable. Satin gives a sheen and gloss wherever it is used and it is usually associated with luxury and comfort. For this reason, people opt for satin when given a choice of materials.