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Come-hither wear

With wedding season quickly approaching, there is a certain fabric on my mind.  Lying seductively on the plush bed in our temporal lobe, it lights our fashion senses on fire.

Lustrous, with a soft silky hand and a look-at-me attitude, satin dominates the formal wear scene.  There’s no dressing down Madame Satin or holding her back from being the life of the party and rightly so.  She outshines anyone in the room, making satin the go-to girl for fancy projects.  But with so many types, it’s hard to keep track of which one to use for which project.

Here are some of my very favorite shining stars in their finest forms.

Antique Satin

A satin weave that uses slubbed or unevenly spun yarns in the weft.  Used for drapery, upholstery, and the like.  Similar in look and feel to shantung or duppioni silk.

Antique Satin Fabric

Antique Satin Fabric

Couch Made from Antique Satin

Couch Made from Antique Satin

Brocaded Satin (Brocade)

Richly decorative and shuttle-woven (special tool to tightly weave yarn) fabric often made of colored silk and usually embroidered/embossed with silver or gold thread.  Think traditional decorative corset outer fabric, silk kimonos, or early 60’s bombshell dresses with little cropped jackets.

Brocade Satin Fabric

Brocade Satin Fabric

Brocade Satin Dress

Brocade Satin Dress (thingsofsplendor)

Charmeuse

Softer and lighter in weight than any of the other satins, whereby the warp threads cross over 3 or more of the weft threads.  One satin side, one dull side.  Can be made of silk or polyester (silk version is more breathable).  Hugs the body (meow).  Used for lingerie, jacket linings, victorian bowties and ascots, and bias cut gowns.  Difficult to sew (slippery and pins leave holes).

Charmeuse Satin Fabric

Charmeuse Satin Fabric

Charmeuse Satin Dress

Charmeuse Satin Dress (Nicole Miller)

Crepe-backed Satin

Satin on one side, crepe on the other.  Used when you want to have contrasting effects on a dress: i.e. a crepe dress with a satin sash.  Satin side looks and feels like bridal satin.

Crepe Back Satin Fabric

Crepe Back Satin Fabric

Crepe Back Satin Dress

Crepe Back Satin Dress (Anjou)

Double-faced Satin

Satin on both sides of the fabric.  Used in clothing or items where both sides will be facing out, i.e. satin sash or sculpted/draped gown

Double Face Satin Ribbon

Double Face Satin Ribbon (Vogue)

Double Face Satin Ribbon Sash

Double Face Satin Ribbon Sash (Anjou)

Duchesse Satin

Shiny, heavy, and luxurious. Often used for couture wedding gowns or extravagant home decor.  Hails from ancient china.  Ridiculously gorgeous and expensive.

Duchesse Satin Fabric

Duchesse Satin Fabric (Vogue)

Duchesse Satin Shorts

Duchesse Satin Shorts (Chloé)

Sateen

Structure is 4-over-1 (standard satin is 1-over-1), which produces a softer hand and slight sheen.  A silk/cotton blend.  Better qualities are mercerized to give a higher sheen.  Can be seen in vintage dress shirts, linings of outerwear, and sheets.

Sateen Fabric

Sateen Fabric

Sateen Shirt

Sateen Shirt (choppypeas)

Slipper Satin

A heavy, smooth, high-quality satin made from continuous-filament silk or man-made-fiber yarns.  Popular in 1930’s bias cut gowns, 1940’s structured wedding gowns, vintage lingerie, pointe shoes and satin pumps.  This is probably my favorite type of satin.

Slipper Satin Fabric

Slipper Satin Fabric

Slipper Satin

Vintage 40's Bridal Gown Made of Slipper Satin

Stretch Satin

Usually has a 20% stretch across the grain thanks to the weaving in of lycra.  For form fitting dresses.  Especially used in vintage and new-vintage pin-up girl/bombshell/wiggle dresses and halters.

Stretch Satin

Stretch Satin

Stretch Satin Dress

Stretch Satin Dress

toujours, xo.

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