Satin is not a fabric, as we are commonly used to think, but it’s a processing. To obtain it, we can start from various materials, the most ancient and known is silk. But silk has not sustainable characteristics, even though falls within the so called natural fabrics.
What is satin?
To understand what satin is we have to start with the notion of yarn. The yarn is the thread obtained from the manufacturing processes, called spinning, of raw textile fibers. To be suitable for weaving, the thread has to be long and have homogeneous characteristics, continuous and flexible, so it can be woven. Yarns can be produced with natural or technological fibers, that means synthetics, consequently we’ll have cotton yarns, hemp yarns, acetate (synthetic) yarn, etc.
With the yarns, or with the threads, through weaving, could be produced various fabrics. Every fabric, has obviously very precise features, that depend yes on the used yarn, but also on the way it is woven.
The weft and the warp
When talking about weaving there are some terms, such as weft and warp, for exemple, which is essential to know. Let’s see what are them.
First of all we have to say that the most used weavings are the ones called shuttle weaving and knitting weaving. In the weaving called “shuttle” we have a braid of, at least, two series of threads, which are perpendicular to one another and are called weft and warp. The words warp and weft derive ultimately from the Old English word wefan, to weave. Warp means “that which is thrown away. The weft that will then be interwoven to the warp.
How is satin created
Once the yarn has been obtained, the making of the fabrics takes place following a very precise plan called weave. The weave determines the type of braid that is going to be created in the frame between weft and warp. It will be the weaving to define which type of fabric we’ll obtain, starting from the chosen yarn.
In the case of satin, that is smooth and glossy, the tie-in points established by the weaving, are smaller than in other fabrics. This This in order to grant to it a smooth and not striped appearance.
Originally, satin was produced with only silk yarns, but silk, even though is defined as sustainable by some companies, actually isn’t all the way so. In fact, unfortunately, so that the silk cocoons can be kept intact, silkworms are killed, so as not to allow them to pierce the cocoon.
Far more sustainable, instead, is the production of cotton satin, when the yarn is obtained following the correct criteria for environmental and human beings protection.
Once obtained the satin from the cotton yarn, to give it the smooth appearance typical of the silk satin, the fabric shall be subjected to calendering. This process consists in passing the fabric between a heated roll and a felt cuff, so that the down would remain flattened.
If you want to discover more about sustainable fabrics, you can read these articles:
tessuti in canapa
tessuti in fico d’india