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sateen bedding

What is sateen?

Sateen is a material that has been popular since the early 1900s. It is a type of fabric, usually made from cotton yarns, that is woven in the same way as traditional satin. This means the threads are mostly on one side of the fabric, giving it its smooth look. Weft yarns are floated over warp yarns: for example four-over and one-under,whereas a standard plain weave uses a one-over one-under construction). As there are fewer binding points, the weft yarns are able to bind together very tightly, creating a dense yet smooth fabric. Mercerised cotton, in particular, is used in the manufacture of sateen. Mercerisation is a treatment applied to the fibre which smooths out the loops in the cotton threads. This makes the cotton fibre stronger, easier to dye and adds ustre, which are ideal qualities for a sateen weave. Though sateen is predominantly produced with mercerised cotton, it can also be made from silk, wool, nylon, polyester or any other fibre that is lustrous enough. Cotton sateen is used for sheets and bed linen. Sateen made from other fabrics is often used as lining for garments, curtains and upholstery.

Properties & qualities

Sateen is a smooth fabric. The sateen weave means that there is a silky glossy finish on one side and a matte flat finish on the underside. If made with cotton with a high thread count, sateen is a relatively durable material. The smoothness and high lustre of sateen means gives it a luxury quality. It is also a material that drapes well and is long-lasting. Sateen is incredibly soft to touch.

sateen sheets

Very smooth

Incredibly soft

✓ Silky, glossy finish


Cotton sateen can be washed in a washing machine with similar colours 40°C. If your washing machine has a spin speed setting this should be set at low. Suitable for tumble drying. For best results, refer to the care instructions on your sateen product