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Satin (pronunciation: //) is a weave that typically has a glossy surface and a dull back. It is a warp-dominated weaving technique that forms a minimum number of interlacings in a fabric. If a fabric is formed with a satin weave using filament fibres such as silk, nylon, or polyester, the corresponding fabric is termed a satin, although some definitions insist that the fabric be made from silk. If the yarns used are short-staple yarns such as cotton, the fabric formed is considered a sateen.
A satin fabric tends to have a high luster due to the high number of floats on the fabric. Because of this it is used in making bed sheets. Floats are missed interlacings, where the warp yarn lies on top of the weft. Many variations can be made of the basic satin weave including a granite weave and a check weave. Satin weaves, twill weaves, and plain weaves are the three basic types of weaving by which the majority of woven products are formed.
Satin is commonly used in apparel: satin baseball jackets, athletic shorts, women's lingerie, nightgowns, blouses and evening gowns, but also in some men's boxer shorts, shirts and neckties. It is also used in the production of pointe shoes for use in ballet. Other uses include interior furnishing fabrics, upholstery, and bed sheets.
Originally, during the Middle Ages, satin was made of silk; consequently it was very expensive, used only by the upper classes. Satin became famous in Europe during the twelfth century. The name derives its origin from the Chinese port city of Quanzhou, whose name form in (medieval) Arabic was Zayton. During the latter part of the Middle Ages, it was a major shipping port of silk, using the maritime Silk Road to reach Europe.
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