What Is Sateen?


Sateen is generally a cotton fabric with a satin-like feel. It’s found in bed sheets and other textiles. Sateen is usually 100% woven cotton, although it is sometimes formed from rayon. Like percale, sateen does not refer to the material of the sheet. It refers to the method in which the sheet was woven.

A “sateen weave” means that there is one vertical thread woven for every four or more horizontal threads. Since more of the threads are exposed to the surface, the resulting fabric is much smoother than if it was woven with a standard type weave.

The best quality sateen is mercerized to give it a higher sheen. Mercerized cotton has been treated with sodium hydroxide to shrink it and increase its luster and affinity for dye.