Sateen | It's the weave, not the thread count

Sateen Weave

September 03, 2021

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What is Sateen?

Sateen has a classic luxurious look and feel while still being made of primarily cotton. 

The difference with sateen is in how the cotton is prepared as well as the weave. The cotton tends to be mercerized which is a finishing treatment that improves the strength of the cotton fibers. The weave is still a criss cross weave however instead of taking on the checkerboard look of Percale, Sateen can have multiple, often three or four, yarns cross over for each one that crosses under.  




Figure 1 : Sateen Weave. © Erum Ilyas, MD. 2019

The weave it tight. This leaves more yarns exposed to be felt as softer and smoother.  This will also leave more yarn exposed to give it a sheen and silky look. Sateen is tightly woven giving it warmth for cooler climates.

When people think of luxurious hotel sheets, what type are they usually thinking of?


Sateen is the most common variety of sheet to be found in hotels, especially high end hotels.  The luxurious feel, silky look, durability and breathability all factor in here.  Often times, Egyptian cotton is used as it is a high quality long staple cotton fiber. This means the fibers can be as long as 2 inches making them more durable and less likely to pile.  Piling is what makes textiles look worn or older.  Fuzz balls form when loose fibers clump together.

Sateen sheets to consider... carries Lauren by Ralph Lauren

This essential sheeting is made from silky 475-thread-count cotton sateen for a smooth hand and a subtle sheen. The Oeko-tex Standard 100 certification ensures it has been tested for harmful substances and produced sustainably.

Or consider

Macy's Vernazza Printed Cotton Sateen Sheet Set... 300 thread count sateen, 100% cotton multicolor printed sheet set. Soft and lustrous! 


Target carries Hearth and Hand :

Organic Cotton Sheet Set by Hearth and Hand with Magnolia

This sheet set is made with Organic cotton which is highly breathable and great for couples that disagree on temperatures and children that feel warm overnight. They carry the OEKO TEX Certification and are 100% organic cotton.

BIOWEAVES 100% Organic Cotton Sheets 300 Thread Count 4-Piece GOTS Certified Bed Sheet Set Fits Mattress Upto 17" Deep Pocket, Soft & Silky Sateen Weave (Queen, Undyed Natural)

Nordstrom  400 Thread Count Organic Cotton Sateen Sheet Set

These sheets have a luxurious look and feel, and cover multiple categories. 100% organic cotton (GOTS Certified), high thread count at 400, and sateen for the weave.  Breathable, durable, comfortable and look luxurious!


Nisaki Sateen Cotton Queen-Sheets-Sets White, 100% Long Staple Cotton Bedding Sets Queen, Sateen Sheet Set Soft & Breathable Deep-Pocket Sheets fits Upto 15 inch (100% White Cotton Bed Sheets Set)



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