It became popular in the early 1900s mainly because it cost much less to produce than satin.
It is usually composed of 100% woven cotton although occasionally it is formed from rayon.
Since Sateen highly resembles satin's silky softness, and shine, while being much more affordable, it has stood the test of time.
What is the Two-Step Process? Cotton fibers of carded or combed yarns are used in a two-step weaving process.
First, the cotton is mercerized - soaked in a sodium hydroxide bath and then placed in an acid bath to increase strength and luster.
Second, and most importantly, is the Sateen Weave: one vertical thread woven for every four horizontal threads.
This renders more threads exposed on the surface, reflecting a greater amount of light and a much higher sheen.
What is the Calendared Process? Some cotton Sateen sheets bypass the two-step process for the calendared method.
This system merely presses the fabric between two rolling pins to create the glossy sheen.
The result is a lower grade material that is not considered genuine Sateen because, after a few washings, the sheen will fade.
So, be wise when buying - if the Sateen seems cheap in price, it translates to cheap in quality.
Why Sateen? Compared to silk, it is so very inexpensive.
Cotton Sateen has an exceptional satin-like feel and softness along with a luxurious luster, and...
it's machine washable - just perfect for waterbed sheets.
The vast majority of Sateen cotton sheets are made via the superior two-step process and in a wide range of Sateen thread counts.
Simply put, Sateen is an affordable and easy way to pamper yourself.