Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Silk and Satin

silkSilk vs Satin

Silk and satin are both smooth and soft. These two materials are widely used by people because of its smoothness. Though these two come with somewhat similar features and have a similar look, they are quite different in every sense.

While silk is natural, satin is artificial. Silk is made from cocoons of silk worms. The fibre is removed from the cocoons and made into threads, which is then woven into clothes. A man made product, Satin can be produced from many types of materials like silk, nylon and polyester.

When comparing silk and satin, it can be noticed that silk comes with more strength. The silk, which comes in long fibres, is seen to be durable than satin. Satin is more delicate than silk and so when handling it, more care is needed.

Silk, which is a natural protein fiber, has a shimmering appearance. Satin, on the other hand, has a glossy surface and a dull back. The shimmering appearance of silk is because of the prism like structure of its fabric, which refracts the light producing various colours. Satin is made of a number of floats (interlacing). It is these floats that give Satin a glossy look and also a smooth surface.

Coming to origin of the two fabrics, satin and silk has its roots in China. While silk originated in ancient china (possibly as early as 6000 BC), satin was developed in the Middle Ages. Satin got its name from the Chinese port of Zaitun (Quanzhou) in Fujian province from where the Arabs traders bought the fabric.

Silk threads are hard to produce, as a single strand of thread requires silk from thousands of silk worms. This makes silk fabrics more expensive than satin. As Satin is made from synthetic fibers, the cost is low when compared to silk

Satin shrinks more or stretches more than silk when placed in hot water. Silk fabric can withstand hot water to a great extent, as the fibre is strong. Silk fabrics can be hand washed using cold water and it is better to avoid too much wringing as it can damage it. Satin fabrics should be dry-cleaned.

1.Silk is natural and satin artificial.
2.Silk is made from cocoons. Satin Satin can be produced from many types of materials like silk, nylon and polyester.
3.Silk is more durable than satin
4.Whil silk has a shimmering appearance, satin comes glossy.

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  1. These two things can’t really be compared. Silk is a type of fiber, and satin is a weaving method. Therefore generalizations like “Silk is natural, and satin is articifial” don’t really make sense since as the article points out, satin can itself be made from silk. What is it then?

  2. This is a topic that can be very confusing. Satin is a weave, as Anna states, and silk is a fiber. The textile community doesn’t use the term “artificial” when discussing fibers or fabric. There are man made fibers and manufactured fibers. Satin can come in many fibers including wool as in a fabric we carry, Wool Satin Gabardine.

  3. Yup, satin is a weave.
    Silk is one of the fibres that can be used to make fabric using one of the types of weaves.

    So you can have rayon satin, silk satin, nylon satin, polysatin fabrics, etc.

    Other popular weaves are twill & plain.

  4. Which is better for pillow cases silk or satin?


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