Cotton sateen fabric is a specially-woven cotton fabric, similar to silk satin, renowned for its shiny luster and slippery feel. Manufactured with a four over, one under thread structure to maximize softness, quality sateen is then mercerized, a process in which the fabric is soaked in a sodium hydroxide bath followed by an acid bath. This adds considerable sheen to the material and aids in the dyeing process.
Sateen has a graceful drape and excellent breathability, making it a very popular choice for luxury bedding and linens. Less expensive than satin and machine washable, sateen is also used extensively in lingerie, blouses, dresses and jackets. The tradeoff for such shine and luster is a decrease in durability, so sateen should not be used in items that will experience a significant amount of wear and tear. Sateen is recommended to be machine washed on gentle, and tumble dried low.