Damask vs Sateen: What’s The Difference?


Fabrics can be complicated to understand sometimes. People often are confused between the terms that describe the fibers that make up a weave and the weave type itself. Sateen and satin, for example, are both confused for each other on a regular basis, but it’s also a misconception that they are the names of the fibers that make up the fabric when they’re actually just a type of weave.

What Is Damask?

Damask is a type of patterned weave that dates back to the early middle ages. It is woven with one warp yarn and one weft yarn that typically has the pattern done in a warp-faced satin weave. This means that the pattern is done with the weft and the background of the pattern is done with the warp threads. They can be produced with any type of fiber, from cotton to silk, linen, or even synthetics, but are most often produced in a monochromatic color scheme.

Sometimes they’re used for clothes, but they’re most often used for furniture upholstery and table linens. The fabric is also reversible, causing the pattern to be able to be viewed from both sides.

What Is Sateen?

Sateen is quite simply a satin weave that is made with spun yarns instead of filaments (such as silk or synthetic fibers). The weave pattern is most often 4 over and 1 under, so the resulting fabric is smooth, shiny, and sleek. When used in sheets, it keeps you warmer in the winter time than a plain percale woven sheet set would.

Both of these weaves are used in the creation of bed sheets and pillow cases, but damask will have a pattern to it, while sateen sheets most often will not.