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FAQ: The Sateen Weave

October 13, 2016

What type of weave does Boll & Branch use?

To create our famously soft sheets, we use a Sateen weave. However, we’ll go out on a limb and assume that most people don’t even know what a sateen weave is. If you’re one of those people, don’t worry—we’re here to help!

Why Does Boll & Branch Use a Sateen Weave?

Unsurprisingly, sateen shares a similar characteristic with satin in that it tends to have a slightly lustrous look. This barely-there sheen is due to light catching the weft that stretches over the four warps. Sateen is known to be light, breathable and oh-so soft—which is why we designed our bed sheets, shams, duvet covers and pillowcases in this particular weave. We fell in love with the feeling of sleeping in the softest sheets imaginable, without the nuisance of a hot and sweaty covering.

Warp and Weft

Before we get into detail about how a sateen weave is created, it’s necessary to deconstruct the elements. Here are two important definitions to remember:

  1. Warp: A warp is the set of lengthwise threads that are held in tension on a frame or loom
  2. Weft: A weft is the set of threads that is inserted over-and-under the warp threads

The Rule of Four

To achieve a sateen weave, weft threads are floated over warp threads in a four-over-one-under pattern. See image for an overhead view:

Close-Up of Cotton Sateen Weave 

Notice how the weft thread is woven over four warp threads, and then passes under one warp thread before continuing its pattern. Here is another illustration of a sateen weave, as shown from a cross-section perspective:

 Sateen Cotton Weave Cross-Section

And now you know!