Satin Shoes

December 13, 2023 By Isabelle Sophie Martinet

Satin shoes are footwear or shoes made with satin and are considered as one of the most luxurious of luxury design footwear. Contrary to the popular misconception, satin is a weaving technique that features the production of fabrics with a minimum number of interlacings as well as a glossy finish on the surface of the material. This satin weaving technique originated in China and the term “satin” originated in the Middle Ages referring to samite, a luxurious type of silk. In the past, products made using satin woven fabrics were normally worn only by those of royal blood due to the cost of the fabrics.

The actual materials used to make satin shoes as well as all satin weaved products include silk, nylon, polyesters and other filament fibers. However, there has been much debate on what satin actually is. And there are two camps, those that insist on the use of silk and those that don’t. Traditional satin made products were in fact made of silk. Apart from that, when the satin weaving technique is used to produce fabrics from short staple yarns like cotton and rayon, the product is referred to as sateen.

Fabrics made though satin weaving boasts a glossy and high luster look resulting from the fabrics’ large number of floats (missed interlacings caused by placing the warp yarn on the weft yarn or vice-versa). Apart from the high luster and glossy look of the fabric, satin woven fabrics also produce a smoother surface which is one of the major appeals towards satin products. Variations of satin weaves include the granite weave and check weave. One popular version of satin shoes would be ballet shoes as satin has been used for decades to produce footwear for ballerinas. Ballet shoes are essentially lightweight shoes produced for the specific purpose of ballet dancing and may be made from a variety of materials including leather, canvas and satin with the constant of having thin and flexible soles.

These materials each have their own set of pros and cons where leather shoes are long lasting and made specifically for beginners while canvas shoes are less expensive but are however easier to wear out. Finally satin shoes are worn normally only during performances as shoes made with satin woven fabrics easily wear out. As these shoes must provide maximum flexibility to the wearer, these shoes must be made to be as perfect a fit as possible. As such, these shoes are secured to the foot using elastic with a band of said elastic across the foot’s arch and also sometimes double bands across the arch in a cross.

To allow for the best fit, manufacturers allow the customers to decide how the bands should be attached best. An alternative to using elastic is the use of ribbons. Apart from ballet shoes, satin fabric is also used in the production of luxury design shoes and are often considered to be a must have by most women for special occasions. Apart from being used to make satin shoes, satin woven fabrics are also used in clothing such as ties and lingerie.