Tips on sewing satin fabric

Written by mercedes valladares
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Tips on sewing satin fabric
Take extra care when sewing satin fabric. (satin surface image by Aleksej Kostin from

Weddings, graduation, proms and formal dinners often include special dresses. Each season as designers introduce trendy gown and dress silhouettes, delicate fabrics such as satin are often incorporated. With its natural drape, this fine fabric requires extra care while cutting, stitching and pressing.


Taking extra precaution while cutting out your satin pattern pieces can benefit your stitching. Satin, which has a tendency to shade in different areas of your fabric, is best cut with the fabric folded selvedge to selvedge, with right sides facing each other. Review your pattern for double-thickness cutting layouts. To avoid pinholes, do not pin your patterns outside of the seam allowance area. Use fine pins for satin to ensure minimum markings. You can also use tailor's chalk to mark any special pattern details. Do not use fabric-marking pens, which often bleed and can permanently damage your satin fabric. You can also use a rotary cutter to ensure smooth, raw edges.


Prior to stitching, check your satin's fabric weight and change your needle size and thread accordingly. Test your needle on a piece of satin fabric scrap prior to construction. Some satins work best with a sharp, lightweight needle. Use a fine polyester or lingerie thread for stitching your satin fabric parts together.

While using a sewing machine on satin fabric, increase the sewing tension. This will secure the satin fabric as you feed it through the machine. Use a single-hole throat plate to avoid the fabric jamming into the machine. You can also change your sewing attachments and use a straight stitch or flat-presser foot, which will run smoothly over the satin.


Although satin fabric has a natural drape and flow, you can opt to lightly iron your garment or fabric. Iron the garment inside out or on the wrong side of the fabric panel without adding steam. Satin will retain unwanted water spots that can permanently damage your fabric. You can use fabric scrap or pressing cloths to lightly iron on the right side of the fabric.

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