Originally, during the Middle Ages, satin was made of silk; consequently it was very expensive, used only by the upper classes.
Satin became famous in Europe during the twelfth century. The name derives its origin from the Chinese port city of Quanzhou, whose name form in (medieval) Arabic was Zayton.
During the latter part of the Middle Ages, it was a major shipping port of silk, using the maritime Silk Road to reach Europe.
Satin is commonly used in apparel: satin baseball jackets, athletic shorts, women's lingerie, nightgowns, blouses and evening gowns, but also in some men's boxer shorts, shirts and neckties.
It is also used in the production of pointe shoes for use in ballet.
Other uses include interior furnishing fabrics, upholstery, and bed sheets
Silk is a natural protein fibre, some forms of which can be woven into textiles.
The protein fibre of silk is composed mainly of fibroin and produced by certain insect larvae to form cocoons.
The best-known type of silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity (sericulture).
The shimmering appearance of silk is due to the triangular prism-like structure of the silk fibre, which allows silk cloth to refract incoming light at different angles, thus producing different colors.