Shiny Fabric Options: Which One is Right for Your Project?

Shiny fabrics give an important touch of radiance and elegance to anyone who can carry them well. They are a favorite in many fashion design houses and celebrity events and are in high demand even in normal situations.

There are many types of shiny fabrics you can exploit to good use, and with improvements in the textile manufacturing scene, they are not only just comfortable to wear. Still, they can also be affordable if that is what you are after. This article highlights at least six types of shiny fabrics and the best way to use and care for them.

What Makes Some Fabrics Shiny?

Shiny fabrics bounce off light differently than other fabrics, giving them a shiny look. A major reason behind this unique look is the way the fabric is woven. Another factor why fabrics are shiny could be the combined weave styles and the combination of fabrics used to produce them.

There are three major ways to weave fabric and make it shiny. The most common weave is the satin weave which involves weaving four or more weft threads over a warp thread and vice versa. Another way is using a pile weave, which involves using shorter threads closely woven together.

The last popular way to get a shiny fabric involves weaving the fabric using special threads. These threads could be metallic, glittered, or chemically processed. Textile workers weave these special threads in a plain weave; the unique properties of these threads are enough to make the fabric shiny.

Some Shiny Fabrics Types: Uses and Care

There are numerous shiny fabrics currently on the market. All these fabrics are used differently, while some are more popular than others. A few of these fabrics may fall under a type of weave or material. Here are some shiny fabric types:

1. Silk Fabric

Green Silk Fabric

Silk is one of the market’s most popular and strongest natural fabrics. True silk fabrics are made from proteins secreted from the silkworm Bombyx mori. Silk fabrics are incredibly soft fabrics with a luxurious look and feel that many have found enticing. The silk fibers naturally reflect light, so they don’t have to be woven in a special way to be shiny.

In addition, silk is incredibly breathable, lightweight, and reacts well to moisture, but it doesn’t stretch as well as other fabrics. It produces evening dresses, nightwear, lingerie, and some curtains and pillows. Silk is the best hand-washed in cold water, although you can still wash with a machine under a gentle setting.

2. Sequin Metallic Fabric

Black Sequin Fabric

Sequin fabric is a type covered in plastic and metal-shaped pieces called sequins. The sequins are either embedded or sewn into the fabric. A popular example of sequin fabric is taffeta fabric.

When textile workers embed sequins in fabrics, they use metallic threads on dull or shiny fabric. The result is usually a radiant fabric that helps you stand out.

Sequin is as breathable as the fabric it is sewn on. Most sequins have a glossy and matte side, mostly used for party attires, costumes, and evening dresses on rare occasions. However, note that sequins are not as durable as most fabrics.

3. Satin Fabrics

Black Satin Fabric

As referenced earlier, Satin refers to the special weave that gives fabrics a glossy, smooth look. Satin weaves can be made from natural and synthetic threads, with cotton, silk, and polyester being the most popular choice.

Sateen fabric is a great example of a satin weave, and it is made from spun cotton threads and has a smooth feel and a shiny look. It is more durable than most satin products and can be washed by hand or a machine.

Sateen is also tolerant of bleaching and vigorous washing; It is breathable and more expensive than most cotton fabrics; Sateen is used to make dresses and beddings.

4. Brocade Fabric

Brocade Fabric

Brocade is a type of woven fabric made traditionally from silk. The fabric is usually patterned and embossed, with simple patterns involving just one or two colors. Brocade has little breathability and stretchiness, making it ideal for cold weather like autumn and winter.

The fabric also feels heavy and generally durable, with average heat retention and moisture winking. Because of the patterns, it is usually preferable to hand wash brocade gently in cool water with a mild detergent. They make very good suit jackets, dresses, and upholstery fabric.

5. Leather

Croc Patterned Leather

Not all leather fabrics are shiny, but some, such as faux, patent, and polished leather, are. Leather can be made naturally from the skin of animals or petrochemicals. Shiny leather types have smooth, glossy surfaces but are not as soft as other shiny fabrics. 

They also have little stretch and breathability and are a good moisture barrier. All these make leather ideal for cold weather. Leather is mostly spot-cleaned or dry-cleaned, as subjecting them to excessive water could cause them to crack and shrink.

Leather is often used to produce jackets, shoes, and handbags. Patent leather also makes good skirts, belts, wallets, and pants because they are impractical for making tops.

6. Velvet

Velvet Fabric

Velvet is one of few shiny fabrics that do not use a satin weave; instead, it uses shorter pile fibers woven together. When textile workers use polyester material to weave velvet fabrics, it becomes even shinier, and polyester velvet is the shiniest type of velvet available.

Velvet is incredibly soft and plush and has high breathability but low stretching ability. However, the close weave makes it ideal for colder months. The best way to wash velvet is by dry cleaning it, and you can also hand wash it with cold or lukewarm water.

Velvet is a versatile fabric that produces blouses, dresses, and accessories such as handbags, hats, and shoes. Manufacturers also use them to make household items like curtains, upholsteries, and pillows.

7. Organza


Organza is a thin, lightweight, and very shiny fabric made from silk or synthetic fibers; the threads are woven in a plain weave. Organza is also a sheer fabric, allowing light to pass through easily, a property that also gives it a shimmery look.

Organza is very delicate and breathable. Because it is delicate and sheer, it is often used as an overlay for soft-colored fabrics. We often see the glimmering organza over wedding dresses, gowns, and sheer curtains that allow plenty of light into a room.

Leave a comment