[Complete Guide] Shiny Fabric Types and Names Update 06/2022

Any ensemble can benefit from a dash of glitz thanks to shiny textiles. Since they may be worn as dresses, evening wear and other special event attire because of their popularity. As far as shiny fabrics go, you’ll have no shortage of options to select from when it comes to making your next costume. As a result, how do you choose the right sparkling fabric?

The way they are weaved is primarily responsible for the sheen of shiny fabrics. Fabrics can be made with a specific type of weave, with a heavier or thicker weave, or with unique threads to achieve a specific aesthetic. It’s not only satin and velvet that are popular names for shiny fabrics; there are many others.

So what makes a fabric shine in the first place? This entire guide to glossy fabrics will answer those questions and more! To help you choose the correct shiny fabric for your project, I’ll go over 19 various shiny fabric names and varieties in great detail.

Shiny Fabric Names and Types

What Makes Fabric Shiny?

To begin with, why do some fabrics shine while others don’t? What determines how glossy a particular cloth is, given that there are many fabrics that are not shiny? A fabric’s weave can influence its properties, such as how much flexibility and breathability it has. The manner a fabric is weaved also influences its shine.

Fabric can be made glossy in three different ways. When it comes to shiny fabrics, satin weaves are the most common. The term “satin” is sometimes used to describe a set of fabrics that are all created with the same sort of weave, however this is not always the case.

This weave has four or more weft threads that cross over each other and the warp threads, but that’s about it in terms of technicality. How many warp or weft threads cross over one other influences the fabric’s properties like weight, drape and luster.

It is true that all satins are lustrous, but some are more so than others. When light hits a satin weave in a variety of ways, it creates an even more dazzling effect, making it appear even more shiny. One side of satin-weaved fabrics is usually lustrous, while the other side is matte or drab.

A fabric might appear glossy if it has a dense or tightly woven weave. When it comes to velvet, for example, it’s a lustrous fabric, but it’s not made of satin. Pile weave is used to create the lustrous effect, which is achieved by utilizing shorter and thicker strands that are more tightly woven together.

Finally, some textiles are shiny due to the employment of specific threads that are metallic, glittery, or chemically processed in some other way, allowing them to sparkle. In contrast to a satin weave, which emphasizes the appearance of the threads themselves, plain weave emphasizes the sheen of the fabric rather than how they are woven together.

19 Shiny Fabric Types and Names

Let’s take a closer look at some actual samples of shiny fabrics now that you know what causes them to be shiny. Satin and silk are two of the more regularly used textiles on this list. There are a number fabrics on this list that fit under this wide category, but remember that satin refers to the way the fabric is woven. Silk is also used to make a variety of other textiles, like as satin and chiffon.

In addition, keep in mind that while many shiny materials are smooth and silky, this isn’t always the case. All of the textiles in this list are created from a number of different fibers, which results in a wide range of textures.

As a side note, not all of these fabrics are appropriate for all kinds of clothes. Dresses, for example, cannot be made from some of these textiles because of their more specialised applications. Not to worry, though. I’ll go through some of the features of each one to help you decide which one is best for your situation.

1. Brocade

Patterned and embossed, woven cloth, brocade, is known as a brocade. Silk was originally used in its production, hence the term “silk brocade” may also be used to describe it. Cotton, polyester, and even wool have been used to make brocade fabric in the past, but this is no longer the case.

Brocade fabrics come in a variety of sheens, but silk brocade is by far the most reflective. The sheen of the fabric can also be affected by the design and color of the cloth itself. One or two primary colors can be used to create simple designs on brocade fabric, or numerous colors can be used to create more intricate patterns on brocade fabric

Brocade is often heavy and stiff, with no elasticity or elongation, making it a poor choice for clothing. It has an above-average heat retention and moisture wicking capabilities, making it a long-lasting option. Upholstery and dressmaking are two of the most typical uses for this fabric.

2. Charmeuse

‘Charmeuse’ is a French word for a woman who charms. Traditionally manufactured from silk, this fabric can now be found in rayon or polyester forms as well. Charmeuse, on the other hand, is a satin-woven fabric in all its forms.

One side of charmeuse is sparkly while the other is drab, making it a thin, airy fabric that is perfect for summer dresses. It’s typically only available in solid hues, but even so, it’s a stunning choice. Compared to other fabrics, it is average in moisture wicking and has good breathability but has poor stretch and heat retention.

While charmeuse is frequently found employed in the lingerie industry, it is rarely seen in the world of clothing. For accessories like handkerchiefs and ties as well as home textiles like pillow coverings, charmeuse fabric is more widely utilized.

3. Cire

A wax-based treatment called cire was originally used to increase the resistance of fabrics to certain factors like moisture without adding weight to the cloth. A firm and crisp texture may now be achieved with the use of heat and pressure on synthetic fibers, most notably polyester.

Cire cloth has a shiny appearance because it is treated with heat and pressure. The fabric is commonly referred to as “wet look cloth” because of its shiny appearance.

To protect apparel from rain, snow, and other elements, Cire is a popular choice. This material may be long-lasting and protective, but it has poor breathability when compared to other options. Aside from outerwear, cire is a common fabric choice for cosplayers and for high-end designer clothes.

4. Crepe

Even though crepe isn’t the most shiny fabric on this list, some varieties are shinier than others, especially if the fabric contains silk. It’s possible to make crepe fabric from synthetic fibers, but it won’t be as glossy without first treating the fabric.

Twisting together the strands gives crepe fabric a distinct and occasionally three-dimensional texture. Crepe fabric, unlike other glossy materials, is both elastic and moisture-wicking. A medium-weight fabric, there are lighter and heavier versions of it available.

Solid-colored crepe is the most common type, but it may be used in a broad variety of ways. Dresses, shawls, and other evening wear can be made from it, but it is also used in high-end fashion and home textiles, such as window treatments.

5. Duchesse Satin

Duchesse satin is a form of satin weaved using silk yarn that is among the heaviest. As a result of the fabric’s brilliant sheen and beautiful weaving, this one is one of the list’s shiniest.

Compared to other forms of satin, Duchesse satin has a relatively high thread count, making it heavier than other types of satin. As a result of its great quality, it is frequently a highly expensive fabric; however, polyester can be used to lower the price point. Nonetheless, you may be sacrificing some of silk’s properties if you choose polyester over silk.

Duchesse satin is primarily used for evening attire, such as dresses and wedding gowns. In addition to white and nude, Duchesse satin is available in a variety of plain colors. This is one of the most opulent and sumptuous textiles you’ll ever come across!

6. Faux Leather

In place of using animal products, faux leather is a sort of vegan leather created using synthetic fibers derived from petroleum. Because it is synthetic, it has many of the same features as genuine leather, but is a little more shiny due to the fact that it can be subjected to more treatments without losing its texture or qualities.

Pleather, synthetic leather, and Naugahyde are just a few of the many different names for faux leather. It has limited breathability, low stretch, and low moisture-wicking characteristics, but a high heat retention..

Genuine leather may be cleaned in a washing machine, however imitation leather is not that easy to care for. A professional cleaner or a spot cleaning service is required. The texture is smooth, yet it lacks the softness of other materials. There are numerous applications for faux leather, including outerwear, footwear, purses, and even furniture upholstery.

7. Glitter Fabric

Everything about a glitter fabric is true to its name. This particular fabric has a glitzy look to it. When it comes to shiny fabrics, it’s one of the few that doesn’t depend on the type of weave used to make it. Glitter can be applied to the threads or the fabric itself, either with a finish or by glitter being incorporated into the fibers during the manufacturing process.

Glitter fabric, on the other hand, is typically constructed of synthetic materials. In general, spandex-based glitter textiles are employed in dance recital costumes because of their ability to elongate. Similar to other spandex textiles, these tend to have a smooth and cool touch.

When using polyester, it is possible to make glitter fabrics with a sturdier feel and a more abrasive texture, because the glitter is normally applied as an additional finish rather than incorporated into the fabric itself. If you’re looking to add a little sparkle to your hair with a headband or other accessory, glitter fabric is an excellent choice.

8. Lame

It is possible to make a shiny fabric using only metallic threads or a combination of metallic threads and conventional synthetic threads woven into it. The amount of metallic threads in the fabric affects its sheen, yet lame is one of the shiniest fabrics not manufactured with a satin weave due to its high sheen.

Gold, silver, bronze, and copper are among the most common metallic colors seen in lame fabric It’s possible to find solid colors that aren’t as readily available. When it comes to lame fabric, it’s usually medium-weight and can be either woven or knitted, which affects how elastic it is. Poor breathability, wicking ability, and heat retention.

Fabrics made of lame fabric aren’t inherently high-end, yet they are worn at posh events. However, it’s also used to construct everything from shoes to ties to costumes; you may even find dresses, blouses, and other evening clothing made from this material. However, some individuals find that lame cloth is too glossy for use in home textiles like curtains.

9. Organza

Silk or synthetic threads are woven into a simple weave to create organza, a lightweight, sheer fabric. In addition to being shiny due to the nature of the fibers, being sheer also allows light to pass through more easily, which can give it a shimmery appearance.

Plain-weaved silk or synthetic strands are twisted together to form the lightweight, sheer fabric known as organza. In addition to being glossy owing to the nature of the fibers, being sheer also lets light to pass through more easily, which can give it a sparkly appearance.

Fabrics created from silk or synthetic fibers in a simple weave are called organza, and it is a light-weight, sheer fabric. Because the fibers themselves are shiny, the fabric is also transparent enough to let in a lot of light and hence appear shimmering.

10. Patent Leather

To give it a glossy appearance, patent leather was initially produced with leather that had been coated with a vinyl or polyurethane plastic coating. When touched, it has a plastic-like sensation despite its smoothness and seeming softness.

As you may guess, patent leather is extremely rigid and does not allow for any flexibility or breathability. Since it lacks a lot of flexibility, it is more commonly used for skirts and pants than tops and dresses. There are several drawbacks to using patent leather as a moisture barrier, such as the fact that it is readily scratched.

Shoes, purses, belts, wallets and other accessories are among the most typical uses of patent leather. Patent leather comes in a variety of solid hues, including black. Despite the fact that it isn’t the most practical or versatile fabric for clothes, its dazzling appearance makes it instantly recognized.

11. Polished Cotton

When it comes to dazzling fabrics, polished cotton is the answer. Cotton has been “polished” to give it a lustrous sheen in this sort of fabric. Depending on how the cloth is woven, the shine can either come from the material itself or from a resin coating applied afterwards.

For those who want a more subdued brilliance, polished cotton is an excellent alternative to the other fabrics on our list. Cotton that has been treated rather than woven will have a shinier finish. It has many of the same advantages as cotton and is available in a wide range of solid and patterned hues.

It’s known as chintz if it’s made of polished cotton that’s been printed with exquisite flower motifs. It is preferable to use chintz in the home since it has a glazed texture, making it great for apparel, especially blouses. Chintz is preferable for couch and chair upholstery than other textiles that require laundering, such as tablecloths and placemats, because the glaze can wear down over time owing to washing.

12. Polished Leather

Patent leather is comparable to polished leather, however polished leather lacks the sheen of patent leather. Unlike polished leather, patent leather contains a topcoat made of acrylic or resin, which gives it a more glossy appearance. Polished leather, as opposed to patent leather, is typically produced from actual leather that has been treated with a protective coating.

If you’re looking for a leather that’s stain and water-resistant, polished leather is the way to go. Additionally, treated leather requires less maintenance and is less prone to scuffing and scratches. Men’s shoes are the most typical application of polished leather. Other than apparel, it’s rarely used.

13. Poly-Cotton Blends

Poly-cotton blends are textiles that contain a combination of polyester and cotton. Even the most lustrous poly-cotton blends have a modest sheen since neither polyester nor cotton are regarded to be very lustrous materials.

Chemical treatments are presumably used to produce the sheen in these poly-cotton mixes. To give them a slight gleam, some poly-cotton blends are weaved differently than others. Because they are breathable, moisture-wicking, and have some elasticity, poly-cotton blends may be the most adaptable glossy fabric on the market.

Textiles made from a poly-cotton blend are ideal for clothing that needs to be both comfortable and stylish at the same time. Shirts, pants, dresses, and even domestic fabrics and upholstery can be made using them. Because they’re so inexpensive, they’re also available in a broad variety of colors and patterns.

14. Polyester Velvet

Barcelonetta | Stretch Velvet Fabric | 90% Polyester 10% Spandex | 60' Wide | Sewing, Apparel, Costume, Craft (Brown, 2 Yards)

Velvet has long been revered as a luxurious fabric because of its plush feel and cushy hand. High breathability but low stretch; medium moisture-wicking, heat-retention abilities; low stretch; For this reason, it is frequently used in apparel and accessories intended for the colder months.

Polyester velvet is yet another lustrous fabric that may be used in a variety of ways. For example, it can be used to make blouses, dresses, and accessories such as hats, handbags, and shoes. Upholstery, cushions, and curtains are among the many objects that regularly include it. Solid colors are the most common, however velvet can be found in a broad variety of hues.

15. Sateen

Shantung Sateen Champagne, Fabric by the Yard

Sateen is the most expensive cotton fabric, yet it is equivalent in price to other satin weave textiles. In addition to being breathable and long-lasting, this garment may be found in a wide range of colors and prints. In addition to beds, sateen is often used to manufacture clothes, such as dresses.

16. Satin

Charmeuse Satin Fabric | 5 Yards Continuous | 60' Wide | Silky, Bridal | Decoration, Fashion Crafts (Rich Gold, 5 Yd)

Elegant and silky, satin is one of the most well-known glinting textiles on the market today. It is breathable, lightweight, and available in a variety of colors. Satin fabric is also available in a variety of patterns. Accessories like scarves and headbands are also frequently made from it.

17. Sequin Metallic Fabric

LQIAO Shimmer Gold Sequin Fabric by The Yard Two Way Stretch Spandex Embroidered Mesh African Lace Sequin Fabric for Dress Sewing

You don’t necessarily need to utilize sequins in your evening attire. Because it isn’t as durable as some of the other flashy textiles, it’s more typically used for costumes and party wear. Embedded sequin metallic fabric is more durable than sequins sewed on top of a cloth, as these sequins can quickly come loose.

18. Silk

Charmeuse Satin Fabric | 5 Yards Continuous | 60' Wide | Silky, Bridal | Decoration, Fashion Crafts (Rich Gold, 5 Yd)

In addition to being exceptionally soft and smooth, silk is another preferred glossy fabric since it has a lovely sheen. And because the structure of the silk fibers naturally reflects light, silk is glossy without the need for weaving at all. In contrast, satin fabric is made from silk fibers woven in a satin weave.

Despite the fact that silk is extremely breathable, lightweight, and moisture-wicking, it does not retain heat well and does not have a lot of give. In addition to underwear and nightgowns, it’s used to construct dresses and evening gowns, as well as hats, scarves, and other small accessories. Solid colors are the most common choice.

19. Taffeta

Medium/Light Weight Stretch Taffeta Fabric by The Yard (Silver ST-23)

The only difference between taffeta and silk is that taffeta is a little more crisp. Because of its great breathability and low stretch, as well as its heat retention and moisture wicking properties, it’s not recommended for hot weather. Wedding gowns, evening gowns, blouses, and curtains are all frequent uses for this fabric.

What Fabric is the Shiniest?

The most gleaming cloth isn’t one in particular. Some are, however, more reflective than others. Although glitter or sequin metallic fabrics reflect the most light, they aren’t the most adaptable due of their glare. Some of the shiniest textiles are satin, silk, and charmeuse. Smooth and shiny, they are more adaptable than their rougher counterparts.

Shiny is a subjective term that depends on the type of apparel you’re making as well as the level of shine you desire. In the case of evening attire, the sheen may be more important than if you were creating something for the office. If you’re designing a costume, consider using a higher-quality but more time-consuming fabric.

Best Shiny Fabric for Dresses

Best Shiny Fabric for Dresses

The style and function of the dress determine the best glossy fabric to select. It all depends on the occasion or time of year.

Dresses can be made from most of the shiny textiles listed above, except for leather. It all comes down to how sparkly you want your dress to be, and the ideal fabric to use depends on that.

Best Shiny Fabric for Curtains/Upholstery

Shiny Fabric for Curtains

In addition to clothes, several of the above-mentioned glossy materials are often used in upholstery and home textiles. But, some are better for certain purposes than others. For example, polyester velvet is a good choice for both curtains and upholstery due to its being easy to care for and the elegant look it provides.

In addition to clothes, several of the above-mentioned glossy materials are often used in upholstery and home textiles. But, some are better for certain purposes than others. For example, polyester velvet is a good choice for both curtains and upholstery due to its being easy to care for and the elegant look it provides.

Upholstery and home textiles, as well as clothes, frequently make use of the gleaming fabrics indicated above. However, some are superior than others depending on their intended use. Polyester velvet, for example, is a great material for both curtains and upholstery because of how easy it is to maintain and how attractive it looks.

How to Make Fabric Shiny

Depending on your time and effort, there are a variety of ways to make fabric glossy. While glitter, sequins, rhinestones, and other embellishments might be time-consuming, this is one of the easiest and most practical options.

Cloth paint or a high-gloss finish can also be used to paint the fabric. When done incorrectly, this can cause the cloth to become stiff or lose some of its properties. A second option is to layer an organza-like sheeny glossy fabric on top of a matte fabric to make the matte material more lustrous, or to utilize shiny materials on specific portions of your garment, such as the sleeves.


I hope you learned a lot about the many sorts of glossy fabrics in this article. Silk and satin are two prominent fabrics, although there are a variety of subcategories available, each with varying degrees of luster and sheen. It’s impossible to run out of creative ideas when it comes to using sparkling materials.

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