Shiny fabric names for dressmaking : Be that star!

A list of various shiny fabrics that are suitable for dressmaking projects, with a lustrous appearance, helping you make glamorous and eye-catching designs for special occasions or everyday wear.

shiny fabrics.

We are all of us Stars, And we deserve to Twinkle (Marilyn Monroe)

Every once in a while, if not every day, a lady wants to shine. Stand out in the crowd in nice flashy dresses. If you want to be larger than life and want the whole world to know, take that shiny fabric and shine away.

And the award for the top shiny fabric goes to – well, a lot of them. You are spoiled for choices in the shine department.

Shiny Fabrics 

1 Beaded/sequinned fabric 

shiny surface with seqinned fabric

Metallic sequins and beads are synonyms for shine.

metallic sequins on the fabric surface causing fabric to shine

When they are stitched onto a plain base fabric, you transfer all those shininess en masse.

shiny fabrics with lots of sequins added to the surface

2. Glitter fabric

glitter fabric with metallic sheen

You cannot get shinier than this. Glitter fabric has glitter incorporated into it – you get fine glitter fabric with a subtle shimmer that can be used to make garments. The ones with a chunky rough surface is used for home decorating, and other craft uses.

3. Lame

Lame fabric

A shiny metallic-looking synthetic fabric that is woven or knit with metallic threads – it could be in a solid metallic color or have a decorative pattern. It is usually gold or silver in color but copper colored lame fabric is also available. Popularly used to make evening wear.

golden fabric

4. Cire

This is a Nylon fabric polished to a very shiny surface by waxing and heating. It has a highly glazed finish that makes it look like it is wet.

synthetic fabric polished to smooth shiny surface

5. Silk satin or Silk Charmeuse 

This is the typical shiny silk – high luster, fluid and beautiful. You get all the shimmery look you want from this fabric – it has a satin weave on the front of the fabric. The backside of this fabric has a matt/crepe look and feel.

satin is shiny

Crepe silk (crepe de chine)

This is another shiny silk.

6. Metallic Spandex Knit

metallic fabrics

This is the stretchy very shiny material that you see being used to make dance costumes. Because of the spandex blend, it has a four-way stretch which makes it ideal for form-fitting clothes.

7. Brocade

brocade has a shine

This is a very shiny fabric with beautiful patterns woven with shiny thread. It is gleaming and iridescent, with metallic thread woven through it.

zari border on fabric

8. Peau de soi silk (Duchess satin)

duchess satin fabric

Duchess Satin is a shiny silk which is heavier.

9. Organza

organza fabric

If you want a transparent fabric with good shine, look no further than organza.

shiny organza fabric

Silk Organza and polyester organza are the common varieties used in dressmaking and they are very lustrous. Organza fabric is used for making all those shimmery bridal veils.  

10. Polished Leather /faux leather /Latex

polished leather

All of them can give that highly glossy leather look. Latex can look super shiny and very stretchy. It is a favorite for making glossy bodycon dresses.

Patent leather is leather that is finished to have a very polished surface. You also get fake leather finished to have a shining or metallic color.

faux leather may have shiny look

11. Taffeta

taffeta fabric has a medium shine

Taffeta is a thin, crisp and shiny material made of silk or polyester. It is usually used as a lining (polyester taffeta) as well as to make dresses/gowns (Silk taffeta). 

12. Satin & Sateen

sateen fabric is very shiny

Satin (Polyester) has a super shiny look – but it can look cheap if it is too shimmery. Cotton backed satin has a very lustrous rayon surface with a polished shiny look and cotton back; Baronet satin is a very lustrous satin made with rayon fibers.

Sateen is the cotton version of satin, with a more subtle shine.

13. Poly cotton fabric 

A blend of polyester and cotton with qualities of both fibers – this fabric can have quite a sheen depending on its make. The fabric can even mimic the look of silk, along with slubs.  

polycotton fabric can mimic the shine of silk fabric - matt shine not the glossy shine of satin

14. Polished cotton

polished cotton fabric has a nice smooth shine

In this type, the cotton is finished chemically (calendering process) to appear shiny. It is a nice fabric to make dresses.

15. Shiny Polyester Velvet

polyester velvet with high sheen

Velvet is naturally shiny because of the cut pile of short fibers on its surface. Crushed velvet has a very crinkly shiny appearance.

Almost all of these fabrics need to be maintained carefully for them to last. You should preferably dry clean them and take extra care when ironing. Use a warm iron on the wrong side using a pressing cloth.

Related posts : Stretchy fabrics ; Waterproof fabrics ; Thin & Lightweight fabrics ; Thick fabrics.; All kinds of fabrics ; Buying fabric for clothes

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

13 thoughts on “Shiny fabric names for dressmaking : Be that star!”

  1. what a bunch of tripe. Satin that shimmers too much IS tarty and cheap. Now go put that in your pipe and smoke it or cry about it )

    • The article is bias against shimmery satin…calling it cheap if its too shimmery. And thatsca load of hogwash. Satin suppose to be ultra shimmery. Thats what makes it so special.

    • What the article means is that satin LOOKS cheap if its too shimmery. Lots of people think so too. It’s okay if you don’t agree, but please don’t call the article hogswash

    • Tnk u so much u ve really educated me.pls how do i get d cheapest prizes in large quntity.thnk u.
      secondly pls i need tutorials on how to start ds business nd d big market i can buy frm. thnk u

  2. Thank you for this, I’m just learning dress making and I don’t have any fabric shops near by, I mostly order my fabric online. I now have a load of fabric that I don’t know what to do with as it isn’t what I thought it was. I found this very helpful. Sharon xx

    • Hello Sharon. I personally feel that the more satin shimmers the more beautiful it looks. The article here dares to call a satin that shimmers too much….cheap looking. That is simply a load of hogwash…Satin suppose to be extremely shimmery. Thats what makes it so special…not that muted low key bla bla boring dusty matte look. I iron my satins to make sure they have ultra shimmer and ultra smoothness. Because thats the beauty of it. Satin Will Not look “cheap” if it shimmers too beautifully much. The article here tells women to shine on then contradicts itself telling the women they are goona look cheap if the shimmer and shine. What a load of hogwash…satin suppose to shimmer intensely…Thats what makes it so Unique. Thank You Sharon please pass the word down that satin suppose to shimmer intensely.

    • The article contradicts itself it tell women to shine on then goes to tell the women they will look “cheap” if they shimmer and shine intensely. Not cool. It is bias against shimmery satin. Thats what makes satin fabric so unique and special it’s intense high shimmer. Thank You Again Sharon…Please pass the word forwards that satin should be beautifull too shimmery…Shimmery Beautiful Like a Gem.

    • Hi
      You sound like my daughter. She can talk for hours if she feels I have said the wrong word. I am sorry that you feel so strongly about what I wrote. I apologize to satin too : ) It is beautiful however it is.

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