12 Shiny Fabric Names and Types (Helpful Guide and Tips)

They look good but they may be hard to work with as shiny fabrics can also be slippery materials. it will depend on the type of shiny fabric that you chose as to the degree of difficulty you will have when sewing. Yet what matters is how the result looks.

Shiny fabrics go by different names. Some of those names are Lame, Cire, Brocade, Organza, and one of the best ways to handle them when sewing is to use clips instead of pins. Pins can leave too many noticeable holes and clips eliminate those extra holes.

To learn more about the names of the different shiny fabrics, just continue to read our article. it has that information and more. Take a few minutes and get up to speed on the different labels those difficult to work with fabrics have.

Tip #1: If the shiny fabric is slippery, you can always try a little starch spray to stiffen it up a bit. But make sure the fabric is washable

What Makes Fabric Shiny

There are several reasons or sources why fabric is shiny. The first major source is the weave style. Fibers are woven in such a way that the natural shiny look gets more exposure. The different weave styles combined with the different fibers create a nice shiny look.

Then the number of fibers in a fabric also contributes to the shiny look. A heavier fiber content makes sure the fabric shines once it is completed its processing. But there is a negative action or two that also contributes to the shiny look you see.

When you are ironing cotton and forget to move the iron for a moment or two, the result is a repairable scorched that often looks shiny. These little scorch marks are not that hard to remove when you notice them.

Then on polyester and other synthetic fabrics, when the fibers get pressed down, they tend to give off a shiny look. Then, finally, certain chemicals are used to create a nice shiny look.

Tip #2: When pressing shiny fabrics, turn the material inside out or wrong side up. Then cover with a pressing cloth to protect the material even further.

What is Shiny Cotton Called?


Normally, this material is called polished cotton. This shiny look may come from the satin weave given the cotton fibers or from the different chemicals used to create the same look.

It seems that there is a yarn called shiny happy cotton which may bring more shine to your knitting project. Then there is a long list of shiny cotton and those names are: silky, brilliantine, calico, chintz, and sateens.

Each style of cotton may be woven differently in order to make the cloth appear shinier when it is sitting in your sewing room or the fabric stores’ shelves. Chintz is more for furniture than for clothing, and silky infers a more elegant style of fabric. To get more shiny cotton options just look through your fabric store’s selection and see what they have on hand or what they recommend.

Tip: #3: When you go to cut materials like silk, Taffeta, and satin fabrics, make sure all your scissors and rotary cutter’s blades are sharp These materials can dull the scissors, etc., very easily.

Shiny Fabric Types


There are a variety of types of fabrics you can buy that give you that shiny look you want. One option would be polyester velvet. You get the look of velvet, the durability of polyester, and the shine of both materials.

Then you can go with a poly-cotton blend. The fiber content of both materials should provide you with enough shine in different colors so you can stand out from the crowd once you wear your completed sewing project.

Or you can try one of the many different satin or sateen weaves. Made from either polyester or cotton, this weave style should brighten any clothing item you are trying to make. A baronet option is made from rayon fibers.

We can’t forget the metallic style fabrics which can be embellished with sequins or the fabrics made with glitter embellishments. On top of those two, there is also polished leather and Lame with the latter made from metallic threads.

When it comes to shiny types you will find shiny materials in a variety of fabric options.

Tip #4: When it is time to pin, use silk pins for most of the shiny fabrics. Or go to clips that do not leave any holes behind.

Full Shiny Fabric Names List

We may not get every shiny fabric name on this list, so feel free to add some more if we left out some of your favorites. Also, some may just be listed by their weave style and not independent fabric names.

  • Silk
  • Satin
  • Sateen
  • Sequined metallic fabric
  • Glitter fabric
  • Polished cotton
  • Lame
  • Cire
  • Silk satin or Charmeuse
  • Brocade
  • Crepe
  • Duchess satin
  • Polished leather
  • Organza​
  • Patent-leather
  • Faux leather
  • taffeta
  • Poly-cotton blends
  • Polyester velvet (shiny)

The weave styles may bring more names to the list and some of these on this list may be known by different names also.

Tip #5: When you start cutting your silks and other shiny fabrics, the best way to get the most accurate cuts, is to lay the material flat and cut a single layer at a time. Also, cut one piece the right side up and another the wrong side up.

Shiny Fabric Texture


The texture of shiny fabrics will vary. For example, cotton may feel a little thicker and softer than a shiny fabric made from polyester. The polyester velvet will have an artificial feel to it but it may still feel a little bit like velvet.

The silks, satins, and sateen shiny fabrics should have a very smooth feel to them. They are often soft and cool to the touch. Patent leather is also going to have a smooth feel to it but it is going to be harder than either silk or satin.

Then the shiny fabrics made from metallic fibers or threads may be a bit rough to the touch, while taffeta may have the nice natural feel of silk or the artificial feel of polyester. Its texture depends on which fibbers are used to create it.

Polished or faux leather will have the feel of leather but it may seem smoother than the real material. Then Duchess satin should have the feel of silk but with a heavier weight to it.

What is The Shiniest Fabric?

This may be a toss-up as some of the shiny fabrics are very close to each other in the amount of sheen they give off. The glitter and sequined shiny fabrics may be cheating a bit as they rely on embellishments to help them shine brightly.

Duchess satin has a very nice glow to it and its deep colors can give off an elegant sophisticated look while shining bright. It is probably in the top 2 as to which fabric is shiniest. Patent, polished and faux leather can come close to this material and gives it a good run for its money.

Then you have the different satin or sateen fabrics that would rival Duchess silk as to being the shiniest material around. Cire is in the running along with Charmeuse.

The one you like the best will probably be the shiniest material for you. This competition is very subjective.

How to Make Fabric Glossy


Most people are talking about how to make shiny fabrics less shiny or less glossy. But in this option, it would take some practical applications like using metallic thread to add a little gleam to the fabric.

Or you can embellish the fabric with glitter pieces or sequins. This may take a little more time if you are gluing or sewing individual pieces onto your sewing project. A couple of impractical suggestions involve a little work as well.

Some sewers have suggested using clear glue or clear enamel paint to enhance the sheen in shiny fabrics. Or you can use high gloss fabric paints to handle the task on less shiny fabrics. Make sure to heat set those paints if you try that option.

Or you can try adding some shiny fabrics to a non-shiny fabric and let the former influence the look of the latter. These are just a few ideas to get you rolling in the right direction.

How to Make Shiny Fabric Dull

One option is to spray some vinegar on the shiny fabric and wash it like you normally would. Or you can try to wash it in warm water and let the water and the temperature tone down the sheen.

Then if you are just in the cutting stage, once you finish cutting the shiny fabric, use the dull side as the right side and keep that dull look on the outside instead of hiding the wrong side of the fabric.

Instead of vinegar, you can try fabric softener to see if that cuts the shine down. Wash as you normally would and see what your results are. Bot the vinegar and fabric softener options may take more than one washing and coating to get the job done to your satisfaction.

Baking soda may work as well. Which item you use will depend on the type of material the fabrics are made from. Not all will work on every fiber so be careful. Wash with care as you do no want to wash fabrics that can’t be washed. You may need to ask your dry-cleaner for some tips on how to dull the shine.

Shiny Fabric for Curtains


The first fabric that comes to mind would be shiny polyester velvet. It is a material that will shine in your living or dining room. Plus, it will have the durability of polyester. Velvet always provides a sophisticated look to any room.

But the shiny fabric you use will depend on the look you want for any particular room. Organza is good if you want more of a see-through effect, or you could go with a poly-cotton blend material that livens up your decor.

Cire is nylon but it comes in some wonderful colors that would complement your furniture or carpeting. Brocade, polished cotton or charmeuse would also be good options.

What we are trying to say is that you do not have to limit yourself to just one or two fabrics. there are a lot of choices you can use. The material you use will be up to the look you want, the creative nature you have, and the tone you want to set for each room.

How to Make Fabric Paint Shiny

One of the problems when you use paint, even fabric paints, is that you may need a lot of coats of the paint you have chosen to get it to look shiny. The multiple coats of paint would stiffen the fabric and make it hard to wear even though it looked good.

To avoid using too many coats, you could try to cover one with clear enamel paint or even a clear drying glue. But again you will be faced with a stiff situation. Or you could try an acrylic gloss, yet you may have to add a medium to keep the material flexible when the acrylic dries.

Some Final Words

There are many different types of fabrics and materials that are shiny. Each one gives your sewing project its unique look and texture. The difficult part will be trying to decide which shiny fabric will work the best for you.

The purpose of your sewing project will help guide you to the right material to use and with the many color options, you won’t be shortchanged by using one over the other.

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