Satin fabric can contain silk, wool, cotton, polyester, rayon and acetate fibers. What makes a fabric satin is not the type of fibers that it is made of but rather the type of weave that is used in bringing those fibers together.
Satin fabric is weaved using four warp threads going over with one weft thread going under. This creates less interlacing between the threads. The result is a glossy surface with a dull back. Satin that is made with cotton fibers is known as sateen. Satin made with a combination of silk and rayon fibers is known as duchesse. Satin derived its name from Zayton, a Chinese port from where it was first exported internationally in the 12th century.