For many years, Satin has been one of the most treasured fabrics in fashion but this beautiful, lustrous fabric has not always been as readily available as it is today. It is believed that Satin Fabrics originated in China over 2000 years ago and in fact, this fabric derives its name from the Chinese town of Zayton and was exported to the west as far back as the time of Ancient Greece, eventually arriving in Europe sometime during the middle ages. In the years preceding the invention of manufactured fibres, Satin Fabrics were woven using large quantities of silk or very fine cotton yarns meaning this glorious fabric was only available to the very wealthiest members of society and due to its scarcity, was often reserved for the church and nobility. The methods used to manufacture fabrics such as Satin have changed little over the centuries but due to modern manufacturing machinery the speed in which these gorgeous fabrics can be produced has increased greatly resulting in a material which is more readily available to all echelons of society. [caption id="attachment_7862" align="alignright" width="300"]madonna Satin was once most popular as a fabric for undergarments. Madonna wore this pink corset by John Paul Gaultier back in 1990.[/caption] When we think of Satin we often associate this fabric with bridal gowns and Satin has been widely used as a bridal fabric from as far back as the late 1800's. It is Queen Victoria who is largely credited with bringing this fabric to the forefront of bridal fashion. For her lavish ceremony to Prince Albert of Saxe-Cobourg in 1840, the monarch chose an intricate white dress of luxurious satin and was one of the first public figures to choose a white wedding gown close to the design which we consider to be 'traditional' today. The fashionable ladies of the time were keen to emulate Victoria's style and Satin began to rapidly increase in popularity, not only for the construction of bridal gowns. During this time, Satin was beginning to make an appearance in lingerie with fashionable Parisian ladies choosing it for their luxury undergarments. During the 1980's and early 1990's corsets were back in vogue thanks to the resurgence of punk and goth fashion and superstars such as Madonna who took to wearing the pieces as outerwear rather than the restrictive form of underwear for which they were formerly known. During her Blonde Ambition tour in the early part of the nineties, Madonna wore an iconic pink corset designed by John Paul Gaultier which has since sold at auction for over £30,000. This fabric remains a popular choice for lingerie and corsets today. [caption id="attachment_7865" align="alignleft" width="300"]marilyn2 Marilyn Monroe wearing one of the most iconic Satin dresses of all time in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.[/caption] With the invention of acetate and polyester during the twenties and thirties, Satin became much more readily available and took steps towards becoming the mainstream dressmaking fabric we know today. With the invention of duchess satin, a blend of rayon and silk and a less expensive alternative to 100% silk satin, this gorgeous material stepped to the forefront as a dominant fabric for fancy and extravagant designs of dress including bridal wear, prom dresses and evening gowns. Celebrities have coveted Satin as their fabric of choice for many, many years and at any awards ceremony or film premiere it can be guaranteed that this gorgeous fabric will take centre stage as the material of choice for film stars and design houses alike. Possibly one of the most iconic Satin dresses of all time is the shocking pink design worn by Marilyn Monroe in the 1953 smash hit, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Designed by William Travilla, the strapless, floor length gown with a huge bow embellishment was paired with long satin gloves and with the blonde superstar dripping in diamonds and jewels one of the most iconic looks in the history of film was born. It is believed that this historic dress was the inspiration for Madonna's Material Girl video and is still widely replicated by celebrities and Marilyn worshippers all over the world. The dress was auctioned on 11 June 2010, with a price of between $150,000 and $250,000 and has been described as "the most important film costume to ever come to auction".