From Nylon to Cotton: A Guide to the Shadowline® Fabrics

Did you know that some of the fabrics we use for Shadowline® garments were developed in house, especially for use by our brand, or that we often use the same fabrics across multiple ranges so that you have the option to mix and match?

Today, we’re introducing you to six of our most commonly-used Shadowline® fabrics. Read on to learn the differences between our Opacitrique® and Satintrique® nightwear (just because they’re both 100% nylon, doesn’t mean they look or feel the same!), which fabrics are best suited to hot or cold weather, and how our cotton batiste pieces differ from our cotton knit ones…

Shadowline® Short Sleeveless Nightgown in Opacitrique® nylon


One of our signature fabrics, Opacitrique® is a made-in-the-USA Shadowline® exclusive which we developed in the 1960s, and it’s still woven on the very same machines today. It’s what we use for our Petals, Cherish, Cameo, Beloved, Rosebud and Twilight collections, plus our 17052 and 17017 panties.

Opacitrique® is made entirely from nylon, a highly-durable fiber that can stand up to a lot of washing. We’ve had numerous customers tell us their decades-old nylon Shadowline® garments look as good as new! That said, it’s still ultra-soft.

It’s our heaviest-weight nylon and has a matte finish, which combine to give it a modest opaque look, particularly in the darker colors such as black and navy. Still wonderfully breathable despite the opacity, the extra weight of the fabric gives it an excellent drape. An Opacitrique® nightgown is the perfect style to swish around in!

Shadowline® Silhouette High-Low Gown & Peignoir Robe in Satintrique® nylon


Like Opacitrique®, our Satintrique® fabric is also 100% nylon, manufactured here in the USA since the 1960s, and entirely exclusive to Shadowline®. However, it’s a lighter weave with half the ‘body’ of our opaque nylon, and we’ve also given it a beautiful pearlescent shimmer. It’s the perfect choice when you’re craving glamour or elegance, and our ivory peignoir set in particular has featured in many a bridal trousseau!

We use Satintrique® mostly for panties, but it’s also what our glamorous Silhouette collection is made from. Some would describe it as sheer, although that really depends on the lighting, but it’s undeniably soft and floaty. Choose Satintrique® if you want nightwear that feels practically weightless.

Shadowline® Satin Essentials Adjustable Strap Chemise in satin charmeuse

Satin charmeuse

Our Charming and Satin Essentials collections are made from a brilliantly-glossy polyester satin charmeuse. It’s a non-stretch fabric that’s relatively heavy weight, making it ideal for fall and winter. Our Charming collection Satin Wrap Robe is great to throw on for chilly mornings, and will coordinate with any of our Satin Essentials pieces too.

The satin charmeuse we use is lingerie grade, meaning it has a luxuriously soft touch that rivals much pricier fabrics. What really makes it feel high-end however is how we use it – our designers insist on cutting into our satin on the bias (diagonally across the weave) which results in exceptional fluidity and a touch of stretch, for pieces that skim over the body just like real silk. And the garments are shaped specifically to enhance that, such as the draped shoulders on the Vintage Lace Trim Sleepshirt which allow the fabric to mold beautifully over any bust size.

Because this fabric is fully opaque, it also makes for great outerwear – just picture our Silky Ballet Nightgown worn with a slouchy cardigan and either ankle boots or ballet flats to go to brunch for example, or our Satin Essentials Wide Strap Camisole worn with pants and heels for a nice dinner. That second piece also reversible, allowing you to choose between a V-shape or scoop neck to suit your outfit. You really can’t beat our satin creations for versatility!

Shadowline® Tank Sleepshirt in modal blend


Our Before Bed collection is made from modal mixed with a little spandex, for added stretch. This semi-natural fabric is made from cellulose from beech trees, which makes it ultra-breathable. It’s also pill-resistant, wrinkle-resistant, and best of all, soft as butter! Truly the ultimate ‘easygoing loungewear’ fabric to cocoon yourself in, at any time of the year.

Velrose® Cotton Batiste Full Slip in cotton batiste

Cotton batiste

Cotton batiste – which we use for some of our slips and camisoles as well as one nightdress – is an ultra-fine fabric that’s been around since the Middle Ages. Ours is woven in Indonesia, and like our nylon, it’s incredibly durable!

Cotton is a naturally-breathable fiber, and batiste is a super lightweight version of cotton fabric that has an ever-so-slightly transparent appearance (but not as sheer as organza). That makes it simply perfect for warmer weather, allowing you to line your clothing without really even noticing that you’re wearing an extra layer.

Velrose® Cotton Knit Lace Camisole in cotton knit

Knitted cotton

Our other cotton slips and camisoles, and all of our cotton panties, are sewn from made-in-the-USA knitted cotton. It’s just as breathable as cotton batiste, but softer, stretchier, and a little thicker, making pieces such as our Cotton Knit Lace Camisole better suited to times you want underwear that provides some insulation.

So remember, whether you’re thinking of getting a nightdress and robe or a slip and panties, if you happen to like two Shadowline® garments of the same fabric type (e.g. Opacitrique®) and in the same color, they’ll make a perfectly-matched set – even if they’re not from the same collection!