To clear one common misconception, satin is a weave not a fabric.
It is one of the three basic weaves and it creates a strong and versatile fabric with a glossy face and a matte back. It is primarily woven in silk, cotton and wool, but also from any other fibre, to improve its weight, durability, strength and sheen.
Most woven ribbons are in satin weave, as are many other well known fabrics from opposite ends of the spectrum such as duchesse with its glossy surface and moleskin that is brushed and sheared many times to create a raised texture.
Silk satin is the most luxurious of textiles, loved for its high sheen; it is thought to have originated in the Chinese city of Quanzhou, called zaytun in Arabic, imported to Europe in the Middle Ages via middle-eastern traders.