Mrs Elliott just put some new sateen sheets on the bed. I'm not certain what "sateen" means: Satinesque? Pre-satin? Post-satin? Anyway, it's a fabric with a shiny finish.
The damn stuff rustles like gift wrap tissue and feels dangerously slippery.
The wikipedia tells me that, "Better qualities [of sateen] are mercerized to give a higher sheen. Some are only calendered to produce the sheen but this disappears with washing and is not considered genuine sateen."
A good washing in hot water with strong detergent will not only show whether these things are mercerized or calendered, but maybe it will make the stuff feel better. Cheap and scratchy, like low thread-count standard cotton. That's how I like my sheets. Less chance of sliding out of bed.