Sharkskin is a smooth worsted fabric with a soft texture and a two-toned woven appearance. Details, Typically, sharkskin fabric is made with the use of rayon or acetate, or as a blend of the two, and its two-toned woven appearance is achieved by basketweaving, thereby creating a pattern where the colored threads run diagonal to the white fibers. Because both fabric options already have a relatively smooth texture, the combination results in the finish that sharkskin fabric is known for. Uses: History, Status & Future, Sharkskin fabric's lightweight and wrinkle-free properties make it ideal for curtains, tablecloths and napkins. Sharkskin fabric is popular for both men's and women's worsted suits, light winter jackets and coats. Sharkskin is commonly used as a liner in diving suits and wetsuits. The finest "natural sharkskin" fabric has been historically made of all natural fibers, being some percentage admixture of these: mohair, wool and/or silk "and/or" indicates three variants. Elite variations, often demarcated by fabric content labels bearing "Golden Fleece", "Royal" or the like, indicate an extremely rare and costly "sharkskin" of yester-year. Those fabrics, produced in small quantities, were manufactured in South America (Peru and Argentina: by transplanted German/Italian weavers) from the 1950's and 60's and are known to include in some instances even small percentages of Vicuna, Guanaco and/or Alpaca in such blends: inclusion of silk (then a very costly fiber) was even more common among the "natural sharkskins". Whereas, "artificial sharkskin", a much less costly substitute, is a fabric variant that is more often found from that period and can contain synthesized rayon: produced from wood/resin in a high pressure process, and hence, it too is deemed by some experts as a "natural fiber", being not derived from petroleum and/or synthetic fibers {again, three scenarios are thereby indicated} that were developed contemporary to those era(s). "Artificial sharkskin" variants used for suiting historically first appeared in the 1950's and rapidly garnered world-wide appeal in "artificial sharkskin" (costing much less than its "natural" counterpart: which most consumers were not aware existed, so far out of their price range it remained) attaining broad popularity in the early 1960's, followed by brief fashion resurgences witnessed in the mid-1980's, mid-1990's and enjoying "on again off-again" fashion popularity throughout the 2000's: its variations often contain some wool percentage blend. More recently, such "artificial sharkskin" fabrics although often containing some percentage of wool, but none of the costly Mohair; often even contain some marginal amount of silk (today's silk is far less costly than in former generations, due to production innovations vastly increasing its production and lowering its cost) is still deemed by fabric purists as "artificial sharkskin", tagged to any "sharkskin" that would lack Mohair have undergone technological improvements and have attained new desirability, even among "fabric purists" who would have conventionally rejected out-of-hand any "artificial sharkskin" substitutes for the real item containing a majority percentage of Mohair. In fact, today's best and most costly sharkskin fabrics ...... contain some percentage of synthetic fibers, and can thereby feature a heightened metallic-like sheen, with added flexibility (often owing to a mere 2% Lycra blend), which had been seldom otherwise achievable, even in the ranks of the elite "Golden Fleece", "Royal" (or an array of other designation of the most costly "natural sharkskin's" revered status) fabrications of yester-year ... owing no other than to ... newly engineered synthetic fiber blends. Recently, as of 2010, innovative use of tight ring-spun Pima and/or Egyptian cotton fibers added to blends {developed using AUTO-CAD fabric modeling by Italian Brescia: Italy's millenniums old historical textile center} by engineers, have resulted in a new breed of ultra-dense, lightweight and resilient "Super-Sharkskin(s)" that boost(s) all the best attribute(s), and then some, of former generations' of the fabric's variants -- many at half the cost(s), while still using percentages of mohair, silk, wool and/or other "natural, synthesized and/or synthetic fiber/s blend(s)" {multiple percentage combinations exist in the market}. Moreover, today, use of ultra-high thread counts -- not formerly attainable -- that achieve e.g., over 300 to 1000 threads "per square inch" thereby impart heightened "shimmer and sheen", having been formerly somewhat attained (with less luster and sheen) by the addition of artificial e.g., nylon, acetate, orlon, polyester (this latter fiber appearing in the 1980's variants), as has been long used in most lower cost "artificial sharkskin" fabrics of the 50's, 60's ... and later in the '80's think "Rock-a-Billy that dominated the market; many, using small percentage ratios of such fibers, with the largest percentage of fibers used, these days, being conventional wool and/or the coveted Marino wool fibers spun to new/enhanced/innovated specifications. The addition of the other otherwise rare and august "noble natural fibers" mentioned above Vicuna, Guanaco and/or Alpaca ... and/or silk, married to re-engineered synthesized and/or synthetic fiber blends have resulted in new "Super-Sharkskin" products, which many fabric experts argue rate as superior products to any of yester-year, and are much more accessible to a broader budget base point cost; however, the "Super-Sharkskins" still costs more, for the discriminating consumer, than mere synthetic "low end substitute(s)". Many attribute the "fading in and out of fashion" of sharkskin of any sort to the fact that many of the ubiquitous "artificial sharkskin" variants had "created an indelible public impression that all sharkskin ought to be deemed "tacky", to be eschewed, as it is in Lisa Birnback's Official Preppy Handbook c. 1979, which reflected, and in itself, in-turn, influenced, many consumers' misgivings regarding its social status, mirroring a miss-allocated and ill-informed prejudicial sentiment against the fabric "natural or synthetic". That said, it pays to consider that "the international jet-set" has long favored sharkskin as an indication of proper breeding and good taste, counter to its much maligned status in the USA, owing to the rampant "artificial sharkskin" suits of poor construction historically that flooded the market over the span of four decades and came to be associated with "pimp suits" and "low-life" (seeking to imitate a "big spenders'" look ... i.e., that of the "natural sharkskin" donned by the truly rich or those informed enough to seek out "natural sharkskin"). Importantly, whether "natural" or "artificial", today the line between the two has been blurred by the advance of innovative blends. Nonetheless, "natural sharkskin" from the 1950's and 1960's men's and women's suits remain highly sought in the vintage clothing market, commanding extraordinary prices online. The most desired sharkskin colors feature a peacock iridescent palette. Likewise, aware of this, manufactures today offer "Super-Sharkskin" suitings that often feature those colors. A current trend is the highly "metallic" look, only attainable by today's blends. Ever coveted in vintage and popular in current suitings are teals, bright/dark turquoises, bright/dark greens, bright/dark reds, blacks and grays sweep the market(s). The first "Super-Sharkskin" men's and women's suits appeared in the mid-to-late 1990's in high-end Italian designs, often commanding over e.x., $2,500 per suit "off-the-rack"; Hong Kong tailors' custom offerings were soon to follow. Many "natural fiber" purists are hard-pressed to reject the new hybrid "Super-Sharkskin" fabric variants, many of which incorporate high percentages of "natural fibers": the best that engineering has ever offered on record. Goat-silk is an experimental new fiber currently being tested for the advent of emergent "Mega-Sharkskin" for military use, and rumored to debut for commercial/civilian use in 2012.