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Article: What is Selvedge Denim?

What is Selvedge Denim? - Danali - Winnipeg, Canada

What is Selvedge Denim?

Denim heads, listen up. For centuries, denim has been a popular fabric, and the trend doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

Denim aficionados know that selvedge denim is the gold standard of jeans. Selvedge, also called “selvage” or "self-edge," is made on a shuttle loom, creating a narrower fabric with a tighter weave. The result is more durable and heavy-weight denim with a pronounced ridged edge. 

Selvedge denim gets its name from colored lines that run along the out-seam edge (generally red or orange).

It's typically more expensive than other types of denim, but it has a unique look and feel. If you're looking to invest in a quality pair of jeans, selvedge might be the way to go. Keep reading to learn more about this premium fabric.

How Selvedge Denim Is Made

There are two ways to weave denim: with and without shuttles. Shuttle weaving is the traditional method.

The shuttle threads the weft through the warp shed. Weft threads are continuously passed back and forth, resulting in self-finished edges. 

This tightly woven and durable edge can be incorporated into the garment without any additional processing. Shuttles are a relatively slow process that creates a bottleneck in terms of production speed. 

Denim makers use shuttleless weaving machines when they need to weave faster (and cheaper). Most shuttleless weaving is done on a projectile loom. Rather than a shuttle, a small metal device that looks like a bullet (hence its name) carries the weft across the shed. This weft insertion process creates frayed edges at both ends of the fabric that must be cut before the fabric is sewn into jeans.

Difference Between Raw and Selvedge Denim?

Raw denim has not been treated with chemicals or dyes and has not been washed. Because it hasn't been treated, raw denim often feels stiffer and more rigid than other types of pre-treated denim to start off.

In addition, selvedge denim is a type of denim that is woven on shuttle  looms. The finished edges of the fabric are tightly woven and often have different colored threads, which prevent the fabric from fraying or unraveling. 

Both selvedge and raw denim can be used to make jeans, but selvedge denim is often considered higher quality.

Read our "What is Raw Denim" blog post for more in-depth information on Raw Denim.

what makes selvedge denim specialWhat Makes Selvedge Denim Special?

Selvedge denim is a type of denim fabric that is characterized by a clean edge on both sides of the fabric. The selvedge refers to the self-finished edge of the fabric that prevents it from unraveling. The quality of selvedge denim is often considered higher than non-selvedge denim because of its durability and uniqueness. 

The production process of selvedge denim is also more labor-intensive, which contributes to its sometimes higher price tag. Denim enthusiasts often prefer it for its classic look and feel. It is also widely considered more durable than non-selvedge denim, as the fabric is less likely to stretch out over time. 

What to Wear with Selvedge Denim 

Today, selvedge denim is experiencing a resurgence in popularity due to its unique look and durability. When it comes to styling selvedge denim, the options are endless. However, there are a few key pieces that everyone should consider adding to their wardrobe. 

One option is to pair your selvedge jeans with a casual shirt or sweater. This creates a relaxed look that is perfect for weekend wear.  A classic white tee or button-down shirt is the perfect way to show off the selvedge line, while a blazer adds a touch of elegance.

If you're looking to add some quality pieces to your wardrobe, selvedge denim will be your best bet. So what are you waiting for? Start shopping!

How to Care for your Selvedge Denim

Selvedge Denim, especially Raw Selvedge Denim requires special care in order to maintain its quality and avoid any damage. Here are a few tips:

  • Wash your jeans infrequently, inside out in cold water and hang them to dry.
  • Do not bleach or iron your jeans.
  • Don't put them in the dryer. This will cause them to shrink and lose their shape.
  • Hang them up to air out after wearing them rather than folding them in a drawer. This will help to prevent odors from building up.
  • Use a denim brush or sponge to remove dirt and stains.

Read our "How to care for your denim" blog post for more information on how to wash and care for your selvedge jeans.

Shop Our Collection of Selvedge Denim

When looking for the perfect pair of selvedge denim or raw selvedge denim, it is important to have the correct measurements - especially if you are buying the denim online. Grab the best fitting pair of jeans you currently own and follow along with our denim measuring guide to ensure a perfect fit.

At Danali we hand pick the denim we love and would wear ourselves. We carry selvedge and raw denim from brands Nudie Jeans, Naked and Famous Denim, and more. As well as rare and exclusive Japanese denim brands Momotaro Jeans and Pure Blue Japan.

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