Selvedge denim (also called selvage) comes from the term “self-edge,” the woven strip on both edges of a roll of fabric. Selvedge is traditionally woven on narrow-width shuttle looms, producing a clean edge with no fringe. This particular type of denim fabric is known for its rigidity and association with premium denim garments.
What makes denim “selvedge?”
Selvedge and “raw” denim are not the same thing. What makes selvedge denim unique is the production process and the quality of strength created by that method. Whereas “raw denim” refers to garments that haven’t gone through any pre-washing stage, “selvedge” simply refers to denim from the edge of a roll of fabric.
How is selvedge denim made?
In the original weaving process, a small bobbin of thread is carried inside a shuttle, which travels back and forth across the loom (through the warps). This creates a long single seam, which is typically red in color. Since this long seam of yarn is not cut after each weft insertion, the tightly bound edge is less likely to unravel. When used as part of a pair of jeans, the garment is more likely maintain its integrity for the duration of its life.