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selvedge question

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm wondering if someone can explain to me why a pair of jeans would be made with only one selvedge seam. I just picked up a pair of Lee raw half-selvedge jeans, and while I'm certainly not bothered by the different 'halves', I guess I don't really understand selvedge. I thought that selvedge denim was designed to prevent the fabric from unraveling, so wouldn't having one non-selvedge edge defeat the purpose??

Here is the hem from the jeans I am talking about:

post #2 of 18
Selvage has almost no purpose.
post #3 of 18
That overstitched edge does just as well as selvage for keeping it from unraveling. Selvage at this point is pretty much a gimmick, though it sometimes denotes that the denim is of higher quality, or that the production was more wasteful. Some people also like the look of it when flipped up.

In this case, it's likely that the non selvage piece of the jeans was not cut straight. Since selvage is along the edge of the material, it can only be used on pieces where one side is completely straight.
post #4 of 18
Cut. You don't always want a completely straight outseam. Edit: when was the last time a serged fabric edge unraveled on you?
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by nastyandy
I'm wondering if someone can explain to me why a pair of jeans would be made with only one selvedge seam. I just picked up a pair of Lee raw half-selvedge jeans, and while I'm certainly not bothered by the different 'halves', I guess I don't really understand selvedge. I thought that selvedge denim was designed to prevent the fabric from unraveling, so wouldn't having one non-selvedge edge defeat the purpose??

Here is the hem from the jeans I am talking about:


Those Lee's feature 'selvedge' from wide looms, not narrow width shuttle looms. You can tell by the fringe on the edge of the selvedge - which is still selvedge by the way.

Don't be confused

The selvedge outseams that are a feature on jeans made of shuttle loom denim was there as a result of finding the most efficient placement of pattern pieces onto the narrow width of fabric. If you imagine a roll of fabric laid flat out, the pattern pieces of the legs (2 front, 2 back) would follow the edges of the fabric and the waistband, fly and pocket patterns would occupy the space in the middle.

The fraying of the edge of the fabric was not a priority.

The fabric of which those Lee's were made is around double the width of shuttle loom denim. So there would be huge wastage in the middle of the fabric if you placed the pattern pieces in the same way as for narrow width denim.
post #6 of 18
thank you ringx2

i was gonna say the same thing, but you beat me to it... and i think you hold more weight when you say it.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ringring
Those Lee's feature 'selvedge' from wide looms, not narrow width shuttle looms. You can tell by the fringe on the edge of the selvedge - which is still selvedge by the way.

Don't be confused

The selvedge outseams that are a feature on jeans made of shuttle loom denim was there as a result of finding the most efficient placement of pattern pieces onto the narrow width of fabric. If you imagine a roll of fabric laid flat out, the pattern pieces of the legs (2 front, 2 back) would follow the edges of the fabric and the waistband, fly and pocket patterns would occupy the space in the middle.

The fraying of the edge of the fabric was not a priority.

The fabric of which those Lee's were made is around double the width of shuttle loom denim. So there would be huge wastage in the middle of the fabric if you placed the pattern pieces in the same way as for narrow width denim.


Thanks for this explanation, except now I'm not sure why there is any selvedge at all on these particular jeans if they are made on wide looms.
post #8 of 18
Partially because selvage is still there and there's no point in wasting it, partially because selvage is popular now and people think it makes the denim better for some reason.
post #9 of 18
I-I thought it meant the material had a denser weave or somesuch? R-right? Guys? Oh man, Arethusa just blew my mind....
post #10 of 18
all selvage means is the fabric is made on narrow width shuttle looms. means nothing in regards to quality.

case in point: ande whalls are not selvage. the denim is better than most selvage denim ive seen. levis premium 501 are selvage and the denim is not very good.
post #11 of 18
but then again, quality of denim is from the source of denim and not necessarily just because it's selvedge
post #12 of 18
cheap, ringring just said that the selvage on those lees are from a wide loom, hence selvage does not indicate a narrow loom.
post #13 of 18
thanks dirty denim means love.... i ment to say shuttle loom selvage.
post #14 of 18
My God. It's RingRing, and he's alive.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have a few lingering questions for ringling, arethusa, cheapmu et al. .those who know this stuff. . does the width of the loom correlate to quality or cost of the material? I take it most historic Levis selvedge jeans were apparently made on narrow width shuttle looms, and most Japanese looms are supposedly modeled after the Levis looms (even falsely rumored to be the old looms.)

If so, is there non-selvedge denim spun on narrow looms as well, and why is most modern bulk denim not selvedge?

Sorry for the influx of questions. . .I like to understand this stuff.
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