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Recognizing Selvage

trueforest

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How do you recognize selvage on a pair of jeans you own? I am as of yet pretty unclear as to what selvage is, other than that it supposedly indicates denim of good quality.

I have a pair of jeans that I think may be selvage, but am not sure, and I'm just wondering if anyone has any distinctive pictures of selvage as opposed to non-selvage?
 

xchen

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Notice the red line?


The edge of the textile is called selvage (this is for all textiles, including carpets. The selvage on a roll of carpet is very similar to on fabric. In selvage denim the two edges will be sewn together to for a virtually indestuctable seam. This is more costly because the old wooden looms used to make a lot of the jeans we like make fabric 30 inches wide while moder looms make fabric 60 or more inches wide.

Non-selvage, but with a chainstitch(wtf?!):


Selvage, with a chainstitch. Notice how the hem stitching looks like the links of a chain:
 

knugget

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There are also different colors of selvage. The most common is red I believe. There are yellow, silver, orange, etc.
 

xchen

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Don't forget pink! A lot of times the color of the line can clue you in to what era the jeans are from if they are particularly old jeans, such as orginal Levis. I don't know much about Levis at this point in time but there was a thread on SuFu that was a wealth of info on colored selvage lines.
 

trueforest

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Are selvage jeans supposed to last longer, and wear tougher? Or is it just a fashion thing at this point.

I.e. is there any "practical" purpose for selvage denim?
 

Clench Million

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Originally Posted by trueforest
Are selvage jeans supposed to last longer, and wear tougher? Or is it just a fashion thing at this point.

I.e. is there any "practical" purpose for selvage denim?


Most of the time selvage denim is of a much higher quality than non-selvage jeans. But the appearence of a selvage line doesn't automatically mean high quality.
 

jkennett

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Selvage denim is made on a shuttle loom, and has one weft thread that loops back at the edge to create a selvage line. Due to the fact that it is a continuous thread it won't fray like modern woven denim can. The shuttle loom process also creates a tighter weave, which also means the fabrics tend to be heavier.
 

trueforest

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Originally Posted by jkennett
Selvage denim is made on a shuttle loom, and has one weft thread that loops back at the edge to create a selvage line. Due to the fact that it is a continuous thread it won't fray like modern woven denim can. The shuttle loom process also creates a tighter weave, which also means the fabrics tend to be heavier.


Would all this lead to a more durable pair of jeans?
 

stickonatree

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no offense, but why not use the small question thread, the BIG jeans questions thread, or just use the search button???
 

w.mj

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In addition to durability, it feels better, fades distinctly, stacks nicely, etc. etc.
 

chris902

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Just don't get suckered into thinking that any pair of jeans cut with a selvedge is high quality denim. Lots of cheap. poorly made denim is made with a selvedge, just as lots of high quality denim is made without it (or made with it but cut off when the jeans are cut).
 

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