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selvedge question

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by nastyandy, Dec 4, 2006.

  1. nastyandy

    nastyandy Senior member

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    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:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Arethusa

    Arethusa Senior member

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    Selvage has almost no purpose.
     
  3. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    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.
     
  4. Max

    Max Senior member

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    Cut. You don't always want a completely straight outseam.

    Edit: when was the last time a serged fabric edge unraveled on you?
     
  5. ringring

    ringring Senior member

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    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:

    [​IMG]


    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 [​IMG]

    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.
     
  6. cheapmutha

    cheapmutha Senior member

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    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.
     
  7. nastyandy

    nastyandy Senior member

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    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 [​IMG]

    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. [​IMG]
     
  8. Arethusa

    Arethusa Senior member

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    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.
     
  9. Largo

    Largo Senior member

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    I-I thought it meant the material had a denser weave or somesuch? R-right? Guys?

    Oh man, Arethusa just blew my mind....
     
  10. cheapmutha

    cheapmutha Senior member

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    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.
     
  11. poly800rock

    poly800rock Senior member

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    but then again, quality of denim is from the source of denim and not necessarily just because it's selvedge
     
  12. denimdestroyedmylife

    denimdestroyedmylife Senior member

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    cheap, ringring just said that the selvage on those lees are from a wide loom, hence selvage does not indicate a narrow loom.
     
  13. cheapmutha

    cheapmutha Senior member

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    thanks dirty denim means love.... i ment to say shuttle loom selvage.
     
  14. Tabris

    Tabris Well-Known Member

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    My God. It's RingRing, and he's alive.
     
  15. nastyandy

    nastyandy Senior member

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    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.
     
  16. cheapmutha

    cheapmutha Senior member

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    most modern denim is made on wide width jet looms. these are usually 60" or so across, and the weft is cut off at the end od each pass insted of being brought back upon itself. this has no real bearing on quality.

    where the perceived quality comes in, is that when levis stopped using narrow looms, they also switched from a ringXring denim to open ended yarns. (for a discussion of this read the denim encyclopedia)

    modern jet loomed denim can be just as high quality as modern shuttle loomed, or what we commonly refer to as selvage denim. the real quality comes from the materials put into it... the dye and dying methods used, the cotton used to make the yarns, and weather it is ringspun or open ended. selvage denim is commonly of a high quality tho, since it is more time consuming and less cost effective to produce and use in production(tho i wouldnt be surprised if lower end materials start to be used in mass market selvage denim)

    at the end of the day, selvage is good for 2 things... pretty seams and nostalga.
     
  17. Arethusa

    Arethusa Senior member

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    Man, I actually thought you were joking originally, which is why I never replied. The width of the loom is directly correlated to the cost of the material. Wider looms scale up production considerably. The width of the loom has pretty much nothing to do with the quality of the fabric. Yes, the old Levi's looms were narrow shuttle looms. This isn't because they were better. It's just the best there was at the time. The Japanese looms are modeled after these for reasons of peculiarity and "authenticity", really. Technically, all denim is selvage to the extent that every roll/bolt of fabric will have two self edges. Pairs of jeans are not selvage because wide looms of fabric allow multiple pairs of jeans to be cut from a length of fabric that would only have yielded one pair on a narrow shuttle loom for the simple reason that modern projection looms allow the fabric to be wider. However, because there will still only be two self edges for the same length of fabric, you won't have enough selvage for both edges of both outseams of every pair of jeans you can make from that length of cloth. Hence, it gets cut off and all outseams get serged. None of this, really, has anything to do with the quality of the fabric. Selvage is marginally more durable than serging, and if it were used in seams that are not flat felled, it would in theory allow the seam to be thinner due to less stitching and folding being necessary. But no one does this, so it is effectively functionless. There only tends to be a correlation between selvage and fabric quality because narrow loom fabrics are more expensive to make, so textile manufacturers usually find it beneficial to make the fabric higher quality. But there is some utter garbage selvage denim out there and plenty of good stuff woven on modern projection looms. [edit] Also what cheap said.
     
  18. nastyandy

    nastyandy Senior member

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    Thanks for the explanations!
     

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