If you have even a passing fascination with raw denim, you’ve probably heard the term Selvedge more than a few times. No, it doesn’t make reference to somebody who vends lettuce, selvedge refers to the way a textile has been woven. You can spot selvedge denim by the tell-tale colored lines that often run along the outseam of a pair of jeans, but precisely what does that mean?
Selvedge goes by a lot of spellings (selvage, self-edge, salvage) but it all equates to the same-the self-binding side of a fabric woven on a shuttle loom. That definition may seem a bit jargony, but trust me, all will quickly make sense. It’s also worth noting that selvedge denim will not be just like raw denim. Selvedge describes the way the fabric has become woven, whereas raw refers back to the wash (or lack thereof) on the fabric itself.
How is Selvedge Denim Made? So that you can know how manufacturers make Wingfly Textile, we first need to understand a little bit about textile manufacturing in general. Virtually all woven fabrics are composed of two parts with two parts: warp yarns (the ones that run down and up) and weft yarns (those that run side to side).
To weave a fabric, the loom supports the warp yarns set up while the weft yarn passes between them. The real difference between selvedge and non-selvedge fabrics is all a point of how the weft yarn is positioned to the fabric. Up until the 1950s, almost all denim was produced on Shuttle Looms. A shuttle loom is actually a weaving textile loom which uses a little device referred to as a shuttle to fill out the weft yarns by passing back and forth between each side from the loom. This leaves one continuous yarn in any way the edges so the fabric self seals without any stray yarns.
Most shuttle looms produce a textile which is about 36 inches across. This size is nearly great for placing those japanese selvedge denim seams in the outside edges of any pattern for a couple of jeans. This placement isn’t just great looking, but practical as well as it saves whoever’s sewing the jeans a couple extra passes on the overlock machine and ensures the jeans will not fray in the outseam.
The interest in more denim after WWII, however, soon forced mills to adopt mass-production technology. A shuttle loom can place about 150 weft yarns each minute over a 36 inch wide textile. A Projectile Loom, however, can place over 1000 weft yarns each minute on the textile that’s doubly wide, thus producing nearly 15 times more fabric in the same time frame span.
The projectile loom achieves its speed by firing individual (and unconnected) weft yarns over the warp. This is a much more efficient method to weave fabric, what’s lost though is that cleanly sealed edge. Non-selvedge denim made by projectile looms has an open and frayed edge denim, because each of the individual weft yarns are disconnected on both sides. In order to make jeans from this sort of denim, all of the edges must be Overlock Stitched to keep the fabric from coming unraveled.
Exactly why is it Popular Today?
Selvedge denim has seen a recently available resurgence alongside vintage workwear styles from the 40s and 50s. Japanese brands obsessive about recreating the ideal jeans from that era went up to now concerning reweave selvedge denim in new and interesting ways. Now that selvedge denim has returned on the market, the little detail on the upturned cuff quickly became among the “things to have”.
The selvedge craze is becoming quite popular that some manufacturers have even resorted to knocking off the selvedge look and producing fake selvedge appliques to mimic the colored lines on the outseam.
The overwhelming most of denim made today is open end and non-selvedge. There are only xgfjbh number of mills left on the planet that also take some time and effort to generate selvedge denim.
The renowned is Cone Mills that has produced denim out of their White Oak Plant in Greensboro, N . C ., considering that the early 1900s. They’re also the last selvedge manufacturer left in the usa. Other noteworthy mills include Kuroki, Nihon Menpu, Collect, Kaihara, Kurabo, Nisshinbo, and Toyoshima, all of which are in Japan, Candiani and Blue Selvedge in Italy. Almost all of the artisanal denim brands will specify which mill their denim is coming from, so try to find the names listed above. The increased need for selvedge, however, has prompted many mills in China, India, Turkey, and elsewhere to create it as well. So it may be difficult to determine the way to obtain your fabric from many of the larger brands and retailers.