For those who 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 someone 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 what exactly 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 the shuttle loom. That definition may appear somewhat jargony, but trust me, all will soon seem sensible. It’s also important to note that selvedge denim is not really exactly like raw denim. Selvedge refers to the way the fabric continues to be woven, whereas raw means 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 must understand a little bit about textile manufacturing generally. Virtually all woven fabrics are comprised of two parts with two parts: warp yarns (those which run up and down) and weft yarns (the ones that run sideways).
To weave a fabric, the loom holds the warp yarns in place whilst the weft yarn passes between the two. The main difference between selvedge and non-selvedge fabrics is perhaps all a matter of how the weft yarn is positioned to the fabric. Up until the 1950s, just about all denim was produced on Shuttle Looms. A shuttle loom is really a weaving textile loom which uses a little device referred to as a shuttle to complete the weft yarns by passing back and forth between both sides of the loom. This leaves one continuous yarn in any way the sides so the fabric self seals without any stray yarns.
Most shuttle looms create a textile which is about 36 inches across. This dimension is nearly ideal for placing those raw selvedge denim seams on the outside edges of the pattern for a couple of jeans. This placement isn’t just aesthetically pleasing, but practical in addition to it saves whoever’s sewing the jeans a couple extra passes on the overlock machine and ensures the jeans is not going to fray at the outseam.
The demand for 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 per minute over a textile that’s two times as 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 a lot more efficient method to weave fabric, what’s lost though is that cleanly sealed edge. Non-selvedge denim made by projectile looms posseses an open and frayed edge denim, because all the individual weft yarns are disconnected for both sides. To help make jeans from this type of denim, each of the edges have to be Overlock Stitched to keep the material from coming unraveled.
Exactly why is it Popular Today?
Selvedge denim has seen a newly released resurgence alongside vintage workwear styles from the 40s and 50s. Japanese brands enthusiastic about recreating the ideal jeans from that era went up to now concerning reweave selvedge denim in new and interesting ways. Since selvedge denim has returned on the market, the small detail on the upturned cuff quickly became one of the “things to have”.
The selvedge craze is becoming so popular that some manufacturers have even resorted to knocking from the selvedge look and producing fake selvedge appliques to mimic the colored lines on the outseam.
The overwhelming greater part of denim made today is open end and non-selvedge. You can find only xgfjbh handful of mills left on the planet that still take some time and effort to generate selvedge denim.
The renowned is Cone Mills which includes produced denim from their White Oak Plant in Greensboro, N . C ., because the early 1900s. They’re even the last selvedge denim wholesale manufacturer left in the usa. Other noteworthy mills include Kuroki, Nihon Menpu, Collect, Kaihara, Kurabo, Nisshinbo, and Toyoshima, all of which have been in Japan, Candiani and Blue Selvedge in Italy. Almost all the artisanal denim brands will specify which mill their denim is originating from, so look for the names mentioned above. The increased interest in selvedge, however, has prompted many mills in China, India, Turkey, and elsewhere to create it too. So it could be difficult to ascertain the supply of your fabric from many of the larger brands and retailers.