The word selvedge comes from”self-edge”, the natural edge of a roll of fabric. The looms weave fabric with one continuous cross thread (the weft) that is passed back and forth all the way down the length of the bolt. As the weft loops back into the edge of the cloth it creates this “self-edge” or selvedge. The selvedge does not fray like cloth made on a modern, projectile loom that has separate wefts, that leave an open edge. Selvedge denim is made on old-style shuttle looms that are limited to 31″ – 36″ wide. During the weaving process, the weft shuttle goes back and forth as one continuous thread, rather than as individual threads. As a result, selvedge denim has a clean edge. Modern, single thread weaving has a frayed edge. The selvedge edge is usually stitched with a coloured thread.
My denim is 14oz weight, which is quite heavy and stiff, even after three hot washes. I chalked up the pieces just to make sure I had enough to do. I bought 3 yds and the only thing you have to straighten are the outside legs along the selvedge -then you don’t have to finish the outside seam later.
It’s de rigour darling to fold up the hemline to show off that selvedge while wearing.
OK – the money shots!
Thanks for reading. Ruth