Should you be Joining the Selvedge Denim Crowd? How this Classic Jeans Variety is Coming Back
Selvedge denim is experiencing a golden age. In fact, the past decade has been a good one for anyone who appreciates quality denim jeans.
After years and years of settling for poor quality, generic products, there has been an awakening among jeans fans, leading to a renaissance in raw denim and selvedge designs.
Despite this spike in popularity, selvedge jeans remain a mystery to many people. That’s a shame, as it’s easy to fall in love with their appearance, quality and durability.
Here’s a quick primer for anyone who wants a customized pair of jeans that will stand the test of time.
Selvedge Denim: Bringing Back Traditional Production Techniques
The most important thing to know about selvedge jeans is how they are produced, and how this differs from conventional jeans.
Selvedge (which refers to “self-edged”) denim is made using shuttle looms. These looms can only produce strips of denim that are around a yard wide. Each piece of fabric is sealed by a seam (usually colored red), which is generally visible only when the jeans are rolled up.
This contrasts with most jeans that are made using projectile looms. These looms produce fabric in larger quantities and more cheaply. However, their seams aren’t as reinforced, making the finished product much less durable.
The trend towards selvedge jeans is bringing back techniques from the dawn of jeans, creating pants that miners in 19th century America might have worn. This just adds another element of romance that many wearers appreciate.
What to Think About When Purchasing Your Selvedge Jeans
Unlike an off the shelf pair of Levi’s, selvedge jeans aren’t the kind of product you throw into a shopping cart and slip on in seconds.
For one thing, selvedge jeans tend to be more expensive than ordinary jeans. That’s due to the higher cost of production and the quality of the finished product.
With their tightly finished seams, you can expect a pair of selvedge jeans to last for over a decade, while standard bought products can be unwearable within months.
Another factor is that selvedge designs are made using raw denim. This heavy, strong material usually takes a week or more to loosen up. You may use the same sizes for selvedge denim than for other kind of raw denim to create a pair that precisely fits your lower body.
When you choose selvedge denim, you won’t regret it. As with all raw denim jeans, they will age over the months, fading to match the shape and movement of your body, resulting in garments that are truly unique and personal.
You simply don’t get that kind of quality with ordinary jeans. Just remember not to over-wash them and you’ll have pants to last ten years or more.