Selvedge refers to that high-quality and much more difficult to produce denim which is usually sold and worn without washing. You can easily find it on the cuffs of jeans. Selvedge in denim is often white and most of the time it comes with a colored yarn in the middle. When the yarn is red, the denim is called red-line Selvedge Denim Jeans.
Two ways of weaving
There are two ways to weave denim: it’s with or without a shuttle. The traditional way is through weaving with a shuttle. Shuttle is important. This threads the weft through the warp shed. It consumes a lot of time to hurl the shuttle back and forth, which causes a bottleneck when it comes to production.
Shuttleless weaving is often used for projectile looms. A small metal device takes the place of the shuttle. The metal device looks like a bullet which carries the weft through the shed in a process known as weft insertion.
What makes selvedge denim better?
Clothing industry people and denim experts agree that selvedge denim has a better fade than other types of denims. This is because of the slower pace of shuttle looms that creates much less tension on the yarn. The shuttle looms also tend to tolerate more slubs in the yarn, giving it a more character appearance. When the denim is shuttle-loomed it also becomes naturally softer than other denims.
A selvedge denim may not be as durable as other non-selvedge denims, but since they are not washed in a factory, in theory, they are thought to last longer.
On the specific advantages
Selvedge denim jeans let you enjoy the highest quality cotton. This is because the actual weaving done on a shuttle loom is quite intense and durable, breaking it down even slower than a yarn. The non-selvedge denim is more affordable since the process is faster. It is also more economical but with a lower-quality cotton.
Choosing the shade of selvedge denim. Denim can be greenish/blueish or more of reddish/purplish. Greencast ones come from Japanese mills while the redcast is often linked with the American look.
You may also want to check into the character of the yarn. The more character the thread has, particularly with nep and slubs, the more workman the style of the denim jeans be. Denims that have less character in their yarn tend to exude a formal and refined look. Character is associated with thread diameter. The thicker the thread is the more character it has and the thinner the thread the less character the denim has.
It is also positive news that the selvedge denim now can be stretched. It is one of the most promising modern developments concerning selvedge denim.