Selvedge denim: all you have to know

What is Selvedge denim?

Not all denim is made equal. When you are looking for the highest quality denim out there, the term selvedge is often used. By applying the selvedge technique in fabric production, you ensure that the edges of the fabric don't unravel or fray. To make selvedge denim, old weaving techniques are used, and the process takes a lot more time. The fabric's weave is tighter, making it more durable and rigid than using modern techniques. Selvedge denim also fades much better than standard denim, and each pair of pants is unique.  

Where does the concept SELVEDGE come from?

Selvedge is a technical term that originates from self-edge. It refers to the self-finished edges of the fabric in comparison to the unfinished edges you can see on standard denim. 


What differences are there with other materials? Why is it more expensive than denim?


The process of making selvedge denim is quite a time-consuming process compared to standard denim. The origins of this process come from the 1900s when the fabric was woven on selvedge looms. In the 50s, denim had a significant boom (thanks to movie stars like James Dean), and jean makers had to develop faster production methods. In the 70s and 80s, Japan picked up the old artisan techniques of selvedge denim, and now it has regained its status as premium quality, artisan denim. 

* Kato-brand.com

The old-fashioned shuttle looms used to make the fabric can create minor irregularities that add a beautiful texture and show the artisanship involved in the fabric-making process. Usually, selvedge denim is left untreated and raw. Selvedge jeans are more expensive than standard jeans because of the scarcity of the old shuttle looms, the time-consuming process, and the craftsmanship behind each pair of jeans.


How can I recognize selvedge in a pair of jeans?


The best way to identify a pair of selvedge jeans is by looking at the seams. When you look closer at the inside of your pants, in the outseam of the legs, you can spot the (usually) white selvedge, with a colored yarn in the middle. 

How is Selvedge denim made? 


Selvedge denim is made using old-fashioned shuttle looms that produce closed edges on the fabric to prevent it from fraying. The material is carefully woven using one long continuous thread. When the thread reaches from one side to the other, it loops back and creates the selvedge strip you can see in the seam. The mills would use the colored yarn (often red) to show pride in the method and the product. This tradition continues even today.   


Fuel Selvedge pants and resistance


Here at Fuel, we want our riding gear to be resistant to the harshest of conditions. Our Fuel Greasy Selvedge Pants are unique, thanks to the materials used. We use Selvedge denim mixed with Aramid fibers for safety, and a unique look. 

Our pants are crafted with both modern and vintage sewing machines, combining the spirit of old times and the functionality and safety needed. Some manufacturing machines are up to 100 years old, making strong stitching for longevity and durability. The Greasy Selvedge Pants are CE-certified (FprEN 17092-3:2019) and come equipped with premium hip and knee protectors.