In store, when we start an explanation on our jeans, the first question that comes to mind is: "What is a Selvedge jeans?" And sometimes we forget that you are not (yet) all of denim experts (each his job). We will explain to you in a simple way the specificity of the weaving of the Selvedge denim and why the Japanese Selvegde denims are (among) the best in the world.

We had already explained the price gap between classic raw jeans and raw jeans called "selvedge". In this "notice" we wanted to go further by explaining you The reality of the Selvedge denim weaving, which makes it all its specificity.

Selvedge Dao hem

It may be tempting to reduce selvedge to its border. Beyond its aesthetic aspect, the border (whose technical name corresponds to the edge) is above all Quality proof Since this is what will give all its solidity to the canvas of your jeans.

The reverse has its charm, especially on a selvedge, so we add length

How do we know all of this? Because We have been working on Japanese Selvedge since 2012 (we have stopped importing Japanese denim rolls in 2021)and that we have just marketed The first French Selvedge, woven in Montbéliard and made in our workshops in Nancy.

1- denim

Before we start our explanation on Selvedge jeans, just allow us to define denim. The fabric for jeans is therefore called denim. In professional jargon, it is classified in the category of so-called fabrics "a chain and a frame".

Denim, chain reference and frame 
Definition point:
  • Chain and frame fabric = weaving a fabric from the intertwining of a chain wire and a frame wire
  • Chain = thread on the length
  • Frame = width wines

What characterizes a denim is that The weft thread be ecru (not tinted) and that he meets with A tinted chain wire (usually in blue). The wires are so tight that it gives Denim fabric. So that it is easier to understand I let you look at the image below.

Diagram of a chain and frame fabric

This explains in part why jeans is blue on one side and ecru-white on the other. In order not to lose everyone, we will pass the most technical details and come back to the definition of Selvedge denim.

Compared to a classic canvas, the Selvedge denim is much heavier. The weight of a canvas is calculated in oz, an Anglosaxon measurement unit to know how much your jeans weighs but also what thickness makes your denim. For example, the Dao range varies From 12 oz to 16 oz, that is to say from 340.8g to 454.4g.

2- The edge and the Laize

Let's go back to a simple definition, "Selvedge" or "Selvage" comes from English and means "edge" in French. We would even go further by saying that a fabric of Denim Selvedge is a denim with finished edges.

The edge creates a net finish throughout the roll 

If you did not know this technical term, don't worry. You had already heard of the edge of a forest or the edge of a field, right? It's exactly the same: the precise place where the forest stops net. For the fabric it is the same thing, The edge is simply the edge of the fabric.

Definition point:

  • Edge = fabric edge

  • Laize = width of a fabric

So, you will understand, a Selvedge fabric is recognized first by its finished edge, but not only. A second feature is to be added to the Brut Selvedge denim compared to a classic crude denim: it is his Laize, that is to say, its width.

Classic selvedge vs Difference in Laize: Denim SELVEDGE VS Classic
Denim width Selvedge The Laize of a Selvedge denim is less than 85cm ...
Classic brut denim width ... when a classic denim exceeds 140cm

And it is this point that makesSelvedge jeans will always be more expensive than basic jeans. Who says Laize smaller says more fabric used in the manufacture of jeans.

Advice : How to recognize a false selvedge?

Faced with the growing success of Denim Selvedge, some brands happen to imitations by simply sewing a border at the bottom of the leg. The problem ? The Liseré Selvedge is not only aesthetic, It is also a point of reinforcement of the canvas. This is what gives a quality canvas capable of lasting 5 years even by being worn daily.

To verify that a jeans is SELVEDGE, just turn it over. Looking at the pants on the reverse, you must see the border appear all along the leg and not on one end. It must be fully integrated into the canvas and not to be patched or sewn.

Selvedge motorway that travels the leg The border must browse the entire leg

3- Weaving

The width difference is due to The way denim is woven. By "way" we hear the loom which was used to make denim. For Selvedge denims, weaving professions have the distinction of being Machines called "shuttle". To put it simply, it is a shuttle that makes right/left round trips by passing an ecru thread continuously between tinted chain threads.

Shuttles and coils used during weaving Shuttles and coils used during weaving
Denim Selvedge structure diagram 
Selvedge denim weaving with shuttle

Why such a difference ? It is very simple, the "shuttle" looms are old professions used before the 60s and 70s designed to make laizes of less than a meter. The growing demand in jeans has pushed manufacturers of looms to weave Develop other technologies in particular that known as "air jet" or "lance".

It allows you to make fabrics of a much larger Laize and thus Save denim when making jeans. This technology therefore makes it possible to make wider fabrics on the other hand, reverse of the medal, you no longer have a finished edge but cut edges.

Diagram of a modern classic denim
Classic air jet denim weaving
Definition point:
  • Professor with woven shuttle = continuous frame wire
  • Air jet woven profession = cut weft wire

History point : Why are the Japanese so strong?

We promised to tell you more about Japanese Selvedge which is considered one of the best in the world. To put it simply: the Japanese have A culture of net and precise gesture. Even if they did not invent anything in terms of Selvedge, they managed to improve everything.

Jeans Selvedge Dao The different selvedge dao jeans in Japanese canvas

Originally, the shuttles to weave was found in Europe and This know-how belonged to us. However, in Europe, Selvedge no longer interested anyone simply because we did not have (or rather less) this culture of jeans. Cotton does not grow with us and jeans is a product that did not conquer us until 1950-1960. Where the Americans carried it at the end of the 19th century.

At the moment, Americans are the biggest consumers in Selvedge. They therefore decided to subcontract in Japan and sent all their machines there. Why ? Indigo pushes in the United States and Japan, and they both have a real know-how concerning The culture of indigotier. And the base of jeans remains (also) the way of tinting the chain wire. The Japanese then quickly refined their technique to the point of becoming The first producers (in quality) of Selvedge in the world.

"Is a French Selvedge possible?"

When we multiply references to Japanese seal and American selvedge, we would tend to forget that We too can make Denim Selvedge. To do this, just surround yourself with good people.

Denim Stanislas, the first French Selvedge
We met Cédric, a 26 -year -old young man who recovered former looms to create Selvedge canvas near Montbéliard. And this is where we said to ourselves: a French selvedge, it's possible!

To get to the heart of a 100% French Denim Selvedge weaving workshop it's here

Chino Stanislas Jeans Selvedge Francais Daodavy_4-2 Denim Stanislas, first French selvedge
April 14, 2019 — Davy Dao

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