What is selvedge denim?
Mar 23, 2023 LifeWear
Established in 1893, Kaihara is Japan’s top denim manufacturer. The most famous denim that we create in collaboration with Kaihara is selvedge denim, woven using old-fashioned shuttle looms. The proof is in the red stitching that is revealed when the hem is folded back.
Why shuttle looms?
The weave created by a shuttle loom is intense and strong, making selvedge denim more durable than other, more modern, weaving methods. Selvedge gets its name from its “self-edge”: the finished edges that do not fray. Jeans made from selvedge denim have no raw edges that need to be finished on the side seams. You may have seen wearers of selvedge denim wearing their jeans turned up at the ankle to show off those instantly recognisable finished seams.
As well as being more durable, selvedge denim is often sold untreated and raw - meaning selvedge jeans can be quite stiff when you first wear them. The beauty of this is that, as you wear them, these jeans will become entirely your own. The denim will fade and crease according to how you move and what you put in your pockets, but it will also soften to fit your body.
Shop the look: DRY Crew Neck T-Shirt and Stretch Selvedge Slim Fit Jeans
The art of Japanese selvedge denim
Although the origins of denim are found in workwear and utility, the Japanese approach denim as an artform. Selvedge denim can only be woven at a width of 31", about half the width of non-selvedge denim, meaning a much more exclusive fabric. The selvedge denim edge usually features signature red stitching, although other colours are also used.
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Shop the look: Oversized Crew Neck Half Sleeve T-Shirt and Stretch Selvedge Slim Fit Jeans