What is so special about Selvage Denim?

Updated by David Boyle

What's So Special About Selvage Denim?

Part of the allure of vintage denim is the individuality of each piece. Each garment is a picture in time of the spinner's work, the dyer's eye, the weaver's skill and the sewer's dedication. Suddenly the variations in the fabric caused by the differences in the cotton and old technology, considered so undesirable in manufacturing, are the very attributes so revered by denim aficionados and collectors.

Vintage denim pieces that have been worn have the added history of the owner. His/her occupation, how the garment was washed, whether they cuffed the jean or not, and sometimes what they carried in their pockets, all add to the unique "worn in" history of each piece.

The lower the technology used and the older the technology, the more variation we find, and the greater the likelihood of finding something of unique beauty. Today we can use high technology to duplicate the variations in yarn & dye, but we just can't get real selvage denim without a real shuttle loom.

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