The terms selvage (US English) and selvedge (British English) are a corruption of ‘self-edge', and have been in use since the 16th century.

Selvedge/Selvage is the term for the self-finished edges of the fabric. The selvedge keeps the fabric from unravelling or fraying and is a result of how the fabric is created. When it comes to denim, selvedge fabrics are created on a shuttle loom, the action of the shuttle being responsible for the finished edge.

Selvedge fabric is largely considered to be superior to non-selvedge fabrics within the denim community, although this is no longer always the case. The quality of the cotton, the design of the fabric, the type of loom used and the skill of the weaver are the most important factors that affect the quality of the denim.

A lack of these factors in the production of selvedge means that fabric with a selvedge ID can be of mediocre or even poor quality. At the same time, fabric woven on projectile looms, with these factors present can be superior to other selvedge fabrics.

Iron Heart produces a range of selvedge denim, chino and shirting fabrics woven on a variety of often vintage shuttle looms, by weavers with generations of experience, as well as premium quality non-selvedge fabric.

Selvedge ID is the term used to describe the often coloured or pinstriped self finishing edge, as seen on the border of selvedge fabric. Some brands choose a thread colour or vary it from cut to cut. Iron Heart use the traditional red line selvedge ID, almost exclusively. Displaying the selvedge ID (subtly, or otherwise) is popular amongst denim aficionados, although the ID itself is meaningless in the context of the quality of the denim. Selvedge denim that does not display the selvedge ID is still selvedge denim.

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