There’s a good chance that even if you’re not sure what selvage denim is, you’ve already seen it for yourself. Selvage/selvedge (or self-edge) describes a band woven on a shuttle loom that prevents your denim from raveling. Authentic selvage bands are a mark of high quality and craftsmanship, although they are often artificially recreated on lower-grade denim for aesthetic appeal.
Selvage vs. Selvedge
The terms ‘selvage’ and ‘selvedge’ can both be used to spell this denim technique. ‘Selvage’ is typically an American term, while ‘selvedge’ is commonly used in Europe.
Selvage vs. Raw Denim
While often used interchangeably, selvage and raw denim are not the same thing. Selvage refers to the edge on the denim while raw refers to the absence of pre-washing during denim production. There is a common misconception that all selvage denim is raw, and all raw denim has selvage edging, however this is not always the case. You can find pre-washed (non-raw) denim with selvage edging, and similarly you can find raw denim without a selvage edge.