What is 'selvedge denim' and why is it important?

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Denim jeans have been around for well over a century. From Workwear staple, to rebellious icon, to it's current status as a wardrobe essential. Buying a new pair of jeans can be a bit of a minefield, with myriad different washes, fits, fabrics and brands to choose from. One piece of denim terminology in particular causes a lot of confusion, selvedge denim.

Edwin Selvedge denim, both in the popular ED-55 tapered cut.

The word 'selvedge' (spelt 'selvage' in the USA) refers to the 'self-edging' of the fabric, Usually a white edge with a coloured thread running through. This selvedge is similar to a trademark, meaning that the denim has been woven on a traditional shuttle loom. This way of weaving denim is slower and therefore costlier, which means most denim companies save their finest ring spun yarns for the creation of selvedge denim. The very nature of shuttle looms causes random 'slubby' imperfections in the denim fabric, although this is exactly what makes selvedge denim so sought after. No two pairs of selvedge jeans will be identical, giving you something which is completely unique to you, particularly as the jeans start to age.

A pair of LEVI's Vintage Clothing 501XX in a red selvedge cone mills denim.

As selvedge denim started it's life as a workwear fabric. It looks most at home with other tough utilitarian items of clothing: Red Wing boots, plaid flannel shirts and workwear jackets are the order of the day, for a masculine look which will only get better with age.

 Selvedge at Regent

Regent stock a range of high quality selvedge denim, classic Levi's made with traditional US made Cone denim, Edwin's ED-55, made in Japan with their unique rainbow selvedge, as well as Harry Stedman's entirely US made heavy duty Kulsan jean.

A Selection of Regent's selvedge denim, in a number of washes.

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