What is selvage denim?
The term selvage (or self-edge) describes a tightly woven band on the edge of fabric that has been finished in a way that prevents raveling. While modern weaving machines produce wide fabric where the weft (horizontal) yarn is cut on every pick (weft insertion), selvage from antique narrow shuttle looms is formed as the shuttle passes back and forth during weaving. Since the yarn is not cut, the selvage is tightly bound and forms a clean edge.
Selvage denim is created with fabric produced through the technique and shuttle looms described above, resulting in a crisp edge that can be seen when the jeans are cuffed.
Selvage vs Selvedge
The meaning of the two terms is exactly the same, however selvage is appropriate typically an American term while selvedge is the European term more common in Europe.
Selvage Denim vs. Raw Denim
Although commonly associated with each other, these two terms do not mean the same thing. Selvage denim refers to the crisp edge of the fabric while raw denim (or “dry denim”) describes the wash of the fabric, or rather the lack of wash since raw denim is not wet processed, manipulated or treated prior or purchase.