The origin of the word selvedge comes from the term "self - edge." Vintage shuttle looms weave the edge of the fabric into itself to prevent it from unraveling. This creates the clean, finished look along the outseam of a pair of selvedge jeans, called the "Selvedge ID." Only selvedge denim woven on vintage shuttle looms features the recognizable selvedge ID.
Selvedge is the highest quality denim. The shuttle looms that weave selvedge denim can produce a denser weave than non-selvedge. This makes for a better quality, longer lasting denim.
Selvedge denim is rare. Only about 10% of denim currently made in the world is selvedge. Narrow shuttle looms require more time and maintenance to operate, and produce less fabric per day. This makes selvedge denim much more costly and difficult to produce.
Also known as dry or unwashed denim, raw denim has not gone through any washing or distressing processes. Because it is not washed, raw denim is ridged at first, creating defined creases that will lead to fades that are unique to each individual wearer. As the denim breaks in, it softens and molds to your body, for a fit that is unparalleled. The longer you go before the first wash, the more prominent the fading will be. For this reason, some denim - heads go months or even years before the first wash
Japanese denim is prized for the way it fades. This denim fades so well because of a special dying process called rope - dying. Rope - dying produces cotton yarns that have a dark indigo coating on the outside while the core is relatively undyed. As the outer indigo wears down, the white core is exposed, resulting in the iconic fades of vintage jeans.
Shuttle looms operated by skilled Japanese craftsman can produce denim that has slight variations in the weave, creating a texture that is unmistakable and highly sought after. This texture is accentuated over time as the denim fades.