Increasingly present in the men’s collections, the selvedge jeans is not quite a jeans like the others. Explanations.
Introduction and history
If you are avid reader of blogs, a fashion enthusiast, or you work in the textile, you’ve probably heard of Selvedge cloth, or Japanese cloth as is commonly referred to (and wrong, but you see later why). This cloth is advocated, the most acclaimed actors of masculine style, both for its strength for its “legendary” quality. Let’s see what really is the selvedge fabric, and it is compared to a classic jeans cloth.
What is the selvedge fabric?
Originally (19th century), the fabric jeans were produced on looms giving something very tight very solid: a twill fabric. This cloth was then the norm, and was about everywhere. To differentiate, brands have applied a border color on parts of the tissue, giving rise to what we know today. Indeed, it was a good way to differentiate themselves from other productions of less good quality jeans.
Only with the Thirty Glorious Years and the need to increase productivity, these brands have had to get rid of these looms, the favor of more efficient machines, even if the fabric was then poorer quality. Natural dyes are gradually abandoned and industrial washing methods are emerging. This is still found today in the mainstream ready-to-wear jeans (regardless of their price, unfortunately …).
It was at this time that the Japanese began to buy most of the old looms, and copy what was done before that with twill fabric. For a long time, the Japanese had thus quasi-monopoly on the selvedge cloth (this is why we speak often of Japanese cloth).
This is no longer the case today, since found again this backdrop in Europe, in the United States, etc… But in the collective unconscious, the Japanese jeans have remained synonymous with superior quality.
Is this cloth better than others?
Unlike the cloth over another classic, of course its thickness, and therefore its strength! However, this is not the only point to watch if you want solid and high quality jeans. Attention must be paid to the lining of the pockets and fly, rivets of reinforcing inside the jeans, accuracy and fine stitching and so on.
All this to say that yes, the selvedge is often synonymous with quality, but this is not always the case! You will find today for example, highest quality Italian cloth, or selvedge fabrics that are not Japanese. So if you want a really solid jeans, do not rely solely on the origin of the cloth, it would be a error.