What is Raw Selvedge Denim?

What are raw selvedge denim jeans?

Raw selvedge denim jeans are denim pants crafted from fabric produced on traditional shuttle looms. The term “selvedge” refers to the self-finished edges of the fabric, which prevent fraying and create a clean, durable edge.

The fabric has not been washed or distressed in raw selvedge denim jeans after dyeing. This means the denim retains its original, unwashed state, initially resulting in a crisp and rigid feel. Levis 505 Vs 501 Jeans – Which One To Best

Over time, raw selvedge denim jeans develop unique wear patterns and fade marks that reflect the wearer’s lifestyle and movements. These jeans are known for their quality construction, durability, and the ability to personalize their appearance through natural wear and tear.[Leggings Vs Jeans: An In-Depth Examination Of Comfort, Style, And Versatility]

Below is a tabular summary of the advantages and disadvantages of raw selvedge denim : 

Advantages of Raw Selvedge Denim

Disadvantages of Raw Selvedge Denim

Durability: The tightly woven selvedge edge prevents fraying, making these jeans more durable than their non-selvedge counterparts.

Price: Premium raw selvedge denim, especially from reputable brands, can be significantly more expensive due to the quality of materials and craftsmanship.

Personalization: Raw denim fades uniquely according to the wearer's body and activities, allowing for a personalized fit and look over time.

Care Requirements: Raw denim requires specific care to maintain its quality and achieve desired fades, which can be more labor-intensive than caring for pre-washed denim.

Quality: Raw selvedge denim is often associated with high-quality craftsmanship, especially from Japanese manufacturers known for their attention to detail.

Break-In Period: Raw denim, particularly heavyweight varieties, can be stiff and uncomfortable until properly broken in, which may deter some wearers.

Aesthetic Appeal: The selvedge edge and potential for unique fades make raw selvedge denim visually appealing and a statement piece in fashion.

Availability: High-quality raw selvedge denim may be harder to find in mainstream stores, often requiring purchases from specialty shops or online, which can limit accessibility.

Sustainability: Choosing raw denim can be more sustainable as it encourages less frequent washing and longer wear life, reducing environmental impact.

Shrinkage: Unsanforized raw denim can shrink significantly upon first wash, requiring careful selection and sometimes pre-soaking to ensure a proper fit.

Variety: Available in a range of weights and colors, raw selvedge denim offers options for all preferences, from lightweight summer jeans to heavyweight denim for fade enthusiasts.

Inconsistent Sizing: Due to the nature of raw denim and varying shrinkage rates, finding the perfect fit can be challenging and may require trial and error.

The Unique World of Raw Selvedge Denim: A Comprehensive Guide

Raw selvedge denim is buzzing around the fashion scene, capturing the interest of denim enthusiasts and casual wearers alike.

But what exactly sets this type of denim apart from your average pair of jeans? To uncover its unique allure, let’s dive into raw selvedge denim’s fascinating details and history.[What is Raw Selvedge Denim?]

Understanding Selvedge Denim

Selvedge denim is known for its “self-edge” – a clean, finished edge on the fabric that prevents unravelling. This feature is a hallmark of quality and craftsmanship, originating from when denim was produced in small batches on traditional shuttle looms.

These looms weave fabric with a tighter, denser weave, resulting in denim that is not only more durable but also has a distinctive edge often showcased by denim aficionados through a stylish cuff at the ankle.[What is Raw Selvedge Denim?]

Raw Denim Defined

Raw denim, conversely, refers to denim fabric that still needs to be washed or treated after dyeing. This untreated state means the denim is in its purest form, allowing for a unique wear-in process that personalizes over time.

Raw denim comes in two varieties: sanforized, which is pre-shrunk to minimize shrinkage after washing, and unsanforized, which can shrink considerably and offers a more traditional raw denim experience.[What is Raw Selvedge Denim?]

The Evolution of Denim

Historically, denim was the fabric of choice for workwear, durable enough to withstand the rigours of manual labour. Early denim was invariably raw and selvedge, reflecting a commitment to quality in an era of limited production capabilities.

However, as denim transitioned into a fashion staple, production methods evolved to meet increasing demand, often at the expense of the traditional selvedge edge and raw quality. [What is Raw Selvedge Denim?]

Today, a resurgence in the appreciation for artisanal craftsmanship has brought raw selvedge denim back into the spotlight, with enthusiasts and premium brands championing its superior quality and aesthetic appeal.

Why Choose Raw Selvedge Denim?

Raw selvedge denim offers a myriad of benefits and aesthetic appeals. Beyond its durability and quality, it provides a canvas for personalization.

Wearers of raw denim can look forward to their jeans moulding to their bodies over time, creating fades and wear patterns as unique as their movements and lifestyle. This process transforms a pair of jeans into a profoundly personal item, reflecting the wearer’s history and habits. [What is Raw Selvedge Denim?]

Best Raw Selvedge Denim Jeans Pants 

Levi’s Men’s 501 Original Fit Jeans (Also Available in Big & Tall)

What is Raw Selvedge Denim?.

Click To Learn About The Product

Product details:

  • Fabric type100% U.S. Cotton
  • Care instructions Machine Wash
  • OriginMade in the USA or Imported
  • Closure type button
  • Regular Through The Thigh
  • Straight leg
  • Sits on your waist
  • Front rise: 11 1/4″, Knee: 17 1/2″, Leg Opening: 16″, Measurements based on size 32.

Levi’s Women’s 724 High Rise Straight Jeans (Also Available in Plus

What is Raw Selvedge Denim?.

Click To Learn About The Product

Product details:

  • Fabric type81% Cotton, 18% Polyester, 1% Elastane
  • Care instructions Machine Wash
  • OriginImported
  • Closure type zipper
  • High rise: sits above the waist
  • Slim through hip and thigh
  • Inseam: 30″ (Short); 32″ (Medium)

What is raw selvedge denim vs regular denim?


Raw Selvedge Denim

Regular Denim


Denim that hasn't been washed after dyeing. Edges are finished to prevent fraying.

Denim that has been pre-washed to soften and sometimes pre-faded.


Crisper feel initially Unique wear patterns over time Selvedge edge visible on the seam

Softer feel from the start Uniform appearance May have distressed or faded areas


Generally more durable due to less processing.

Less durable compared to raw selvedge due to pre-washing and treatment processes.


More rigid and structured Develops personalized fading patterns

More relaxed and casual look  Consistent color and texture


Typically more expensive due to the quality of materials and the traditional weaving techniques.

Generally more affordable due to mass production techniques.


 Less frequent washing recommended May require special care to maintain the quality.

Can be washed and treated without special considerations.

Environmental Impact

Lower impact due to less washing and processing  Longer lifespan reduces waste.

Higher impact due to the use of water and chemicals in pre-washing and distressing processes.

Caring for Your Denim

Caring for raw selvedge denim differs from that of regular jeans. Minimal washing is recommended to preserve the denim’s character and enhance the development of personal wear patterns. When cleaning is necessary, a gentle hand wash or spot cleaning can maintain the denim’s integrity while contributing to the evolution of its patina.

Starting Your Raw Selvedge Journey

The array of options can be overwhelming for those new to the world of raw selvedge denim. Brands like Levi’s, known for their shrink-to-fit and rigid dragons, offer accessible entry points into raw denim. At the same time, Nudie Jeans provides a premium selection with their dry selvedge denim.

Each brand brings its colours, weights, and characteristics to the table, allowing for a wide range of personal expression through denim.

Beyond Jeans: The Expanding Universe of Selvedge

While jeans are the most common garment made from selvedge denim, the fabric’s versatility has been used in other clothing, such as chinos and denim jackets. 10 Best Jeans For Men With Big Thighs (2024)

The distinctive selvedge edge, often showcased through the cuffing of jeans, comes in various colours, offering a unique way to personalize and distinguish different brands and styles.

From the original Levi’sLevi’s red edge to an array of colours including blue, yellow, and even rainbow, selvedge denim offers a spectrum of customization options.[What is Raw Selvedge Denim?]

The Weight of Denim: From Lightweight to Heavyweight

Raw denim is categorized by weight, ranging from lightweight (under 12 ounces) to heavyweight (over 16 ounces). This classification affects not only the feel and wear of the jeans but also how they age and fade over time. How To Get Rid Of Camel Toe In Jeans [Easy Solutions]

Lighter denim tends to break in more quickly, offering smoother wear, while heavyweight denim, though stiffer at first, provides dramatic fades that many denim aficionados cherish.[What is Raw Selvedge Denim?]

The Art of Fading

One of the most appealing aspects of raw denim is its ability to fade uniquely to the wearer. Over time, frequent wear and stress areas, such as the knees, hips, and pockets, will disappear, creating patterns like honeycombs, whiskers, and train tracks. Levis 513 Vs 514 – What’s The Difference?

These natural wear patterns make each pair of jeans a personalized piece of art, reflecting the lifestyle and movements of its owner.[What is Raw Selvedge Denim?]

Navigating the World of Raw Selvedge Denim

For those new to raw selvedge denim, the variety can be overwhelming. Brands range in price, quality, and origin, offering something for everyone. From the accessible and iconic Levi’s to the premium Swedish brand Nudie Jeans, the options are vast. When selecting your first pair, it’s essential to consider factors like fit, weight, and personal style preferences.

High-Quality Denim Fabric

Denim Fabric Assorted Colors

What is Raw Selvedge Denim?.

Click To Learn About The Product

Denim Fabric Bundle Overview

  • Material: Cotton
  • Color: Multi
  • Fabric Type: Cotton
  • Item Form: Bundle (5 pcs)
  • Brand: Generic

Key Features

  • Stock-Selling Unit: Available in precut lengths of 1-yard, 2-yard, and 3-yard pieces. Orders are delivered in one continuous piece based on the ordered length (e.g., a 3-yard order will come as a 60″x108″ piece).
  • Elasticity: Slightly stretch denim fabric.
  • Applications: Suitable for a variety of uses including quilting, crafts, DIY projects, home decor (curtains, pillowcases, duvet covers, sofa covers, oven mittens, aprons), and clothing (jeans, jackets, dresses, skirts, shorts, caps, bags).
  • Special Features: Light stretch, soft to the touch, durable, breathable, versatile for multiple uses.[What is Raw Selvedge Denim?]
  • Colour Disclaimer: Actual fabric colour may vary from photos due to lighting and monitor settings. Efforts are made to accurately display colours.

Denim Navy, Fabric by the Yard

What is Raw Selvedge Denim?.

Click To Learn About The Product

Navy Denim Fabric Overview

  • Material: Denim
  • Color: Navy
  • Fabric Type: 100% Cotton
  • Item Form: Cut By The Yard
  • Brand: Richlin Fabrics

Key Features

  • Weight: Heavyweight fabric, 12 oz per square yard.
  • Applications: Ideal for utility pants, jean jackets, skirts, dresses, and upholstery projects.
  • Care Instructions: Machine washable and suitable for tumble drying.

FAQ: What is Raw Selvedge Denim?

What is raw selvedge denim?

Raw selvedge denim refers to unwashed and untreated denim that retains its original texture and colour after dyeing. The term “selvedge” comes from “self-edge,” which is the woven edge of the fabric that prevents unravelling, indicating a higher quality of denim typically produced on traditional shuttle looms.[What is Raw Selvedge Denim?]

How is raw selvedge denim different from regular denim?

Raw selvedge denim differs from regular denim in several ways. First, it has yet to be pre-washed or treated, so it starts stiffer and evolves uniquely according to the wearer’s body and activities. Selvedge denim is also characterized by its finished edges, which prevent fraying and are often showcased when the jeans are cuffed.[What is Raw Selvedge Denim?]

 Why is raw selvedge denim more expensive?

The higher cost of raw selvedge denim is due to the quality of the material and the traditional production methods used. Selvedge denim is made on old-style shuttle looms that produce denim with tighter weaves and denser fabric, resulting in more durable jeans. The process is more time-consuming and has less fabric at a time, which contributes to the higher price point.[What is Raw Selvedge Denim?]

How do I care for my raw selvedge denim?

To preserve the unique characteristics of your raw selvedge denim, it’s best to wash them as infrequently as possible. When washing is necessary, turn them inside and hand wash or use a gentle machine cycle with cold water. Hang them to dry instead of using a dryer. This care routine helps maintain the denim’s colour and shape.[What is Raw Selvedge Denim?]

Will my raw selvedge denim jeans shrink?

Yes, raw denim can shrink, especially if it’s unsanforized. Sanforized denim has been pre-treated to minimize shrinkage, but unsanforized denim hasn’t so that it may shrink significantly upon the first wash. Always check the care label and consider buying a size up if you choose unsanforized denim.[What is Raw Selvedge Denim?]

How long does it take to break in raw selvedge denim?

The break-in period for raw selvedge denim varies depending on how often you wear it and your activities while wearing it. Generally, it takes a few months of regular wear to start seeing significant softening and fading unique to your movement patterns.[What is Raw Selvedge Denim?]

Can I wear raw selvedge denim in any season?

Yes, raw selvedge denim can be worn year-round. However, the weight of the denim fabric can affect comfort in different seasons. Lightweight denim (12oz or less) is better suited for warmer months, while mid-weight (12-16oz) and heavyweight (16oz and above) denim are more comfortable in cooler weather.

How do I achieve unique fades on my raw selvedge denim?

Unique fades develop naturally over time with regular wear. To accelerate the fading process, some wearers wear their jeans as much as possible before the first wash, engaging in activities that stress the fabric, such as biking or manual labour. Remember, the key to distinctive fades is time and patience.[What is Raw Selvedge Denim?]

Are there different types of fades?

Yes, several types of fades can appear on raw denim, including honeycombs (behind the knees), whiskers (hip and crotch areas), and train tracks (along the outer.[What is Raw Selvedge Denim?]

Final Verdict: What is Raw Selvedge Denim

Raw selvedge denim is a testament to the enduring appeal of quality craftsmanship and personalized style. Its journey from workwear to fashion iconography underscores a widespread appreciation for materials that last and improve with age. Whether you’re a denim lover or simply seeking a pair of jeans that grows with you, raw selvedge denim offers a depth of character and durability unmatched by conventional denim.[What is Raw Selvedge Denim?]

ja news letter

Find The Perfect Pair Of Jeans

Get perfect jeans for your body type!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Leave a Comment