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How to Salvage Your Selvages

Threads magazine - 174 - Aug./Sept. 2014

Mary Ray’s article from Threads #174 (August/September 2014) includes nine helpful tips that will have you looking at selvages in a whole new way.

A good selvage is like a bonus with your fabric purchase. Most of the time, sewers use selvages as references to ensure we’re placing patterns on the fabric’s straight grain, and then we cut them off and toss them. Selvages can be so much more, however, whether used for structural support, as embellishment, or as a source of inspiration.

Some selvages are unobtrusive, narrow, and woven a little tighter with stronger yarns than the rest of the fabric, while some are much fancier, with multicolored yarns, woven patterns, or feathery edges-or sometimes all three. Once you start looking at selvages with a designer’s eye, you’ll see how useful they can be.

Web Extra: Threads 360° – Wool Tweed Dress

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  1. user-1090814 | | #1

    These are all very neat ideas, but I was always taught to cut them off because they would shrink more than the rest of the fabric. Is this not true anymore? Before I was taught to cut them off, I did use them in places like waistbands and facing edges.

  2. soexperimental | | #2

    I love to use selvages as they can provide a distinctive touch either inside( for strengthening seams etc) or outside for decorative edges. They are really interesting made into a slot seam with the edges to the outside and a contrast underneath, or just seamed wrong sides together and then stitched down to provide a lovely and distinctive line. They often look like a really fine quality trim, that incorporates all the colours of the material no matter how subtle in the weave.

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