Threads Logo Threads Logo Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

DIY Selvage Jeans

Threads Issue #211, Oct./Nov. 2020

When denim fabric entered the ready-to-wear market in the mid-19th century, it was used to make durable work pants. The textile was woven on narrow, 32-inch shuttle looms. This gave selvage denim a tight weave and distinctive strong, clean edges. In 1915, Levi Strauss partnered with Cone mills in Greensboro, North Carolina, to produce fabric for the company’s signature jeans at Cone’s White Oak mill. This type of denim is today called “selvage denim,” because the selvages are fully finished with no loose threads; often, they include white and red or blue warp threads, yielding an attractive stripe.

As jeans became more popular in the 1950s, companies looked for less expensive ways to manufacture denim. The new denim developed then, and still manufactured, is produced on projectile looms that are twice as wide as a shuttle loom. While this denim still has selvage edges, they are not as clean or strong as those created on a shuttle loom.

Cone Denim closed its White Oak facility in 2017, ending an American tradition of selvage denim production. Japanese manufacturers started producing denim in the 1960s and chose shuttle looms to craft their denim. The selvage edges became a signature, identifying the manufacturer by the color of the threads that were woven in.

Jennifer Stern-Hasemann designs J Stern Designs patterns, and teaches fitting and sewing techniques online and across the country.

View the article by clicking View PDF below.

Sign up for the Threads eletter

Get the latest including tips, techniques and special offers straight to your inbox.

Sign Up
View PDF

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Subscribe to Threads today

Save up to 42% and get a free gift


Log in or create an account to post a comment.

More From Threads

Discussion Forum

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All


Shop the Store

View All
View More