What’s the Difference Between Raw and Selvedge Denim?

Explaining the difference between raw and selvedge denim once and for all.

Many people think, mistakenly, that:

1) All selvedge denim jeans are raw denim jeans; or

2) All raw denim jeans are selvedge denim jeans.

Both statements are incorrect. However, of the two, the first is closer to the truth. Let’s quickly recap our lessons on raw denim v. selvedge.

What is selvedge denim?

The ‘selvedge’ in selvedge denim comes from ‘self-edge,’ which refers to the finishing on the edge of the denim.

IN-DEPTH: Selvedge denim from A to Z.

What is raw denim?

Raw denim simply means that the fabric has not been pre-washed.

READ MORE: Raw denim from A to Z.

So what’s the difference?

You can spot the difference by:

1) Examining the edge; and

2) Knowing whether the fabric has been washed.

So, although most selvedge denim jeans on the market are made with raw denim, not all of them are. A pair of jeans can be made from a selvedge fabric but have been washed, so therefore, they’re not raw denim anymore. Likewise, you can find raw denim jeans that aren’t finished with a selvedge edge – even if they say they’re selvedge.

Got it?

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa
He Spoke Style

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