Fashion & Apparel

Raw & Selvedge Denim Thread

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Raw & Selvedge Denim Thread

Post your progression pics here. Help out some denim beginners and just come to learn new things about the field of the warp and weft!

What is Selvage

Selvage, selvedge or self edge basically means fabrics that have as the name states, self finished edges. The way the fabric is woven is so that the weft threads (threads that run parallel to the vertical threads) are looped back in at the end of the fabric so that it is a continuous weave without cutting. Generally made on shuttle looms. The selvage line refers to the ending of the cloth that makes it easily identifiable compared to contemporary denim.

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Warp and Weft

Warp threads are the ones that run vertical down the garment usually shown of the outside while weft are the lines parallel to the warp which usually are on the inside.

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Raw, Dry

Raw or dry denim have not been washed, distressed or agitated during production and each thread retains the dye from when it was produced.

Raw Vs. Distressed

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Sanforized

Sanforized is a term used for treated denim during production so that they would not shrink out of size when you first wash or soak your jeans. All cotton have a percentage that they would shrink when they contact water. However sanforization will reduce the shrinkage percent of the cotton allowing you to buy jeans that are closer to you true waist size.

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Chain Stitch
Many denim enthusiast will swear by chain stitching to keep their reproduction Levi's authentic and generally a more "authentic" feel to raw denim. Most contemporary jeans now use lock stitching to end the hem of the jeans as it is stronger and the machines much more accessible. It is a very minor detail in denim but also a mark of quality.

Process of Chain Stitch
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Top: Lock Stitch
Bottom: Chain Stitch
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A comprehensive list of terms can be found at oki-ni and also if you're super interested, go on the superfuture - denim section to be overwhelmed.

Different Types of Denim

Denim comes in many different weights, weave and texture so you should know how to choose for yourself. Contrary to popular belief, heavier denim does not always produce better fades. There are different options to choose from such as weight, stiffness, colour, weave, just to name a few.

Weight

Denim usually comes in weights that varies from 7oz - 25 oz per square feet, although there are some exception with super light - super heavy.
You probably wouldn't want to wear a heavy pair in the summer as it is very stifling and hinders movement. Usually the heavier the denim the stronger it is, though there are always exceptions.

Stiffness

Stiffness of denim has a lot of variables, from the amount of starch there's on it to the weight of the denim and the type of materials weaved in. Usually the stiffer the jeans are, the easier it is to get fades. As you wear the denim more and more, it will lose it's stiffness.

Colour

The colour on the outside of the jeans really depend on the type of dye used on the cotton. There are many different ways of dyeing from the more conventional way of rope dyeing or loop dyeing to less conventional ways like slash dyeing. Each has it's unique ways to get the colour onto the individual threads. Different types of dye fade at different rates and some companies mix warp threads of different threads for unique fading.

Weave

The weave of the denim is how each of the warp and weft yarns are put together. There are currently 3 types of weave invented by 3 of the different big 3 companies. Levi's 1st created jeans using the right hand/twill weave process in the 1800's, while Lee came latter with the apparently softer, left hand/twill weave in the early 1900's. A while later in 1964, Wrangler invented the process of "broken twill" which basically prevented jeans from twisting left or right with the torque from the weaves.

Slub
rosarkar wrote:
Nov 28th, 2012 3:25 am
Slub is irregularities in the denim. When you bought your raws, they were probably very smooth and uniform. Those have very little, if any, slub. Now compare it to the picture below. Much grittier and rougher texture caused by a loose weave. Slub doesn't really do special to the denim, it's just neat to touch. With wear regular denim fades uniformly but slubby denim fades at the highest points first gradually opening up to the lowest points which results in a nicer patina.
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Cruel_Angel wrote:
Nov 28th, 2012 10:22 am
Slubs are not only created with a loose weave but also the size of yarn. The yarns used to make slub denim are irregular in size and shape. Some portions are fat, some are skinny. Think the kinda yarn your grandma used to use when she knit. Also, when making slub denim, they use different sizes of yarn. Some are skinnier, and some are fatter. It's a combination of the different size yarns, the irregular shape of the yarn, and the low tension that will make an amazing slub denim. This is also probably why slub denim is some of the priciest.
Cotton Type

http://www.rawrdenim.com/2012/09/raw-de ... ton-types/
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Different Types of Fading

Short list
Photos courtesy of Rawr Denim, ThaChingster & Sybaritical from SuperFuture.
ThaChingster wrote:
Feb 2nd, 2012 9:43 pm
Types of fading:

Whiskers
The fading of the jeans near the waist-crotch area. Most of the time, these fades are elongated and go through the width of the leg. When looking from the front, these fades give the characteristics of whiskers from a cat, hence its name.

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Wallet fade
This one is self-explanatory. It is the fading on a pocket due to the wallet, or miscellaneous object pushing up the denim, and having abrasions on it. The wallet can be replaced with anything from a phone, bottle cap, brass knuckles, etc

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Honeycombs
The fading of the jeans behind the knee, where the leg bends to perform many activities. The name comes from the shape of the actual fading; the diamond shape of the fading looks like a bee’s honeycombs.

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Stacks
These are from the jeans’ fabric falling upon itself, or stacking due to the extra length of the jeans. Typically, raw denim jeans are much longer than normal distressed jeans due to the fact that they tend to shrink up to two inches after an initial wash. This extra length “stacks” and the ridges fade like any part of the denim. Faded stacks also look like honeycombs, because of the way the denim folds

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Courtesy of ThaChingster, make sure you thank him :)

Train Tracks
Typically the fading of the selvedge line pressing against your leg and the outside of the denim creating a ridge running down you jeans. Looks like a "track" along the outseam of the denim.

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Roping
One of the more obscure focuses in fading involves the twist of the overlapping denim in the hem of you jeans resulting in a fading that has the texture of a rope. Contrary to popular belief, roping is not caused by the effects of chain stitching but by the pulling of the fabric during the stitch. Many newer chain stitch machines do not create this effect.
Detailed explanation below.
masterofevil from SuperFuture wrote:As far as "roping" I am going to hurt some feelings but here it goes....

The Union Special 43200 G does not cause roping.

The reason a chain stitch hem on a 43200G is roped is two fold. The main reason is what is called feed differential; when the folder is put on the machine it affects the way that the material is metered through the machine. Many modern machines have walking feet, needle feed, or differential feed dogs to ensure that the top layers and bottom layers being sewn move through the machine at the same rate.

Like many chain-stitch machines the 43200G is a plain feed machine, which means it has a static presser foot and one set of feed dogs on the bottom. A hem consists of (mostly) three layers, when sewing the feed dogs move the bottom layer and the top layer is pushed under the presser foot, leaving the top layer essential uncontrolled. What this results in is a feeding inconsistency, the top and bottom do not move at the same rate, but since they are sewn together a pucker forms.

Without a folder this can be alleviated, but with a folder attached the top layer cannot move anywhere to flatten out the pucker, since it is wedged between the foot and the folder, which results in the roped hem. Technically this is considering a sewing defect, which is why new machines do not produce as noticeable a pucker on the hem, and why jeans made in large factories do not exhibit roped hems.

Essentially the 43200G went out of production in 1987 because of this and other issues. The 63900 Lock-stitch hemmer is much better suited for production and that is why it is the dominant hemming machine in production sewing. 43200G machines are now sought out because they when equipped with a folder create a roped hem which is reminiscent of pants from a bygone era.

Also to a slight degree natural fiber threads when they shrink will do so at a different rate than the denim which can also cause a slight skew, but it is minimal.
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Washing

There are different washing techniques when it come to your jeans.
They have different usages and all depends on how much indigo/colouring are you willing to lose with a wash.

Usually the recommended way is to flip the jeans inside out as you don't want abrasion on the indigo surface when washing. The more they rub against each other, the bigger the chance that they will create unwanted or uneven fades which were not part of the process of wearing.

To start find a soap which does not contain any bleach, or harsh enzymes. Natural soap is preferred (Vegetable soap etc.)

a) You can throw your jeans in the washing machine inside out. Some people recommend adding a bit of salt to your wash.
The purpose of adding salt to the wash with brightly colored or dark clothing is to make the dye less soluble. This may help keep the dye from bleeding a lot. However, salt is only potentially useful when washing clothing made from natural fabrics, such as denim and cotton, and has no effect when washing synthetic materials, such as Lycra or polyester. Most jeans are made of either natural fabrics or a combination of natural and synthetic materials.

While the water is filling the washing machine, you can add 1 tablespoon of salt to the machine for each brightly colored item in the wash load. Do this each time you wash the jeans, because salt doesn't permanently affect the colorfastness of dyes in jeans.
Add your detergent and run the machine on the gentlest cycle.

b) Another method is like the one in ThaChingster's video so I won't explain it.
c) Another way is to just let the jeans soak in the tub with detergent and having objects on top of the jeans. Agitate the denim for 10-15mins but don't rub it. Let it soak for 30 - 60 mins and then rinse the denim off with clean water. This way has the least indigo loss.

d) Ocean/sea wash you jeans by wearing them into the ocean/sea/lake etc and frolicking around in the sand. Some people roll around/rub sand on their jeans for increased effect. Unconventional but it's all up to you. Rinse off with fresh water afterwards and either take them off or wear them dry.

Note: Do not machine dry your denim. The preferable method is to lay you jeans flat in a dry ventilated area out of the sun.
Hang drying sometimes result in the jeans stretching so use only if you don't have enough space to dry flat.
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denim wrote:denim
denim
denim
denim
denim
denim
denim
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dude..... buy some jeans that fit... those creases are terrible, quit sagging your pants so much
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denim wrote:denim
denim
denim
denim
denim
denim
denim
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Firebolt wrote:
Jan 28th, 2012 11:55 am
What I don't seem to understand is, how you tell these jeans don't fit. Unless you know my true size waist or are some sort of weird stalker I highly doubt you would even know where I wear them. But just so you know, they are worn like a normal pair of pants would. I don't think I'm ******** enough to lowride in selvage. But then again, thanks for your opinion. I'll be sure to keep that in mind when I buy a pair of new jeans.

im talking about the bottum they look terrible who wears there jeans like that? get them hemmed bro
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denim wrote:denim
denim
denim
denim
denim
denim
denim
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Sick jeans are sick
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samberkun wrote:
Jan 28th, 2012 2:22 pm
im talking about the bottum they look terrible who wears there jeans like that? get them hemmed bro

its called stacking, mang.
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mikehole wrote:
Jan 28th, 2012 3:16 pm
its called stacking, mang.

Word mang!
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mikehole wrote:
Jan 28th, 2012 3:16 pm
its called stacking, mang.

i hope your not over the age of 18
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samberkun wrote:
Jan 28th, 2012 5:41 pm
i hope your not over the age of 18

indeed i am, STAR
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denim wrote:denim
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