Raw & Selvedge Denim Thread
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Top: Lock Stitch
Bottom: Chain Stitch
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
rosarkar wrote: ↑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.
Cotton TypeCruel_Angel wrote: ↑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.
http://www.rawrdenim.com/2012/09/raw-de ... ton-types/