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Why is selvedge denim more expensive?

Selvedge denim jeans are likely to be more expensive than non-selvedge styles in a brands collection for two reasons. First, selvedge denim is narrower; ranging roughly between 28” to 34,”as compared to non-selvedge which can be around 57” to 64” wide. This means a pair of selvedge jeans could use about twice as many yards of fabric as compared to non-selvedge jeans cut from wider fabric. The second factor is the price of the fabric. Selvedge, which is usually made on vintage looms, usually cost a few dollars more per yard (depending on the supplier), than modern, wider non-selvedge denim.


The below photo shows a roll of selvedge denim on the left. Wider, non-selvedge roll of raw denim on the right.

Roll of selvedge denim and non-selvedge standard raw denim



The images below are jeans markers. The patterns are spread to maximize minimum fabric waste on selvedge (shown in top image) and non-selvedge (shown in the bottom image).  Two pair of jeans cut on the narrower selvedge denim would require nearly 6 yards of fabric, while two sizes cut on wider non-selvedge would use about 2 1/2 yards.

Jeans pattern marker for selvedge denim


Jeans pattern marker for non-selvedge denim