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What Is Selvage (i.e. Selvedge) Denim?

People always ask us what the big deal is with selvage...why it’s considered the best type of denim in ze world, why it’s more expensive...blah blah blah.  To squash the mystery we thought we’d give you the Spark Notes (remember Spark Notes?!) on why selvage is the Miles Davis of denim.

Selvage (aka selvedge) is made the old-fashioned way, using weaving techniques and machinery prominent 100+ years ago.  For various reasons you don’t need to know, the antique production process causes selvage to be denser and more durable.  This has two main effects: (1) Selvage has an unparalleled ability to mold to your body, becoming like a second layer of skin as you break it in; and (2) Selvage lasts way longer (conversely, non-selvage tends to warp with time and have a shelf life of a couple years).

The other cool part about selvage is that it has a thin white strip with red stitching that runs down the inside seam of the jeans, known as the "ticker line", that just looks cool.  This is why most selvage snobs cuff their pant legs, to show off the ticker.

USA Cone selvage cuff with ticker line
Mugsy selvage - notice the ticker line!

That’s all unicorns and butterflies, but it’s important to note a few other things when it comes to selvage:  First, selvage can be bitch to break in.  Like your Ex, selvage is very dense, so it can be unforgiving at first, if not downright painful.

Second, there are many other factors that go into making high quality denim, so just because it's selvage doesn't mean it's automatically better.  Instead, what’s more determinative in the quality of the denim is the quality of the weaving process and materials.

Third, selvage is just a type of denim, and for that reason, it may or may not be your jive.  For instance, you may prefer lighter, stretchier denim that breaks in easier or is less rigid.

Main point is - Just because a jean is selvage doesn’t make it superior.  Like filet mignon vs. ribe-eye at a steakhouse, both can be great quality, they're just different.  That being said, everyone should try selvage at some point in their life.  So now that you’re enlightened, go get yourself a pair!  Once you do, you’ll finally be able to look down your nose at all the commoners as they walk by in their non-selvage jeans...ignorant fools. 

Check out Mugsy Jeans yourself:

Mugsy Jeans Slim Fit Jeans For Men Shop

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