Everything You Need to Know About Selvedge and Raw Denim

If you love jeans, you may have come across terms such as selvedge and raw denim. And if you’ve not, now you are in the know. But what do these terms mean, and why are they important for your jeans choices? 

These terms refer to two different aspects of denim production that affect your jeans’ quality, durability, and appearance. 

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the differences between selvedge and raw denim, why you should consider buying them, and more just to help you make better jeans choices.

What is Selvedge Denim?

For starters, it’s a denim fabric with a finished edge on the outseam (the seam that runs along the outer side of your leg).

The term selvedge is derived from the word “self-edge”, which refers to the finished edge of the denim fabric produced by old-style shuttle looms. 

These looms create narrow rolls of denim, typically one yard wide, with tightly woven, self-finished edges. 

The self-finished edges prevent the fabric from fraying or unravelling, resulting in a longer lifespan than denim produced through faster mass-production methods (modern projectile looms).

So, how can you differentiate other denim types from selvedge? More on this in the next section.

Related Article: Men's Jeans: Different Types of Jeans and Fit Types

How Can You Tell If Your Jeans Are Selvedge?

You can always tell by the cuff of your jeans. Do you see a narrow band of tightly woven fabric with a red or orange coloured thread running through the cuffs of your jeans? If you do, then that’s selvedge denim.

The red or orange coloured thread that’s visible along the self-finished edge is known as the selvedge ID. It’s what sets apart different brands and mills of denim from one another. 

So, are you the type to cuff your jeans, or do you prefer not to cuff them? 

Check these selvedge jeans out:


Cuffed- Heritage Blue Soft Light Selvedge Jeans



Uncuffed- Gentle Green Stretch Heavy Selvedge Jeans

Benefits of Selvedge Denim

At this point, it’s clear that selvedge denim has several advantages. Besides it being resistant to unravelling and fraying, its refined look owing to its uniform finish is also another plus.

Additionally, don’t we all just love unique jeans with character? Unlike typical jeans made with modern projectile looms, selvedge denim is meticulously crafted, making each pair a testament to the fabric’s heritage and craftsmanship.

Finally, nothing is better than jeans that can age gracefully into a more vintage-like appearance. Thus, if you don’t have a pair, or two, or three of selvedge jeans, you’re missing out on the best of both worlds- in reference to the jeans’ new and vintage era.

Well, now that we clearly understand selvedge denim and what makes it unique, learning about raw denim will provide even greater clarity on the unique aspects of such high-quality denim. So, let’s get right into it.

Related Article: Selvedge Denim - Your Forever Pair of Jeans

What is Raw Denim?

It’s a type of denim fabric whose integrity hasn’t been compromised. Raw denim is unwashed and untreated after being dyed with indigo. And thus, it’s alternatively known as unwashed denim. So what’s so special about raw denim? 

First, it’s dark and can fade better, unlike washed denim. Second, the fabric’s texture is very stiff. All these make raw denim a favourite when creating and customising fades.

How Can You Tell If Your Jeans Are Raw?

Identifying raw denim is simple- you can feel the difference. Raw denim typically feels stiff and rigid when new, owing to the presence of starch and dye residue. Furthermore, raw denim boasts a deep, consistent indigo colour throughout the fabric that sheds off when washed.

Check out these lovely jeans made from raw denim (usually sourced from high-quality cotton):

Vintage Terracotta Light Weight Jeans

Rustic Indigo Light Weight Jeans

Benefits of Raw Denim

They can be worn for slightly longer periods than usual without washing. And after frequent wash and wear, the indigo dye fades off, leaving room for you to revamp it with fades and whiskers. Whiskers are those long, stretched horizontal crease patterns often found around the waist and crotch area.

Raw denim offers more than just a rich colour- it can also conform to your body over time, resulting in a more flattering fit.

Moreover, raw denim is a sustainable choice due to its lack of chemical and mechanical processing, which requires less water and energy during production.

How to Care for Raw and Selvedge Denim

The longevity of selvedge and raw denim is determined by how well they are maintained, with your washing routine playing a crucial role in their ageing process. 

As such, following proper wash care techniques is essential, and we have some tips that can help you do so. Wash care tips for selvedge and raw denim:

Wash them sparingly for shape, texture and colour preservation.

Wash them by hand while inside out.

Avoid bleaching and ironing.

Avoid tumble drying- always air dry your denim.

At Korra, we always include detailed wash care instructions and fabric information on every clothing label we produce. But it doesn’t end there, as every Korra’s raw and selvedge denim jeans have wash care instructions available just next to the materials and description mini-tab on our website.

Best Jeans Brand for Men

Undoubtedly, investing in high-quality denim jeans is a decision you won’t regret. Selvedge and raw denim are two unique options with much in common, including durability and an aesthetic look. 

If you are looking for a reliable brand with customisable jeans made from both denim fabrics, consider our brand Korra, which also has customisable chinos and shorts. You can tailor your jeans according to your preferred:

Silhouette- straight, taper, boot cut

Rise- low, mid, and high

Low Rise

Mid Rise

High Rise

Waistband- regular, elasticated

Fly of jeans- zip, button-fly

Fit- slim, relaxed

Slim Fit

Relaxed Fit

And if you need shirts that pair well with your jeans, Bombay Shirt Company has got you covered on that front, too. All our clothing items come with comprehensive wash care instructions to help you maintain their quality.

Don’t settle for less than the best- contact us today to upgrade your denim game with Korra.