How to Wash Selvedge Denim

Written by nick davis
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How to Wash Selvedge Denim
You can wash selvedge denim in your home washing machine. (stoffa image by Eagle from

Selvedge denim is a type of fabric woven on shuttle looms rather than projectile looms, which are the modern looms on which denim is made in the 21st century. Selvedge denim's cross thread is one continuous piece that goes back and forth to form the jean rather than individual threads for each cross weave. This procedure results in the denim having a clean edge rather than frayed pieces of threads around the edges. Washing selvedge denim is a different process than that for regular denim.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Sink stopper
  • Sink or laundry tub
  • Cold water
  • Clothesline, drying rack or flat surface
  • Washing machine
  • Colour-safe detergent

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  1. 1

    Place the selvedge denim in your home washing machine. Set the machine on a "delicate" cycle and the water temperature to "cold."

  2. 2

    Add 1/3 cup of colour-safe detergent to the water if the denim contains dirt and debris. Using too much detergent can fade the denim's colour.

  3. 3

    Remove the denim from the washing machine when the cycle is complete. Hang the denim on a clothesline or drying rack, or place the denim on a flat surface in a well-ventilated area. Do not use your clothes dryer --- the heat can change the denim's colour.

Tips and warnings

  • After the denim is dry, you will notice shrinkage in both the waist size and leg length by 1 inch and 3 inches, respectively.
  • You also can wash selvedge denim by hand in your kitchen sink or a laundry tub.
  • Do not wash your selvedge denim in hot water --- this will fade the denim's colour and shrink the fabric immediately.

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