Frequently Asked Questions

Selvage Denim

What is selvage denim and how is it made?

The term selvage comes from “self-edge” which is characteristic of selvage denim. Selvage denim is made of a continuous filling yarn inserted across the warp yarns. The yarn is not cut like traditional denim at the end of the warp yarn, rather carried back across the warp yarn in the opposite direction creating a finished edge on either side. This placement of the selvage seam; isn’t just aesthetically pleasing, but practical as well as it saves extra passes on the overlock machine and ensures the jeans will not fray at the outseam.

How does selvage denim differ from other denim?

Selvage and selvedge mean exactly the same thing. It comes from the phrase “self-edge” which refers to the edge being finished by the loom instead of sewn together after weaving.

How is the White Oak selvage differ from other selvage denim?

White Oak selvage denim is woven on vintage American Draper X3 model looms circa 1940. The slower production rate and lack of modern microprocessor controls on these antique looms, combined with the rocking motion of the original wooden floors the looms sit on, weave’s a unique character into the fabric which cannot be replicated on a modern loom.

How does selvage denim differ from wide denim?

Selvage fabrics reflect production from a time when leg twist in twill weaves could not be controlled. Some degree of leg twist is normal with these fabrics, and is indicative of the true vintage nature of these products.  

White Oak vintage fabrics have their own unique grading requirements. The special nature of this fabric and the grading method used should be considered when establishing the expectations for garments produced from White Oak vintage denims. Characteristic flaws that could be inherent with selvage denim include the following: filling waste, jerked in filling, beamer’s knot, broken pick, etc.

Raw vs. Sanforized vs Un-Sanforized Denim

What is raw denim?

Raw denim is generally defined as denim that has not been through any washing processes. We label this form of our denim swatches as “Rigid."

What is the difference between sanfronized and un-sanfronized denim?

Sanforization is the mechanical process or chemical treatment that prevents excessive shrinkage after the denim is washed. Unsanforized denim has not been through this process and can be expected to shrink up to 10% in its first wash.

What is the denim that White Oak sells?

All of the denim we sell is sanforized.

Making Jeans

How many yards of denim do I need to make a pair of jeans?

As a general rule of thumb you should expect to use approximately 3 yds of selvage fabric in order to make a pair of the average adult men’s 5 pocket jeans (depending on your pattern).

Washed Denim

Does White Oak sell washed denim?

We only sell denim in the rigid form (unwashed). 

Still have questions?

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