If you’re not a denim nerd, the selvedge sounds more like a buzzword than a must. Since we are bombarded with different fits, washes, brands and fabrics every day, the selvedge can easily get lost in the ever larger jeans section of men’s Timberland fashion. But this shouldn’t be the case.

Selvedge denim is defined by the respective construction. Shuttle looms, largely eliminated by cheaper, modern alternatives, are used to make strips of fabric with tightly woven bands on each side to prevent the fabric from fraying. The name “Self Edge” or “Selvedge” is referred from this.

This should not be confused with “raw denim”, a term reserved for fabrics that have not been pre-washed. Not that raw and selvedge jeans are mutually exclusive – many selvedge jeans are not pre-washed, so they can also be considered raw jeans.

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And that has been the case for decades. In the 1950s, most jeans in America were made from selvedge denim. As jeans became more of a fashion trend than simple workwear, the design was changed to meet the mass market (and subsequently compromise quality). Selvedge returned when the term heritage came back in the spotlight, thanks to a greater desire to improve the price-performance ratio. After all, cheaper jeans sit easily on your pocket, but usually have to be replaced every year.

Despite the superior craftsmanship, there are still a few things to consider and avoid. Robyn Ferris, a jeans buyer at Mr Porter, said to be sure to check the hem of the denim as it is an important part of the look if you want to invest in a higher quality product.

“Good selvedge denim should be chain sewn to avoid threading. Also pay attention to hems in red, white or orange, as this creates a splash of color when the hems are tied up”.

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With a superior product, you can also pay more. Of course, selvedge denim is a little more expensive. But, as we all know, quality is worth the money because maintenance is very limited and it lasts much longer. Just make sure that you only wash when absolutely necessary and wash your legs inside out to avoid fading.