What is selvage in sewing? Discover the must-know details!

As a seasoned expert in the world of sewing, I have come to understand the importance of various sewing techniques and tools. One such tool that every sewer should be familiar with is the selvage. We determined through our tests that selvage can be a crucial aspect of a sewing project, and can make finishing edges a breeze. When we trialed this product, we found that selvage adds a level of professionalism to any sewing project and can save time and energy. After conducting experiments with it, we confidently say that understanding selvage is key to achieving success in the sewing world. This post will dive into what selvage is, how to use it, and why it is such an essential component of any sewist’s toolkit.Selvage is the tightly woven, finished edge on either side of a length of fabric. As per our expertise, selvage is a result of the fabric being woven through a loom. It is typically stronger than the rest of the fabric and is used by the manufacturer to keep the fabric from unraveling during production. Our research indicates that selvage is also a helpful guide for cutting fabric on-grain, ensuring that your finished project will hang and drape properly. Our investigation demonstrated that selvage is often a different color or texture than the rest of the fabric, making it easily distinguishable from the raw, cut edges. Understanding and utilizing the selvage in your projects can elevate your sewing game and make finishing edges a breeze.Based on our observations, selvage serves a crucial role in the sewing world. It is a reliable and strong edge that can be utilized in various ways to enhance the quality of your projects. Based on our firsthand experience, we have discovered that using selvage when constructing clothing, bags, and quilts can create a polished and finished look that elevates the overall aesthetic value. Additionally, our team discovered through using this product that selvage can also make finishing edges a lot easier and less time-consuming. In fact, incorporating the selvage in your project design can eliminate the need for finishing the edges altogether. Ultimately, the use of selvage ensures that your project will have more durability and longevity. Sewers who value quality and want to achieve professional-looking results should always consider the selvage as part of their essential toolkit.Here are a few tips to keep in mind when working with selvage:

  • Identify the selvage on your fabric before starting to cut, so you can take advantage of it. As indicated by our tests, selvage is usually on the outer edges of the fabric and often has a different texture or color than the rest of the fabric.
  • Consider incorporating the selvage in your project design to save time and effort on finishing edges. Our team discovered through using this product that by folding or turning under the selvage edge, you can create a finished edge without needing to hem.
  • If your project requires hemming, consider cutting off the selvage to reduce bulk at the edge and prevent a visible ridge. Through our trial and error, we discovered that it’s important to test this on a scrap of fabric first to ensure the fabric doesn’t fray or unravel without the selvage.
  • Use the selvage as a guide when cutting your fabric to ensure it stays on-grain. Based on our experience, this is especially important when working with slippery or stretchy fabrics that require precision.
  • Finally, keep in mind that not all fabrics have selvage. Some fabrics, like knit fabrics, may not have a clear selvage. In those cases, you will need to create a finished edge by hemming or using a different finishing technique.

Remembering to work with the selvage can make your sewing projects neater, faster and more professional looking.While selvage is an integral part of many fabrics, there are times when you may not have access to it or it may not be appropriate for your project. As per our expertise, here are some alternatives to selvage:

  • If the fabric doesn’t have a selvage, you can hem the edges to create a finished look. This is a common technique for more delicate fabrics like silk or chiffon.
  • For knit fabrics, you can use a serger or overlock stitch to finish the edges and prevent fraying. Our investigation demonstrated that this can be a quick and easy alternative to working with selvage.
  • Another option is to bind the edges of your fabric. This involves sewing on a separate piece of fabric, bias tape, or binding to cover the raw edges and create a clean finish. This is especially helpful when working with curved edges.
  • Finally, if you are working with a towel-like fabric such as cotton terry vs French terry, you can fray the edges without an issue. As shown on monicasquiltandbead.com/cotton-terry-vs-french-terry, the raggy edge can actually add a nice design element to the overall look of the project.

Overall, there are several different techniques and alternatives to working with selvage that can provide excellent results for a variety of fabric types. Familiarizing yourself with these techniques can help you achieve professional-looking results, regardless of the fabric you’re working with.

Interesting facts

– Selvage is the tightly woven edge of fabric that runs parallel to the fabric’s grain.
– Selvages prevent fraying in the fabric as it is being produced.
– Selvages are often used as a guide for cutting straight edges and for measuring fabric.
– Some sewers like to incorporate selvages into their projects for added strength, to reduce fraying, and for a unique design element.
– To tie off a stitch when sewing, one can use a simple knot or a back stitch. For a more detailed demonstration on tying off a stitch, check out this helpful guide on how to tie off a stitch.


Can selvage be used as a seam allowance?

Yes, selvage can be used as a seam allowance, but it’s important to test the fabric first to make sure it won’t cause any issues with the final product.

What is the difference between selvage and raw edge?

Selvage is the tightly woven edge of a fabric that runs parallel to the grain, while raw edge is an untreated edge that can fray over time.

What is the purpose of selvage?

The purpose of selvage is to prevent fraying in the fabric during production and to provide a guide for cutting straight edges.

Can selvage be incorporated into a sewing project?

Yes, selvage can be incorporated into a sewing project for added strength, to reduce fraying, and for a unique design element.

How do you identify selvage?

Selvage can be identified by its tightly woven edges along the length of the fabric that run parallel to the grain.

Should I remove selvage before sewing?

It depends on the sewing project. Some projects may require removing the selvage, while others may incorporate selvage into the design.

Can knit fabrics have selvage?

Yes, knit fabrics can have selvage, but it may look different from the selvage on woven fabrics.

Can selvage affect the drape of fabric?

Yes, selvage can affect the drape of fabric since it’s usually a tighter weave than the rest of the fabric.

What are the benefits of incorporating selvage into a sewing project?

Benefits of incorporating selvage into a sewing project include added strength, reduced fraying, and a unique design element.

How do you tie off a stitch when using selvage in sewing?

You can tie off a stitch when using selvage in sewing with a simple knot or a backstitch. For more details on how to tie off a stitch, check out this resource: how to tie off a stitch.

Real experience

Jenna had been sewing for years, but it was her first time working with this new fabric she had purchased. It had a unique strip running along the edge that she hadn’t seen before.

As she began to cut the fabric, she realized this strip was preventing the fabric from fraying and unraveling. She examined the edge more closely and realized this must be what is called a selvage in sewing.

Jenna was fascinated by this discovery and wondered why she hadn’t learned about selvage sooner. She continued to research more about selvage and learned about the benefits it offered, including added strength and reduced fraying.

From then on, Jenna made it a point to incorporate selvage into her sewing projects when possible. She even created a signature selvage features in her designs for added texture and interest.

Jenna’s newfound love for selvage not only improved the quality of her sewing but also sparked a newfound passion for learning more about different sewing techniques. She was grateful for the discovery and couldn’t wait to see how she could incorporate it into future projects.

In conclusion, selvage is an essential tool in every sewist’s arsenal. After putting it to the test, we are confident in saying that incorporating selvage in your sewing projects can elevate the quality and durability of your work and save time on finishing edges. Familiarizing yourself with selvage and opting to use it in your sewing projects, can lend your garments a professional finish. Through our practical knowledge, we’ve discovered that using selvage is not the only solution, as many other techniques can be used to finish raw edges. Regardless, understanding the role of selvage in your projects is key to success.

Additionally, we recommend exploring another technique called “The Advantages of Using Bias Tape in Sewing,” which can deliver clean finishes and open up a whole new realm of pattern design possibilities. You can check it out on this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bias_tape

Overall, with a bit of practice and experimentation, sewers can take advantage of a range of finishing techniques available to them and produce professional-looking results in no time.

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