Décor Dictionary: Selvedge

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Selvedge: or “selvage” (US English) is a narrow border or self-finished edge on either side of a woven fabric. This prevents the fabric from unravelling or fraying. The term is a corruption of “self-edge”. The selvedge often contains the manufacturer’s mark, designer name, and other relevant information like pattern repeat and colour scheme. Fabric near the selvage is frequently discarded as it may have a different weave pattern or thickness.

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3 thoughts on “Décor Dictionary: Selvedge

  1. The ‘selvedge’ also serves 2 additional purposes;

    It is often/can be used as a place to overlock the edge of the fabric to help prevent “grinning” in a fabric that is prone to “grinning” or seam slippage when 2 pieces of the fabric are joined together.

    Also, one often sees rows of small holes along the selvedge, these holes are made by the stenter hooks that are used to re-stretch the fabric back to it’s original shape after a form of treatment has been applied to the fabric such a piece dying or mercerizing.

    And some trivia for you: We often use the saying “On tender hooks”. The origin of the saying comes from the fabric industry and the correct saying is “On stenter hooks” 🙂

  2. When supplying fabric to have a design screen printed, a selvedge is required. This prevents the fabric curling in on the edges. If the fabric curls in or is not flat it can cause misprints as the screen and squeegee applicator will need a flat surface to run on.

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