Selvage 101

Birth of a Raw Denim

The fabric was first produced in a French town called "de Nîmes", hence the name. It was soon called "serge de Nîmes"  as serge (french), means sturdy but later it was cropped and was finally called "denim."
The exact moment in history when denim first emerged is still not known, however the time frame is probably between the late 1800's and 1900's. During this time most of the wearers were actually factory workers, miners and the likes. What is interesting is that at that time nearly all denim was selvage denim.
Around the 1950s, WWII had ended and the dominant sect was the youth. As a result, Denim became very popular. This led to a movement, American mills gave up their slower shuttle looms and switched to faster, industrial machines to keep up with the mass demand.