What the FAQ — Why is selvage denim more expensive?

Why is selvage or (selvedge) denim more expensive?

We get this question a lot, why is selvage denim more expensive than normal dry denim or "regular" denim?

Allow Anna from our Customer Care team to break down some of the reasons in the video above as to why you might be investing in a new pair of selvage denim in the not-too-distant future.

The simple answer is that selvage denim requires craftsmanship. The production process itself is signified by its slower production speed, and lower output. 

Selvage denim, at least the ones we use, relies on vintage weaving looms that date back at least 70 years. Thus, looms are scarce, and spare parts are so rare that they often need to be salvaged from other looms. This makes the actual operation complex, and maintenance requires knowledge that is not necessarily possessed by your average loom technician. The actual production speed is also far slower than that of modern looms. Fabric width is about half of that from a modern loom, and output speed is around a fifth. So, roughly selvage output is somewhere around 10% compared to that of a modern loom. Another factor is where it is produced, we mainly use selvage denim from Japan. In Japan, denim is a craftsmanship to the fullest extent and this reflects on the price. While all of this adds to the final price of a selvage garment, there is more to selvage than just the price. So, if you got five minutes, we’ll explain why we consider selvage to be the best there is. Because that has very little to do with its price. Let’s start with the basics, what is selvage denim?

Why selvage is worth it. 

Beyond the price hike due to using vintage shuttle looms, what's often overlooked are the makers and workers behind the fabric. Those who treasure knowledge from the old days, possess the patience and craftsmanship to create with tools less speedy and reliable than modern ones. Those who stand against fast fashion and mass consumption. To us, these individuals create the world's best denim. - Yes, the golden age of selvage denim is now. From our experience and firm belief, it's the superior aesthetic properties of selvage denim that matter most – how the denim looks and feels. The variations caused by a vintage shuttle loom's imperfections. The deliberate interplay between warp and weft yarns. The dyeing technique chosen for the indigo yarns. The time and effort making all the difference as the denim ages into perfection. Using selvage denim is our tribute to the artisans preserving craftsmanship. Honoring those who inspire us and offering you the world's best denim. Selvage denim that will age into tomorrow’s vintage. And remember — wear, repair, repeat. You decide how far they go. Explore the selvage selection!

About the series:

What the FAQ is dedicated to answering some of the most frequently asked questions we receive here at Nudie Jeans. Whether it concerns our sustainability work, product info, or general denim advice, our experts and colleagues stand ready to enlighten the Nudie Jeans community.

See more episodes on the Nudie Jeans YouTube channel.

Re-use Kaihara Selvage
The Nudie Jeans Guide to Selvage Denim

To claim that we love selvage denim would be quite an understatement. Calling it love wouldn't be fair because it's too important for us to call it just that.


Revived from the past, these jeans are crafted from deadstock fabrics. Each pair is a patchwork of history, reinvented to create a modern fit with a vintage soul.