The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Denim for Your Custom Jeans
The process of making your first pair of custom jeans can be daunting - Selvedge? Microstretch? Japanese Denim? Italian Denim? What do these words even mean?
To save you having a headache while making your custom jeans, here’s a guide to what to look out for:
Also known as “self-edge” denim, the selvedge is the tightly woven edge on both sides of a piece of denim fabric. This is what prevents the edge of the denim from unravelling itself, leaving it with a classic, clean finish. Made on the traditional shuttle loom that produces the signature distinct white edge on the inseam of the jeans, selvedge denim is sought after for its durability and quality of the fabric.
Due to its higher fabric quality, selvedge denim tends to be a little more expensive but for all the right reasons. Mills that produce selvedge denim make sure that care and precision are put into producing the denim - everything from the dyeing technique to the quality of the yarn is taken into consideration. Not only do you get a tighter and denser weave compared to non-selvedge denim, selvedge denim has variations from the inconsistencies in the weaving process, making your pair of jeans unique.
When you decide to go with selvedge denim, don’t be afraid to cuff the edge of your jeans and show off those signature inseams!
True to its name, microstretch denim is generally more stretchable than traditional rigid denim. Microstretch denim has a blend of a small amount of elastane, typically consisting about one to three percent.
Jeans made of microstretch denim may look like normal jeans, but they have a lot more flexibility, allowing the jeans to move with your body. If you are looking for a material that fits the shape and curves of your body, microstretch denim is the way to go.
Introduced to Japan after World War II due to a spiked interest in American pop culture and fashion, denim does not really have much of a long history in Japan as compared to the United States (where denim was first produced and used in jeans). Amazingly, jeans produced in Japan today possess qualities that make them unique compared to those made in the United States.
Embracing the shuttle loom denim-weaving technique that the Americans abandoned, Japan has produced some distinguished denim products since the late 1970s. Reviving the art of vintage denim production, Japan reintroduced high-quality denim products back into the market with finesse.
In essence, Japan has moved from follower to leader in the world of denim fashion. As one of the top producers of selvedge denim worldwide, Japanese mills pour attention and care into creating denim that is unique to its aesthetic.
Beginning in Genoa, Italy, cotton corduroy fabric was first used as sailcloth. Over time, it was dyed blue with indigo and used as work pants due to its durability to withstand hard work - pants we now know as jeans.
Contrary to popular belief, blue jeans did not originate from the United States, but from Genoa, Italy. The indigo-dyed fabric was exported from the ports of Italy with the French name "Bleu de Gênes" which translates into “blue jeans” in English.
As the fashion capital of the world with over 400 years in cotton corduroy-producing history, Italy still manufactures top-quality denim that is used worldwide today. If you decide to go with Italian denim as your jeans material, you will be sure of a high-quality product that will last you for quite a while.
With all this information, you are now one step closer to having your first pair of custom made jeans! Your tailor will take your preferences into consideration to craft a pair of jeans that fit you like a second skin. Now, go forth and flaunt those custom jeans!