Tuesday, October 20, 2009

{sewing tips} selvedge

Can you imagine that some people, those non crafty-types, don't know what selvedge is? Are you one of those people, we don't mind - cause we're going to let you join in on the selvedge love.

A woven fabric is made of warp and weft threads. Warp being the lengthways threads that make the basis of the fabric. The weft weaves back and forth from selvedge to selvedge. Textured fabrics are made by using different wefts or by weaving the weft thread across two instead of one warp thread.

this is an example of a twill fabric weave

The selvedge is the longitudinal edges of fabric that are formed when weaving at the turning point. Some selvedge edges have the designers name and printing details, some have nothing at all, while some have distinct markings or dots. The selvedge gives strength to the fabric, and is like the necessary crusty edge on a loaf of bread.
I love the variations of colourful dots or markings on some edges, and that some only have the simple holes and perhaps a single line of colour combined with the frayed edges of the weft threads.

I must admit that we're not at all original in our love of selvedge.
Selvedge Magazine offers a world of textile riches, through design, writing, shopping, fashion, fine arts, interiors and the most beautiful photography seen in a magazine. Open any issue and you find inspiration bounding out from the pages. The writing styles are excellent, and compelling, while the stories expose you to so many forms of art, design, photography in all aspects of textures. Their phrase is "the fabric of your life", and the magazine fits firmly into those words. Even their ads are interesting to look at.

You can view an free online magazine of a past issue here.
Selvedge magazine a selling their back issues at an amazing price (half price) if you buy the whole lot of them. A library of resources to last you a lifetime, they never date and will continue to inspire each time you look at them.

Now a little closer to home, we have the fabulous and terribly funny, and amazingly talented crafty Jodie from Ric Rac. I'm really sure most of you are well and truely aquainted with Jodie's collection of selvedge pieces, which include this now-famous dress,

a stool, cushions, a scarf, keyrings and many many more pieces.
Jodie put out the word for selvedges and was inundated with those little strips of fabric edges from all over the world. In fact she got so many that she had to keep making more things.
The sewing of selvedge strips makes a fabric all on its own, which is different each time you make it. And that's part of the fun. 

I love Jodie's sense of fun in everything that she makes, so I'm sure we'll be visiting her again very soon. In the meantime, pop over to see what happens with Small-Bot and the girl at the bus stop.

*all images used with thanks. Click on each image to be taken to source.


  1. Oh girls , I haven't made any selvedge pieces for so long I am beginning to feel like afraud !!!

  2. Everytime I see that dress I just drool. It is simply amazing.


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