Selvedge Run is a new trade show for menswear, shoes and accessories. A home for brands with character. Craft is the core of our show. Our name is taken from the technical term for the narrow, tightly woven, self-finished edges most commonly associated with high-quality denim. Our way of making this philosophy palpable is to choose the exhibiting brands according to a few simple standards we‘ve set for ourselves to be important. While one brand might not be able to meet all the listed criteria at once, it will however relate to at least one or more of the points listed below.
Take some time to discover what Selvedge is, both physically and metaphorically.
The Selvedge Run is a home for brands with craft at the heart of what they produce. But why choose the term Selvedge? We will take a moment to delve into what exactly selvedge is and why it is the perfect term to sum up our show.
What is Selvedge, exactly?.
Selvedge (also spelled selvage in the US) is the technical term for the narrow, tightly woven self-finished edges most commonly associated with high quality denim but also found in other fabrics woven with the same technique.
On old-fashioned shuttle looms, the selvedge, or self-edge is created by shooting a shuttle loaded with the weft thread, back and forth during weaving without cutting the thread. This creates a tightly woven and durable edge that, without additional processing, may be included in the finished product.
Low and Slow
These Selvedge fabrics are woven on 28-30-inch shuttle looms, a width considered narrow by todays weaving technology standards. Throughout the 70s and 80s these looms were replaced by more “efficient”, wider 58-60-inch projectile looms. These modern looms cut the weft (the horizontal thread) at each end. This creates frayed ends that are cut before the fabric is sewn into a pair of jeans. The modern weaving process generally results in a far lower quality of denim.
The beginning of the end
The times when these new projectile looms came into play coincided with a decline in the quality of denim, the deterioration of the manufacturing quality jeans themselves and the introduction of environmentally harmful industrialized washing processes. It was the beginning of jeans as a fast fashion item. Denim had lost its heart and soul.
But there is hope!
When the interest in heritage and American vintage gained momentum, people looked for quality in denim and they looked to the past. Where had that iconic red line selvedge of the Levi 501 gone and why didn’t they shrink to fit anymore? Raw, Selvedge denim was rediscovered, this time not as an answer to rugged workwear but as an answer to the search for quality garments.
The idea of wearing one pair of jeans or maybe one pair of boots was something totally against the fast fashion attitude that had seen selvedge fall out of popularity.
And we celebrate that hope
As a show, the Selvedge Run celebrates garments and products that are made in the best way possible and created to endure. This normally means making them in traditional, slow methods of manufacture. Items made with this in mind endure and grow alongside the owner. It is the anti-fast-fashion way of doing things.
Selvedge denim may not be the most efficient way of weaving denim and getting as many pairs of sub-standard jeans out the door as fast as possible, but it is the best way denim can be manufactured.
The perfect metaphor
So selvedge acts as the perfect metaphor for what we want to accomplish as a show. The Selvedge Run will celebrate, showcase and highlight brands, makers and artisans who do things in the best way possible. This may be hand stitching leather goods, crafting a pair of jeans on a single needle, vintage sewing machine or seeking out organic cotton and sustainably sourced materials. It can include cutting edge synthetic fabrics and hardware with the intention of making new and innovative garments perfectly suited to their intended purpose.
The brands showing and invited are the embodiment of what we as a show represent. Brands with craft, brands with a narrative, ethics, brands with longevity designed into their wares and brands that are the antithesis of the fast fashion culture.