- Selvage (us english) or selvedge (british english) is the term for the self-finished edges of fabric. the selvages keep the fabric from unravelling or fraying. the selvages are a result of how the fabric is created. in woven fabric, selvages are the edges that run parallel to the warp (the longitudinal threads that run the entire lenght of the fabric) and are created by the weft thread looping back at the end of each row. in knitted fabrics, selvages are the unfinished yet structurally sound edges that were neither cast nor bound off.
- Before the 1950s, most fabrics (including denim) were made on shuttle looms. shuttle looms produce tightly woven strips (typically one yard wide) of heavy fabric. the edges on these strips of fabric come finished with tightly woven bands running down each side that prevent fraying, ravelling or curling. because the edges come out the loom finished, denim produced on shuttle looms are referred to as having a “self-edge”, hence the name “selvedge” denim.
- During the 1950s, the demand for denim jeans increased dramatically. to reduce costs, denim companies began using denim created on projectile looms. projectile looms can create wider swaths of fabric and much more fabric overall at a much cheaper price than shuttle looms. however, the edge of the denim that comes out of a projectile loom isn’t finished, leaving the denim susceptible to fraying and unravelling.
- Japanese denim used for making sbu, Strategic Business Unit blue, black and coloured jeans is often made on old shuttle looms. those looms are vintage toyoda looms and not american draper looms imported to japan, as it is thought in popular myth. in fact, when the toyoda model g was introduce in the 1920s it was a major advance for fabric weaving machinery, creating such loyalty that looms descended from the 1924 models are still used today by japanese mills. vintage toyoda looms make fabric in very limited quantities and the weaving process is much slower than on modern machines. shuttle looms produces selvedge denim as the weft (horizontal thread) is weaved back and forth continuously in a loop, the full length of the machine. when the weft reaches the edge of the machine, it loops back in and starts the process all over again, creating a closed selvedge edge. in contrast, modern projectile loom produces open edges that need to be stitched together, as the weft is weaved only in one way and not in a loop.
- SBU “limited” selvage jeans line is presented in combination with SBU very “special” section of denim products. both the lines are made of premium cotton japanese denim, dyed using pure indigo, and features single needed stitching and chain stitching. deliberate scratching, calculated localized breakage and intentional abrasions are all executed by hand. a large variety of selvedge jeans are presented.
- Strategic Business Unit selvedge denim is dyed with pure indigo from the indigofera tinctoria plant and the jeans are very hard to fade since the dye pigment penetrates the cotton.
- SBU “special” is presented with a signature white stripe, named “akamini”, while red, golden, green, blue and yellow colours are used for our “limited” edition productions.
- Each item carries the hand printed SBU white logo. Strategic Business Unit jeans are entirely made in italy. all fabrics used for the production of SBU jeans are made in japan using the complex traditional techniques of japanese textile history. organic tint process, enzymatic and biological washes are central for SBU aesthetic and philosophy.
- Strategic Business Unit black denim jeans are dyed with indelible natural inks, a time-honoured japanese method of fabric production. “sumi” ink, literally ash or soot, is a carbon based permanent black ink. water is placed into the well of the ‘suzuri’ stone and the carbon ink stick is rubbed against the stone. water is added to create various shades of black ink. blue /black special edition jeans included in this selection is obtained by mixing black ink and indigo dyed threads alternatively.
- Strategic Business Unit special edition jeans are also realized using a ‘mud’ dyed fabric from an island located in kyusyu prefecture.
- The cloth is dyed many tens of times With the juice of a member of the rose family obtained by boiling the trunk and roots in a pot for 14 hours.
- The tannin in this juice turns the thread a rust colour. then the dyed threads are impregnated with mud. the iron in the mud causes a chemical reaction with the tannic acid making the tread soft at the same time as producing the characteristic brown colour.
- Each SBU pair of jeans has its own characteristic and details.
- At strategic business Unit japanese culture’s obsession for perfection is combined with made in italy sartorial tradition, training, craft and skill among with our enthusiasm and passion for making jeans.
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