Tuesday, September 29, 2015

What is a Selvage

Hi there! Today we thrilled to have the very talented Chris of "made by ChrissieD" stopping by to share all about about selvages! We came across Chris from our Friday Linky Party, and she has such a wonderful blog full of great tutorials and informational posts. 

I won't lie, I don't save my selvages! "GASP"  That is until I saw her post!  After I read her post, I grabbed a little bucket and put it by my cutting mat and am starting to save them!  :) 

Now let's learn about Selvages! 

Selvedges (British English) or Selvages (US English)?
Obs for me they'll always be selvedges but what exactly is a selvedge?
Why Is It Ca
lled A Selvedge?
The term selvedge comes from self-edge and has been used since the 16th century.  It's the finished edge of fabric that stops the edges fraying.  It runs parallel to the warp threads down the length of the fabric and is created by the weft threads turning back on themselves at the end of each row; a natural part of the weaving process.
Why Don't We Normally Use Our Selvedges?
1: On one edge of the fabric selvedges are usually white and don't contain the fabric's colour or design so are of no use alongside the main print;
2: Selvedges are often thicker and heavier than the main fabric; this can sometimes make them difficult to sew through; and 3: Even if hidden within a hem or seam, selvedges don't always behave the same as the rest of the fabric during washing, they may shrink less and can cause warping. What Can We Learn From A Selvedge?
Designer, collection and manufacturer information, etc, is displayed on the white selvedge edge in increasingly more and more imaginative ways, including adding licensing info, messages and more.  Here's some examples:
A row of coloured dots shows all required colours have been included during the manufacturing process.  Sometimes symbols appropriate to the fabric collection are used instead of dots - in the pic above as well as dots we have planets, clouds, snowmen and hearts.
Cotton + Steel share lots of info on their selvedges including the season/year.
The above selvedges carry warnings and licensing info.  Licensing info on fabric is something to be aware of if you're considering selling items you make with it - though you can give items made with it as gifts.  There's a lot of debate out there on the internet as to whether or not this licensing agreement is still legal once the seller, who has entered into the licensing agreement, has sold the fabric on to the consumer as the consumer hasn't signed any agreement with the owner of the image.  Personally I'm just not prepared to run the risk of any legal battles so I'm steering clear of this hornets' nest!
And finally some selvedges tell you the fabric content and where the fabric was manufactured. These days quilters and sewists are eager to use their selvedges in new and inventive ways.  Keen to recycle, upcycle and avoid wastage we're always looking to find useful and decorative uses for these end scraps. 
Do you save your selvedges?
How I Store My Selvedges
My selvedge basket.
I store my selvedges in zip-loc bags divided by colour.
How do you store yours? How 

Click the image below to find out how I make Selvedge Fabric.  And if you click the next image you can find out how to make this Selvedge Zippy Pouch

How To Make A Selvedge Zippy Pouch

I'm excited to find out how others store their selvedges. Have I convinced you to start saving your selvedges yet?



Farm Quilter said...

I have been saving my selvages since I first started quilting 7 years ago. I cut at least an inch from the edge so I can do something with it!! I want to make a quilt with my selvages and have them in a huge tub that is almost full. I have recovered my daughter's dining room chairs with selvages and they look wonderful!! Time to start working on making fabric with my selvages!!! Thanks for the push :)

Stephie said...

How interesting, what a great read. It's funny, I recently shared a post on my blog on how to use the selvedge (yep, Uk too!) to design a colour scheme! The selvedge is a really great way to find matching fabrics if you're a bit unsure about how to design your own colour palette :) Here's a link if you're interested: http://www.dawnchorusstudio.com/selvedge-design-a-colour-scheme/ Thanks for sharing Chrissie's post - she has a fab blog.

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