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Selvedge wool
Is it better?
margaran
margaran  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/5/13 1:06 PM

Is selvege wool any better than other wools? Is it just a matter of the designer name being on it or is the selvedge an indicator of better quality because the designers demand better? Do I just look at the fabric as I would any other in that content and price range and count the selvedge as an interesting extra?

Thanks,

Maggie

solosmocker
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Date: 1/5/13 1:18 PM

Depends on the name!

Pretty much anything printable has some sort of writing in the selvedge. With wools the selvedges are usually woven in although I have seen many hand written. Not all manufacturers do this. If it says Zegna or gives a number that is an indication as well, the number being more a description of the fiber which would indicate appropriateness to various projects. Wish I knew more to tell you. It's an interesting question. What does your selvedge say?

All woven wool has a selvedge so generally is not called "selvedge wool".
-- Edited on 1/5/13 1:19 PM --

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PeppermintPam
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Date: 1/5/13 2:15 PM

Actually, I'm glad someone asked this, because I don't know either. Michael's Fabrics sent me some swatches that are called "Italian Woven Selvedge Wools", and they still have some on their web site. At the bottom of the page that they have the swatches stapled to, they show a selvedge - well, they photocopied a selvedge that says "TWO PLY SUPER 180'S CASHMERE WOOL".
On their web site, when you look at samples of their Italian Selvedge Wools, you can see some of the wording that's woven in the selvedge, but you can't make out all of what it says.
The samples they sent me are all a twill weave - don't know if they're all that way or not.
Anybody know anything about these? Anybody ever sewn with these? I would love to know, too.

margaran
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In reply to PeppermintPam <<


Date: 1/5/13 3:40 PM

Saw some Italian wool for sale listed as selvedge wool. Higher priced than the other wools they had for.sale. Designer's name was woven into the selvedge.

Maggie

beauturbo
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Date: 1/5/13 5:35 PM

I think it's just a wacky and confusing internet shopping kind of problem, because of different words, spellings and translations and even meanings for text of:

selvedge (meaning the finished length wise edge ,that will not unravel or fray, of some wool fabric made on a loom someplace)

v.s salvage (meaning more instead that some portion of the wool in it, is not brand new and has been used someplace else first as in recycled)

and just all the different ways, people all over the place are using spell checkers and just even choosing to use both spellings and terms, just depending on country of origin actually. And there really may even be different correct and acceptable spellings in different situations and countries too, I'm not sure.

But all woven wool, made in a big factory, has a finished lengthwise edge to it, if you don't cut it off.

And for many, many years, wool (never been in any finished item before) and also wool that was re-processed and then added or blended into more wool that never had that done to it, and new wool fabric made from that blend, has been going on.

So just what ever you are looking at on the internet, each time when you see either of those two words, it could be a toss up of what it really means even.
-- Edited on 1/5/13 5:39 PM --

Nancy K
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In reply to margaran <<
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Date: 1/5/13 6:16 PM

It depends. Printing on the selvedge is found on designer fabrics that were woven for the designer and on fine menswear suitings, typically worsted and gabardines. I bought some Italian yardage recently that had the mill, the fiber content, wool and cashmere and the thread count, this one was 180. The higher the thread count the finer and more expensive the fabric. 100 or 120 would be the lowest for good quality and I don't know how high the count goes.
So, no it's not necessary to have a printed selvedge to have a fine quality wool.
The fabric I bought was from Michael's as mentioned above. The quality is gorgeous, but it is gabardine, not a particularly easy fabric for a beginner to use. It is difficult to press, easily getting a shine. If you only use a press cloth on the right side and only press the seams over a seam roll or stick and use a clapper and lots of steam you'll be fine.
-- Edited on 1/5/13 6:19 PM --

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tlmck3
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Date: 1/5/13 7:58 PM

This is kind of long but it explains the "Super" or S number system of classifying wool fabrics:

The Numbers Game

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I am going for a level of perfection that is only mine... Most of the pleasure is in getting that last little piece perfect...Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just keep showing up and doing the work.

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St. Augustine

solosmocker
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In reply to tlmck3 <<


Date: 1/5/13 9:15 PM

That was VERY informative, tlmck3 and thanks for putting up the link. I learned something and that's always a good thing.

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solveg
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Date: 2/14/13 5:20 PM

Ooooh! I have some of Michael's Selvedge Wool. It is twill weave, and it is firm and thin. I am just about to make a top out of it, so I'll post the photo. BUT here is the important thing! I washed and dried it and it looks just like the new stuff. But when it got wet, it stank like gasoline. I air dried it and let the sun degrade the chemicals and then the next time I washed it, it was fine. This was done on a 2 yard sample for a shirt as a test. I didn't measure the shrinkage.

solveg
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Date: 2/17/13 1:37 AM

Hey, I was just on the Michael's site and I saw that they have tons of different colors of this. It's half off, but I think it's supposed to be 75% off, since everything on their website is supposed to be 75% off. At $6 yard it's a very nice fabric, but it doesn't drape like a challis, even though it's about as light.

I got a whole mess of the blue last year, but I think I only paid $4.50 for it, or maybe even $4. I'll sew my next project and see if I want to order more. My intentions with it are to do some of those boxy jackets that Kwik Sew has so many of. It's light and thin enough where it shouldn't make you look like a box of cereal with those patterns. And the color is soooo intense and pretty.

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