Nick English of Stridewise dropped by our 67 West Street studio in the heart of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, entrusting us—the nation’s top-tier denim alteration specialists—with refining the fit of his jeans at the waist. Dive into our expert process through this video, and if you’re plotting a course to our doorstep, we’ve included some handy navigation tips to guide you right to us.
The goal of this tutorial video is to walk you through the complex process of determining the inseam of twisted-leg jeans. In contrast to measuring the inseam on a pair of typical jeans or pants, dealing with twisted legs adds an additional level of complication. When the legs of the jeans wrap around to the opposite side, the dilemma of whether to follow the inseam line arises.
The short answer is no. The key is to follow the natural shape of the jeans as though there were no twist. In this video, we show you step-by-step how to do this.
In addition, we explore some of the frequent mistakes that tailors and clients requesting hemming alterations make while shortening the inseam. This guide will educate you on why using a general request like “take off 2 inches” while asking for a hemming service may not be the best choice. Similar to this, we show how this approach can result in mistakes when shortening jeans for tailors who often align the hems of jeans before simply cutting them. Have a look at our video to enhance your understanding and skills with denim alterations.
Within the realm of textile terminology, ‘selvage’ and ‘selvedge’ often cause some confusion due to their apparent similarity. These terms, which primarily differ by their usage in American and British English respectively, both refer to the “self-edge” of fabric, a tightly woven edge that prevents fraying. Although selvage and selvedge labels are frequently associated with higher-quality denim, it’s critical to understand that these terms alone do not guarantee superior quality. Rather, the true quality of the fabric depends on various factors, including the materials used, the production methods, and the attention to detail throughout the manufacturing process.
The origins of selvedge or selvage denim can be traced back to the use of traditional shuttle looms. These machines became less favored during the early-to-mid twentieth century with the advent of more efficient and faster machines. Shuttle looms, although slower and more cumbersome, bestowed upon the fabric a distinctive texture and character. However, as textile producers began to prioritize efficiency and affordability, non-selvedge textiles, produced by high-speed air jet weaving machines, gained popularity.
Modern high-speed weaving machines significantly outperform shuttle looms in terms of production speed and efficiency, enabling the mass manufacturing of fabrics at a lowered cost. However, the trade-off here is the loss of the characteristic “imperfections” and unique quality that traditional shuttle looms imparted to the fabric. This is one of the major reasons why selvedge denim, despite being slower and more expensive to produce, is still sought after by certain consumers and fashion connoisseurs.
Distinguishing Between Raw Denim and Selvedge Denim
Raw denim and selvedge denim are terms used in the denim industry to refer to different aspects and should not be conflated. Raw denim, or ‘dry denim’, refers to denim fabric that hasn’t been washed or treated after the dyeing process. As such, raw denim can come in a variety of shades, from dark indigo to lighter blue, depending on the dye used. On the other hand, selvedge (or selvage) denim pertains to the method of finishing the fabric’s edge to prevent fraying, often associated with higher-quality production. It’s possible for a pair of jeans to be both raw and selvedge, but they are not mutually exclusive terms. For a more detailed exploration of raw denim and selvedge denim, feel free to visit this link.
In recent years, a resurgence in the popularity of selvage or selvedge textiles has been witnessed as consumers have grown more discerning about the craftsmanship and quality of their clothing. The unique quality, texture, and durability of selvage denim, produced on shuttle looms, possess a distinctive charm and character that many consumers find desirable. In essence, it’s the “imperfections” of the traditional shuttle weaving process that sets selvage apart, adding value to it.
However, it’s vital to remember that the quality of selvedge denim can significantly vary. Some manufacturers leverage the meticulous weaving process of the shuttle loom, investing in high-quality cotton and dyes, resulting in a more robust and durable product. Conversely, lower-quality producers of selvedge textiles may merely imitate the look and utilize lower-quality materials, resulting in a less resilient product.
In conclusion, whether you encounter the term ‘selvage’ or ‘selvedge’, it refers to a particular type of denim defined by its distinctive woven edge finish. While these terms often imply higher quality due to their association with traditional production methods, the actual quality can differ vastly. Thus, as a consumer, it’s essential to understand the intricacies of selvage or selvedge denim, the specific brand, and its production methods to make an informed decision when purchasing such products.
What is a “bar tack” (also spelled “bartack”)? This is a question we get almost every day because our denim service is one of the very few that offers bar tacking. The close-up image above shows two red bar tacks sewn onto the hem of a pair of Gustin blue jeans. When you choose to add bar tacking in the dropdown box of our chain stitch hemming service, this is the type of stitching that will be added.
First, an explanation for the majority of our customers who are interested in having their jeans hemmed. The close-up image above shows two red bar tacks sewn onto the hem of a pair of Gustin blue jeans. When you choose to add bar tacking in the dropdown box of our chain stitch hemming service, this is the type of stitching that will be added.
Brands like Gustin, Nudie, and Brave Star jeans have bar tacks sewn over the chain stitching on the hems, both as a branding identifier and to reinforce the sewing. Although they add a bit of extra security by preventing the chain stitch from unraveling, they are not found on the vast majority of jeans. We usually inform our customers that it is not necessary to add them.
A bar tack is a machine-made stitch with a zigzag pattern used to reinforce areas on clothing that experience high stress, such as where belt loops join, pocket corners and flaps, hip seams, and the fly of jeans.
bar tack | bär tak | noun a zigzag stitch made by industrial sewing machines to strengthen areas of a garment with potential weak spots or other sewn items.
bar tacking noun
Often with denim and fading terminology, things are called what they look like. As is the fading effect known as “train tracks.” To achieve this type of fading, the jeans must have either a selvedge inside construction or two overlocked seams (busted seams) pressed open at the outseams.
During wear, friction can cause fading along the high points of the pressed open seams or selvedge. See the image below for an example of the train track fading at the outseam.
There are two meanings when it comes to “tapered” as related to jeans, pants, and other garments designed to wear over the legs.
- Related to alterations or tailoring: The term “tapered jeans” and “tapered pants” refer to garment bottoms worn over the legs that have been altered to narrow the shape of the legs.
- Related to the design or style of a garment: It’s a jean or pant with a leg that narrows dramatically from the knee to the leg opening. Tapered clothing should not be confused with slim-fit or other jeans and pants with legs that gradually decrease in size from the knee to the leg opening.
Example of use (related to alterations): I had my jeans tapered because the legs were too baggy.
Example of use (related to design or style): I bought tapered jeans because I wanted the leg opening to be small enough that the hem wouldn’t cover my shoes.