ELHAUS DENIM: ABOUT FABRICS

We have developed raw denims since 2010. But do you know what is essentially falls in category of raw denim? How about other words like sanforized or unsanforized, what do they mean?

This guide will tell you about different fabrics of denim we use in our denim lineups. Basically, Elhaus' Denim Fabrics can be explained by elaborating on these three key points.

1. Selvedge and Non-Selvedge Denim
2. Fabric Weight (oz)
3. Sanforized vs Unsanforized

1. Selvedge and Non-Selvedge Denim

Selvedge Denim

Selvedge denim is a type of denim made on shuttle looms, instead of projectile looms. Shuttle looms produce the signature white edge on the inseam of the jeans.

Shuttle looms typically make heavier fabrics that are very tightly woven and are produced in one yard wide strips. These strips are finished on both sides with a band that makes them more durable and prevents fraying.

Selvedge denim is generally associated with raw denim, which in fact, the they're two distinct things. There's so many historical aspects to dig here in this topic, but in this guide, we will put it down simply to this. Selvedge Denim is the line of the most classic denim we ever made, complete with the highest attention to detail and quality accessories for the sole purpose to achieve the perfect denim.

Non-Selvedge Denim

Denim was made on shuttle looms for decades.

In the 1950's when the demand for denim started to increase, companies looked for ways to cut corner to decrease costs. This led them to start making denim in projectile looms which were able to produce denim for cheaper. In the name of efficiency and cost, selvedge denim started to die.

Non-selvedge denim is made from a projectile loom and does not have a clean edge. In order to replace the selvedge with something that is also durable, we decorate the outseam with shell stitch along the way. We have been known for this since 2010, and still today this is considered one of the unique method to replace the overlocking stitch. A stitching technique taken from the traditional crochet knitting.

This type of stitch is used on all of our Nomad Denim articles.

2. Fabric Weight (oz)

You will always see weight in ounces (oz) associated with any raw denim product, but what does that even mean? Well it pertains to how much a square yard of that denim actually weighs. The heavier the weight the thicker and stiffer the denim is going to be. The weights will range from in the single digits, on the lighter side, up to over 30 oz's, on the heavy side.

The medium weight raw denim usually falls between the weights of 13-16 oz's. These weights are the most common and are a good practical weight. They will give you a great raw denim experience while also not being too extreme. This weight will take some time to break in but their fading is going to turn out really cool and will be more pronounced than the light weights. They will be durable and feel like you are wearing a serious pair of jeans. As you move up to the heavy weights everything gets more and more intense.

Fabrics weighing over 16oz's are considered the heavy weight denims. As you work your way up the scale the common trends continue; these jeans are going to be very stiff, rougher to the touch, and harder to break in. They are going to be more of an intense experience especially when you first get them. That intensity will pay off in amazing fades and superior durability. The heavy weights are going to a take a commitment to make them pay up but will give you an experience with denim that few ever have. They will be like a best friend and will almost inevitably become your favorite pair of jeans.

3. Sanforized vs Unsanforized

Unsanforized Denim (Loomstate): This is a term referred to denim that is UNTREATED and UNTOUCHED after the completed weaving process, it's also known as "Loomstate Denim." Basically if you've ever handled rigid denim you'll learn that unsanforized denim is very similar in touch and texture, the only difference is that unsanforized denim has to be pre-soaked for a certain time in order for it to shrink which is why many manufacturers of unsanforized denim will tell you to size up one or two sizes depending on how you want your jeans to fit. Typically our unsanforized jeans will shrink up to 3% but it differs by cuts and fabrics. Yet many people will choose unsanforized denim because it is untouched from the loom which it was created which allows for unique fades every where which are unique to that brand of denim, each brand of denim that creates unsanforized jeans will always have indigo colors and fades associated with that brand. The fades from unsanforized denim will be irregular and a bit slubby in appearance because of the unaltered fabric.

Remember, not all unsanforized jeans will shrink the same way according to the instructions, each pair of jeans is as different as each person, it's how it is so just this as a guideline because the temperature of the water you use, how often you agitate the jeans, and what kind of detergent (or none) you use all depend on how much the jeans will shrink. Unsanforized denim will create much better fades between washings as it was never treated to begin with.

Sanforized Denim: This is when unsanforized denim is taken through a mechanical process that heats, stretches, adds moisture, and shrinks the denim off the loom so that it will not shrink with wear or washing. This is denim that is most common with many brands because it ensures that they won't shrink when you wash them. After the denim is pre-shrunk, many manufacturers will singe the hair off of the denim so that it's more uniform in appearance which will result in uniform fades as well.

Ultimately, sanforized denim is the most common type and purists will not touch it but there's nothing wrong with the denim, it's just been given extra treatment so you don't have to do the work yourself.

Elhaus Sanforized and Unsanforized Denim

In our two types of Denim, which are Selvedge Denim and Non-Selvedge (Nomad) Denim, the rule is this. We always have loomstate (Unsanforized) fabric for the Selvedge Denim, because we want it to have that classic, untouched feeling in our pair of heavyweight denim.

But for our Nomad Denim, the non-selvedge one, it is almost always have sanforized material for its main fabric. Because we want this line of Nomad Denim to be agile, modern, practical, and versatile, adding performance to the needs of a day-to-day basis of a utility garment enthusiast.

Now that the difference has been explained, you're more than welcome to choose a pair denim based on this information. You'll want to be cautious with unsanforized denim because of the shrinking process so you'll want ot know your measurements before hand.