In contemplating denim my mind is a Northrop loom in constant chatter. One yarn of history crosses another in seemingly endless lines with no obvious direction to follow.
This thought came to me as I struggle to research for an important publication.
On a separate note here is something interesting you may or may not know. While one of the first things we look for on vintage jeans is the sideseam that clearly reveals a closed selvage remember that the busted sideseam is not the only seam construction to spot narrow, fly shuttle loom denim. Many old jeans and overalls used the felled seam construction, which hides the selvage line. Seasoned collectors who’ve sifted through damaged garments surely have noticed that when the felled seam is opened often a pristine selvage line (often natural/white color) springs out like a newly blossomed flower.
I discovered this recently on a solitary mission confined in a small, temperature-controlled room attempting to deem which pair (sometimes rag) of denim was worthwhile. While this finding shocked me at the time I am now sure it is common trade knowledge. It’s one of those things that you learn on the job.
Going forward all ramblings and theories related to weaving technique, history, machinery, etc. will be posted with title "Loom Chatter" and I invite anyone interested to contribute to this column.
Labels: loom chatter