How to Tell the Selvedge Side of Material


Finding the right side of your fabric is an important part of any sewing project. If you are not sewing with a printed fabric it is not uncommon for all the sides to look the same. The selvedge is the end of the fabric designed to prevent the fabric from fraying and coming apart. It is not meant to be a part of your finished project. For this reason, you do not want to include the selvedge in any measurements for the item.

  • Lay out your fabric on a table or floor.

  • Look closely at your fabric. If you see a woven or printed band on one side, that is the selvedge. The selvedge may also have writing on it, or be fringed.

  • Feel the edges of your fabric. The selvedge side will have tiny holes poked into it from the bolt. On knit fabric you may also feel blotches of glue on the selvedge side.

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  • "Sew On: All You Need to Know to Start Sewing and Serging Today!"; Elissa K. Meyrich; 2008
  • "I Can't Believe I'm Sewing"; Pat Sloan, Pat Sloan; 2008
  • Photo Credit Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images
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