There is alot of talk about selvages lately. Most of us quilters cannot stand to throw any bit of fabric away, not even the selvage. I guess it was only a matter of time before someone figured out what could be done with them. Lately, I have seen several projects created using just the selvages from fabric yardage. I love these projects. I am a fan of reusing and recycling and have to admit that I too, hate to throw anything away. Since the selvage won't fray, the edge can be overlapped on the raw edge of the other piece and "top-stitched" so you can see the printing.
The selvage is the edge of the fabric where the threads turn and come back the other way during the weaving prcess. Because of this, the selvage is not a raw edge and will not fray. Sometimes the selvage is a blank white strip on the edge of our fabric yardage. More often than not, nowdays anyway, the selvage is more colorful and interesting as it is usually printed with information about the fabric. The selvage may have the name of the fabric line, the designer, the manufacturer, the website address and pattern number. Also printed on the selvage are colored dots. These dots are not just for decoration ---- each dot indicates a color used in the print!!!
When you go fabric shopping, it is a great idea to bring the selvage of the fabric you are trying to match. Matching your new fabric choices to the dots takes all of the guesswork out of making sure your colors match. I have been known to carry a Ziploc bag of a few selvage pieces in my purse. You never know when you'll find what could be the perfect fabric and you'll want to verify the colors.
If I see a fabric I love, I have to buy it even though I may not know exactly which project it will be used for. I may keep the fabric around for awhile before deciding on the perfect project. Once I decide, I want to make sure to purchase fabrics that look good with my main fabric. Even if I am choosing a contrasting fabric, I want it to look just right.
I hope you'll have some fun with this method of shopping and if, by chance, you make a "selvage project" I'd love to see a picture!