Selvedge

Fabric Selvedges with Red Arrows to Indicate the Location of the Selvedges
Red Arrows Indicate Selvedge Location on Various Fabrics. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com

Definition: The selvedge refers to the tightly woven edge of fabric as it comes off the bolt. The selvedge is the edges of the fabric which has manufacturer information. This area of the fabric is usually a bound edge that does not fray. The selvedge is the area where the crosswise grain fibers turn to come back up through the fabric.

Many fabric selvedges have what appear to be pin holes in them and may not be the same as the print on the actual fabric.

The selvedge is what has been held while the fabric was treated or while a print was rolled on the usable area of the fabric.

The selvedge of the fabric may also have color dots which show the colors used in the fabric and lines to indicate the repeat of a print on the fabric. The dots can be used to match other fabrics and the thread color.

Some project have been designed to use fabric selvedges but it is not recommended to use the fabric selvedge a part of garment sewing, since it will not react to hanging or laundering the same as the rest of the fabric.

Not all selvedges are a finished edge. There may be loose threads but they do not usually unravel from the selvedge.

Examples: It is common practice to match the selvedges of the fabric to layout a pattern and measure from the selvedge to place the grain line on pattern pieces.