What is Selvage?

Selvage refers to the tightly woven edge that runs along each side of a piece of fabric.


In the realm of interior design, selvage plays an essential role, especially when dealing with textiles and upholstery. It’s the finish on both edges of fabric that prevents it from unraveling or fraying, ensuring the material maintains its integrity over time. This detail might seem minor, but it is crucial for the longevity and aesthetic quality of textile-based home furnishings such as curtains, upholstery, and even wall coverings.

Selvage can also be a mark of quality, as it indicates that the fabric has been carefully manufactured to avoid waste and ensure durability. In some cases, the selvage edge is adorned with manufacturer's details, color codes, and other information pertinent to the fabric's design and care, making it a valuable reference point for interior designers.

When selecting fabric for various design projects, understanding the importance of selvage can influence choices, especially for custom pieces or high-traffic areas where durability is paramount. Fabric with a clean and strong selvage is often preferred, as it can be easier to work with during the crafting process and contributes to the overall quality of the final product.


In interior design, selvage is particularly significant when selecting and working with fabrics for custom upholstery projects, curtains, or wall fabrics. Fabric wholesalers often leave the selvage edges intact for buyers to inspect the quality. Designers may also look for the information printed along the selvage when trying to match colors or identify fabric from specific manufacturers.


  • Why is selvage important in interior design?

    Selvage is important because it helps prevent fabric edges from unraveling or fraying, ensuring the durability and longevity of textile-based design elements such as cushions, curtains, and upholstery.

  • Can the selvage be used in the final product?

    Typically, the selvage is trimmed off in the final product as it can be stiffer and slightly different in texture or color than the rest of the fabric. However, some designers might intentionally incorporate the selvage edge into the design for a unique aesthetic.

  • How do designers use the information on a selvage?

    Designers use the information printed on the selvage, such as manufacturer details and color codes, to match fabrics for projects, understand the fabric’s composition, and for proper care instructions.

  • Is fabric without selvage of lower quality?

    Not necessarily. While selvage indicates a carefully manufactured fabric, its absence doesn't always mean lower quality. Some fabric types or cuts, such as those from pre-cut bundles, might not include selvage edges but still be of high quality.

Practical Application

When purchasing fabric for interior design projects, always inspect the selvage for any information that might be beneficial for your project, such as care instructions or color codes. Keeping a note of these details can aid in fabric care and maintenance. Additionally, inspecting the selvage can give insights into the fabric’s quality and suitability for your project, ensuring the best possible outcome.