Here is a NYT article on the subject:
One of the things he has done is launch the 1969 Denim line. GQ recently named these jeans as of the top 10 jeans for under $100. What makes these really great for "Denim Snobs" is these are true SELVEDGE JEANS. Selvedge = the Nuts off denim...getting this quality is unheard of for under $100....
Definition of Selvedge from Wiki:
Selvage denim (also called selvedge denim) is a type of denim which forms a clean natural edge that does not unravel. It is commonly presented in the unwashed or raw state. Typically, the selvage edges will be located along the out-seam of the pants, making it visible when cuffs are worn. Although selvage denim is not completely synonymous with unwashed denim, the presence of selvage typically implies that the denim used is a higher quality.
The word "selvage" comes from the phrase "self-edge", the natural edge of a roll of fabric. As applied to denim, it means that which is made on old-style shuttle looms. These looms weave fabric with one continuous cross thread (the weft) that is passed back and forth all the way down the length of the bolt. As the weft loops back into the edge of the denim it creates this “self-edge” or Selvage. Selvage is desirable because the edge can’t fray like lower grade denims that have separate wefts which leave an open edge that must be stitched. Shuttle looming is a more time-consuming weaving process that produces denim of a tighter weave resulting in a heavier weight fabric that lasts.
I own a couple of pretty high end Japanese Denim jeans...here was my first pair...RED MONKEY JEANS.
Check the white stitch inside..the usual indicator these are selvedge.
Here is a comparo shot...the top pair are Japanese Selvedge...
On the Left is PENGUIN jeans around $115, and on the Right are SEVENS....you can see the difference.
these are another pair of my "good" jeans. These are YOROPIKO Jeans...again from Japan.
People think all these expensive jeans are like the best...TRUE RELIGION, SEVEN, CITIZEN, PAPER etc..when in fact most are made in China..and are just normal denim.
Here is my 1969 Gap Selvedge Jeans. I had to dump them in water to rinse some of the blue away. After the rinse I will drip dry. I will NOT wash these jeans for a bit. It is typically known that you should not wash your jeans on a regular basis.
Here are the jeans...see the inside edge...authentic selvedge denim...
Now the best part....guess how much I paid for these???
plus $8 for alterations...