BORAS, Sweden — Forget the language of the Vikings. Swedish jeans fanatics speak in a coded denim dialect. Here is a glossary of terms to help decipher the jargon:
Selvage denim: The edge of the denim fabric that is stitched with colored thread on the inside of the leg that denim die-hards turn up to display. Authentic selvage can only be made by vintage denim mills. This fall, niche Swedish brands will be introducing stretch selvage denim for women.
Carrot fit: An “anti-fit” look for jeans worn baggy around the waist and narrow at the foot for an ultracool look. “We want women to be less obsessed with sizes,” said Maria Erixon, Nudie creative director and self-professed carrot nut. “Different sizes in the same pair of jeans can give a whole new attitude.”
Denim weight: For Swedish niche denim brands, the heavier the weight of the fabric, the higher the quality. The weight of the fabric is measured in ounces per square yard, averaging around 13.5 to 14.5 ounces. For the summer, light denim ranges from around 10 to 13 ounces, while an ultra-stiff denim can weigh a whopping 15.5. Note: Try sitting before you purchase.
Denim width: Modern mills churn out denim around 160 centimeters, or 63 inches, wide, but the width of old shuttle selvage denim mills in Japan is only 75 centimeters, or 30 inches, giving the denim a more costly but exclusive edge.
Kurabo denim: The Rolls-Royce of loom houses, Kurabo is a Japanese denim manufacturer and one of a select few Japanese weavers to have recovered vintage American shuttle looms in the early Eighties.
Unwashed denim (dry or raw denim): Warning to white sofas: Dry denim has never been washed. To say the least, dry denim strives to give a “lived-in” feel and should be washed only sparingly (twice a year) in order to provide personal touches such as fold lines at pockets and faded knees for a custom-made look.