Difference between Denim and Non Denim: Latest guide (w/pictures)

difference between denim and non denim

In this QnA post, we have covered over 8 questions, including our main topic, “difference between denim and non denim.” In this guide, you’ll discover: 

  1. 5 differences between denim and others.
  2. 3 relevant FAQs. 

So, let’s get started. 

1. Difference between denim and non denim

1. Difference between denim and non denim

The major difference between them is that Denim is made of dyed woven threads yarn. It is strong, sturdy, and its formation face is diagonal. On the contrary, the Non Denim is produced by non-dyed fabrics, also obtained from yarn.  


Denim jeans or denim is cotton-made woven twill fabric. It includes two woven thread yarns. 

  1. Weft – the thread over and under the warp.
  2. Warp – the thread that goes downward.
warp and weft
Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warp_and_weft  

This structure of threads gives a diagonal pattern that makes it different from canvas and duck cotton.  Denim jeans or denim fabric comes in various colors, but the most known color is indigo. The warp thread is dyed into color while the weft remains white.   


In short, non-denim jeans or simply non denim is called any clothing that involves yarns; yarn is converted into fabric. The obtained fabric is now ready for shading or dyeing. 

2. Difference between selvedge and non selvedge denim

difference between selvedge and non selvedge denim

Selvedge/Selvage denim

The term selvage refers to “self-finished,” which means it doesn’t require any finishing work. In the construction of the jeans, this denim uses a well-produced seam.   

The finished edges of denim jeans also avoid fraying and unraveling. You can check it by folding the edges of your jeans. Normally, the yarn is colored, and the borders are white. This denim is a bit expensive and better than non-selvage jeans. 

Non-Selvedge/Selvage denim

In the above picture, you can clearly see the difference between them. The non-selvage denim has a non-finished edge. It also requires some finishing work. The quality standards of this denim are also a bit lower than selvage.   

3. Difference between stretch and non stretch denim

Stretch denim includes a small percentage of synthetic stretchable material. Usually, elastane or spandex. The stretch denim gives more form-fitting, comfort in movement, and ease than the non-stretch.

Whereas pure denim has no stretch. It is hard to wear and very durable as the name defines it. The non-stretch pants also don’t allow 100% full movements when you walk, sit, run, etc.  

4. What is the difference between denim and jeans?

What is the difference between denim and jeans?

Are jeans always denim?

Not always. Denim and Jeans both are two different things. But commonly, a lot of people will consider them the same thing. 

Jeans are a casual type of pants. Yes, many manufacturers indeed use denim to produce jeans. But, you can easily find a wide variety of cotton, poly-cotton, spandex-cotton jeans in the market. 

Whereas denim is a strong material made up of woven twill cotton. It is not limited to jeans only, but there are many useful things like jackets, bags, shirts, skirts, belts, shoes, aprons, suits, hats, and duvets produced from denim. 

Like jeans, denim has different types, which we have described below.   

5. What are the different types of denim?

13 types of denim are beneficial and easily findable. 

 What are the different types of denim?

13. Selvedge

Selvedge means self-finished denim. You can easily check it by folding the ends of your jeans. The edges of these denim jeans avoid fraying, unraveling, and it doesn’t require any finishing work. 

Selvage denim is a bit expensive and considered better than non-selvage. They’re widely used in jackets. In general, the midsection is colored while the borders are white.

12. 100% cotton denim

It is AKA pure, no-stretch, and regular denim. It is hard to wear, very durable, and sturdy. The 100% cotton denim pants also don’t allow 100% full movements when you walk, sit, run, etc.  

11. Poly

Poly or polyester denim is soft, comfortable, stretchier, and easier to maintain than pure and raw denim. Poly-denim is now widely being used in the manufacturing of hats and shirts.      

10. Colored

Indigo and blue dyeings are commonly found in this denim. But the sulfur dyeing gives it some other colors such as green, pink, red, black, etc. 

9. Bull

Bull is a tough type of denim. The 3*1 twill construction makes it even tougher. It has a prominent weave and is mostly used in upholstery. 

8. Ecru

The non-dyed denim that has a natural cotton color is called Ecru. 

7. Organic

Organic means no use of chemicals. This denim has the same scenario. Its production doesn’t involve any chemicals.  

6. Raw

Raw is called denim which is not washed after its dyeing process is completed. It feels hard and stiff to touch. 

5. Stretch

Stretch denim includes a small % of synthetic fabric. Usually, elastane or spandex. It gives more form-fitting and comfort in movement than the non-stretch.

4. Crushed

Any denim which has a permanent wrinkled look on it is called crushed. They are popular for skirt manufacturing.   

3. Acid wash

Marble or Acid-wash denim is treated with Cl (chlorine) and pumice stones to fade the colors. After fading, the denim pants have an attractive white indigo contrast.  

2. Indigo

It is the most common type of denim. In which the warp thread is dyed into color while the weft remains white.

1. Sanforized

Sanforized denim is obtained after washing when the dyeing process is completed. It shrinks a bit and feels softer compared to raw denim. 

6. What are non denim pants?

 What are non denim pants?

The term “non-denim pants” is a broad category. It includes any jeans and pants that are made from the combination of denim with other materials. 

In simple words, “any pants that are made from non-dyed yarn. Its non-dyed yarn is woven, converted into the fabric, and then the pants are produced. Those pants are called non-denim”.

Whereas the manufacturing of denim pants is slightly different. It includes dyed yarn, then fabric, and the final product is produced.   

7. Difference between denim/cotton/twill/woven fabric

Difference between denim/cotton/twill/woven fabric


Denim is a strong woven twill fabric. It is a by-product of cotton. It includes two woven thread yarns 1) warp and 2) weft. Like cotton, twill, and woven fabrics, denim is also used in a variety of things. But it’s widely known for jeans manufacturing. The manufacturing of denim is also hard and commercial.       


Cotton is widely used in global textiles. Almost every piece of clothing, including dress shirts, t-shirts, jeans, chinos, skirts, etc., is made from it. Compared to denim, cotton clothing can be easily produced domestically or industrially. It is more breathable, lightweight, easy to use, and wash. 

Cotton is also used in the making of twill and woven fabrics. 


Twill is a diagonal-shaped type of textile weave. Like denim, twill’s formation also consists of two main components:

  1. Weft – the horizontal thread
  2. Warp –  the vertial thread

But the difference between denim and twill is that denim is dyed woven twill fabric made from cotton. While the twill is one of the 3 types of textile weaves normally made from polyester and cotton.  

Woven fabric

Woven fabric is called “any clothing formed by weaving when two yarns (weft and warp) interlace each other at the right spot.” Generally, makers use Loom (a machine used to weave cloths) for the weaving or manufacturing of the woven fabrics. 

Yes, they’re different from denim. The main difference between them is that denim is sturdy, dyed, woven twill. It is hard to produce and commercial. At the same time, woven fabrics are breathable, light, and easy to produce, even at the local or domestic scale.   

Woven fabrics examples: woven pure cotton, poly-cotton, spandex-cotton, etc.  

8. Is denim synthetic or natural?

Denim is a strong dyed-woven twill. Yes, it is a synthetic material. It is also true that denim is made from cotton. Still, now on a large scale, a few % of lycra, spandex, and other synthetic materials are added for extra features. However, 100% denim pants still exist. Workwear and heavy-duty clothes are the present examples of pure denim.    

Final Thoughts

At last, we hope that you’re clear now and know exactly the difference between denim and non denim. We’ve also replied to some other important FAQs crisply.  

And if you want to add more relevant information or any question, always feel free to comment below. Your suggestions are always welcomed.    

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