Edges and hems
There aren’t all that many serious crimes against authenticity, but ragged edges are one of them. Regardless of status or character, all garments must be properly finished, which means leaving no exposed edges that are going to fray. All fabric was hand-woven and therefore valuable. Higher status characters wouldn’t dream of wearing ragged clothing – they had money and people to keep things in good trim. Lower status characters could not afford to replace clothing all that often, and there was no point in patching and repairing if the weave was unravelling from the edges.
All edges must be properly hemmed, i.e. turn the edge in on itself and sew it in place (neatly!). However, if you plan to machine-wash your kit frequently, this will put quite a bit of pressure on your costume and may well lead to exposed edges fraying and seams coming apart. An easy way of reducing damage to your costume is to fold edges over twice – once so that there isn’t an exposed edge on the outside, and then again so that the exposed edge is covered up. Then sew in place, and you should have a much more robust seam.
Examples of sewn hems
In this hem from London, two different coloured threads have been used alternately to give a decorative edge. Unusually this seam does not use one of the standard four stitches. It has been worked over the edge of a piece of wool without any folding. This sort of hem should only be used on a cloth which does not fray much, or on leather.
Tablet weave at hems
Tablet woven braid can be sewn over the edge of the cloth and used to cover up the hem. Alternatively, you can use a row of blanket stitches to stop the edge of the cloth fraying, then use oversewing to join the braid to the blanket stitches (employed on the cloak found in a chieftain's grave at Evebo Eide)