From 1911 until 1934 all merit badges had a Cur or Raw edge. The badges were embroidered on large pieces of broadcloth then cut into square or rectangle pieces of cloth with the badge approximately in the center. Badges were cut by hand. New or unused early badges are found in many sizes of broadcloth ranging from 1.5” x 1.5” to 3” x 3” and sometimes even larger. 2” x 3” are also common. The image below is example of Cut or Raw Edge type badge border.
Starting in 1936 merit badges were round and had a small amount of broadcloth extend beyond the embroidered border. The broadcloth was folded and the steamed to give the badge a uniformed finish look. The images below illustrate the narrow broadcloth extension.
Merrowing, sometimes known as overlock sewing or overlocking is the process of wrapping thread around fabric, yielding an efficient and uniform stitch. The image on the left shows a merrowing machine. The image on the right shows badges having the merrow edge added. Click on the right image to watch a youtube video. The third image shows the front and back of a merrowed edge.
Beginning in 1978 embroiders changed the inside locking thread to a light green. The reason is unknown why the change occurred. The figure belowFigure 33 shows a merit badge with green (pre 1978) and with light green, 1978 and beyond, inside locking thread.
Border direction used only in 1911 and 1912. The angle of the border stitch slants in a counterclockwise direction. In figure A the light blue lines are reference lines radiating from the center of the badge. The white lines indicate the angle of the border direction.
Border direction used after 1912. The angle of the border stitch slants in a clockwise direction. In figure B the light blue lines are reference lines radiating from the center of the badge. The white lines indicate the angle of the border direction.