First, I'm NO cloth expert, but here are a few ideas off my head:
-Can't Maya take modeled geometry, (i.e. pants WITH fringes already on them) and convert that to a cloth object?
-If not, have you tried using a lattice to "bind" the fringes to the pantlegs?
...sry.. wish I had more ideas for ya m8, but cloth isn't my forte' at the moment
Israel "Izzy" Long
Motion and Title Design for Broadcast-Film-DS