Nothing will prepare you for every fabric experience. Starting to sew and create using woven fabric is suggested so that you can see and learn basics on a relatively easy to use fabric. Woven cotton fabric also has a property that helps it stay lined up and not slip and slide which makes it easier to sew. For this example I will use a woven cotton fabric and burlap so you can see how the fibers can be manipulated. This exercise can easily begin teaching how to sew a One Yard Apron... buying a bit more than a yard of fabric so that you can do this exercise in finding fabric grainlines.
Preshrink the fabric before beginning.
Make a small nip or cut in the selvage of the fabric near the end of the length.
Choose one thread on the edge of the cut and pull that thread from the entire width of the fabric. Use the line that is created in the fabric, to cut off the edge.
If the fabric will rip easily, use the cut to gently rip the fabric. This method is quicker but it is possible to twist the grain in the process of ripping the fabric.