Harriet and Carrie say that neither is wrong. “The bottom line is that you need to take responsibility for your decisions and make them based on fact, not on guess work or because ‘someone told me I had to.’
I have always been taught that you need to prewash your fabric. This is because the fabric content may lay differently after it’s washed simply because there is a lot of starch in sizing in the fabric off of the bolt. However, depending on the project, I’m learning that it’s okay not to prewash. Since most of my quilts are meant to be bed quilts or they go into the wash, my preference is to wash my fabric.
I’ve heard the saying that the fabric always wins. Which means it’s going to lay however it lays but you won’t know until after it’s washed. I also know now that the fabric will respond much better after it’s washed if I use the technique from Quilters Academy – to straighten, iron and starch my fabric before I use it. I’m really liking the results I’m getting by using these recommendations. My quilts are going to be better for it!