More Napkins - Examples - Cleaning - Buying

History of Napkins
Napkins have been around since the Middle Ages when stylish folk stopped wiping their mouths on the tablecloth and started providing individual linen squares for themselves and their sloppier guests. Napkins became a common sight by the 1800’s. By the end of the 1800’s, creative hosts invented many ways to fold these cloths to enhance the place setting.
Learning how to fold a simple square napkin is by far the simplest and most inexpensive way to decorate a table. They touch of elegance and charm, more than flowers in my opinion, to any meal—from a picnic to a formal dinner or just a simple breakfast is just a fold away. Your guests will be impressed with the class act of your meal solely based on this one easy thing. No single thing, except genuine caring, which is an attitude and not a skill, will set you apart as a skilled host at mealtime than the lowly, lifeless napkin. Wow, who knew!


 placesetting for parties

 napkin folds how to

An Easy Napkin Fold...The Candle

1. Take the napkin and fold in half, diagonally.

2. Fold the bottom edge up approximately 1 inch.

3. Turn the napkin over and roll it up.

4. Tuck the end corner into the bottom of the roll and stand the napkin upright.


 Keeping your napkins fresh and clean
Food or lipstick stains can usually be removed with normal washing. However, check the napkin after washing (before drying—the heat will set a stain). If the stain persists, soak it in your detergent and try again.
Grease stains are best removed by stretching the fabric tightly and running very hot water through the spot.
Tea or Coffee stains can be removed by soaking the napkin in cold water as soon as possible and then washing it normally.
Candle wax should have the excess scraped off and then iron between two paper towels which act as blotters. Then wash as normal.
Red wine stains are usually the most difficult. Some recommend soaking in milk before washing. I recommend pouring white wine over the red wine stain. If you don’t have white wine, try vinegar or gently rubbing with concentrated detergent. Wash in hottest water that is safe for the fabric and cross your fingers.

napkin folding how to


 What type of napkins should I use for folding?

Square—Square—Square: Your napkin must be square in order for most folds to work.

Fabric: A creasable, cloth/linen napkin is best, although some folds will work with the synthetic stuff. However, most folds require a napkin that will hold a crease. That means cotton for the most part. The napkin may not have to be starched and ironed, but that will help for some of the fans folds. I still find cotton to be, by far, the best.

Patterns: Plain is best, although some patterns look nice in a fold. Keep it simple—remember the fold becomes the elegant touch not the design of the print.

SIZE: It does matter. Bigger is almost always better here. If you look around, you can find oversized cloth restaurant napkins. They are 20 inches by 20 inches. This is the best.
Paper napkins: Yes, sometimes you can use these and make nice folds. They are pre-folded into quarters and will actually work for many of the folds. Try it and see.
OLD: Used napkins work well if still SQUARE and starched and ironed. Once stretched out of shape their is little that can be done with them.

wedding party folds

You can learn how to do these and 19 other napkin folds with Impressive 1-Minute Napkin Folds video.

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