Napkin folding is the art of folding cloth napkins for decorative purposes. Folded napkins add an elegant touch to a formal dinner table, making it more inviting to diners. You can use simple napkin folding techniques, such as the scarf, pyramid, fan, and Bishop’s mitre, or transform the appearance of your dining table with distinctive napkin folds, which offer a striking look.
Napkin folding is most appropriate for meals during holidays and other special occasions because they add an elegant touch. For everyday use, however, organizing your napkins with napkin rings or napkin holders is sufficient. Napkin folding is time-consuming, especially considering how quickly the napkins are unfolded and dirtied, so it’s a practice that you should reserve for special meals, when presentation is important.
Cloth napkins come in a variety of sizes, and each napkin size has a specific use. Different types of cloth napkins include the luncheon napkin, beverage napkin, and dinner napkin. Beverage napkins are square cloth napkins that are about five inches long and five inches wide. They are used when serving drinks and appetizers. Luncheon napkins are slightly larger than beverage napkins, and dinner napkins are the largest napkins available.
A variety of fabrics are used to make cloth napkins, including cotton, polyester, twill, and damask. Cotton and linen are the most popular types of cloth napkins because they are soft, yet durable, and highly absorbent, yet easy to maintain. If you’re striving to a lead a more eco-friendly lifestyle, consider using organic cotton, hemp, or linen napkins.
To boost the appearance of your table décor, you can also get cloth napkins that are embroidered, imprinted with colorful designs, or that come with matching table cloths. But when it comes to napkin folding, white, high-thread-count napkins made of linen or a linen-cotton mix are the number one choice because of their elegant appearance.
Choose napkins of a simple color if your table décor is already very colorful. The napkin color you choose should coordinate well with the rest of your table décor. If you’re celebrating a holiday or important event, such as a wedding, have a theme in mind when selecting napkin colors and decorating your table. For example, you can decorate your table using a Western theme, African theme, or Asian theme.
Folded napkins are typically placed atop plates. Some napkin folding techniques even allow you to put forks in the napkins or top them with place cards or dinner rolls. There are also napkin folding techniques that allow you to fold the napkins so that they can be placed in goblets or glasses.
If you are planning a wedding, in addition to learning elegant napkin folding techniques, personalize the napkins by having the bride and groom’s initials monogrammed on them. You can also have the napkins imprinted or stamped to give them a unique appearance. In addition, you could have the bride and groom’s photos printed on the napkins to give them a romantic, personalized touch.