How To Make Cloth Napkins

Napkins can be made in any size square you are comfortable with. The standard sizes are 12, 14 and 16 inch squares.

A set of four is a nice gift. Purchase 1 yard of fabric for every four napkins.

  • Prewash the fabric and press it with an iron.
  • Make a template or pattern for your napkins out of any stiff poster board or cardboard. Your template should be square and should be 1/2 inch larger than your finished napkin size. For example, make a 16 1/2-inch-square template for a 16-inch-square napkin.
  • Place the template on the wrong side of your fabric and trace around the template with a fabric marking pen or fabric chalk.
  • Press each raw fabric edge under 1/4 inch.
  • Press that edge under once more.
  • Pin the fabric edges into place so that the pins are perpendicular to the edges of the fabric. Use a sewing machine to stitch the napkin hem. When you reach a corner, lift the presser foot of the sewing machine and swivel the fabric so that your stitching line remains straight. Keep the needle inserted in the fabric as you reposition it.

Napkin Folding

A beautifully set table is enhanced by an artistically folded napkin at each place setting. Some napkins are arranged so beautifully that you don't want to use them.

A special table says that you really value your guests when you make the extra effort to set the table beautifully.


Scarf Fold - Formal or Casual
1. Lay napkin flat and grasp center point.

2. Holding the center, let the points fall into folds. Have your napkin ring ready.

3. Insert into napkin ring. Arrange your folds for your desired effect.

Traditional Napkin Fold 
1. Iron napkins flat first to avoid folded creases.

2. Fold napkin in quarters. Set on a diagonal with the folded center portion at the top.

3. Make 2-4 small pleats on each side of the napkin, about 4" from the top. Have napkin ring ready.

4. Insert the top four inches of the napkin into napkin ring so the "wings" of the napkin can be spread out.

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