Nothing enhances a dinner quite like perfectly folded fabric dinner napkins. The simple act of folding a square dinner napkin instantly transforms an ordinary place setting. Consider this simple and inexpensive project to add a touch of class to any occasion. Make your next dinner party, holiday gathering or intimate dinner for two extra special with decorative folded cloth napkins. Napkin fold styles range from super simple to more advanced origami-like creations. With hundreds of styles to choose from, you'll easily find the perfect napkin style to suit your particular event and skill level.
Purchase 100 percent cotton or linen napkins. Napkins containing polyester or synthetic threads lack sufficient body and stiffness for most napkin fold styles. Print out folding instructions and photographs to use as a guide. Provide an ironing surface large enough to accommodate a single unfolded napkin. Arm yourself with a ruler and straight pins for more complex creations. Pre-wash your napkins, spray lightly with starch or sizing and iron flat to guarantee a crisp finished appearance. Set all napkin folds and pleats with the iron.
Simple, but Classic
Stick to simple techniques when first attempting napkin folding. Nothing could be easier than creating basic shapes such as triangle folds, French folds, quarter folds or fans. You can accomplish these basic napkin fold styles in a matter of minutes. Basic napkin folds lend a classic and understated look to an informal brunch or Sunday dinner with the family.
Old School Designs
Formal napkin fold styles go one step further than the simplicity of basic folding techniques. The envelope fold is just as its name implies. Imagine a perfectly crisp napkin envelope placed neatly on each service plate or charger. The envelope napkin is an ideal spot to tuck a small gift or display place cards for each guest. The pyramid napkin fold is frequently seen at upscale restaurants. It resembles a three-dimensional triangle and is generally situated in the center of each place setting. Both the pyramid and envelope napkin folds look complicated but can easily be created in an afternoon.
Practical napkin fold styles typically function as packets for silverware in a buffet setting. These fold styles allow a guest to easily transport utensils to their seat. The category of practical napkins includes pockets, wraps and rolls. Create the simple pocket fold for an impromptu potluck dinner. Alternatively, employ fancy pocket napkins as breadstick or flower holders at each place setting. Wraps and rolls completely enclose individual sets of utensils within the wraps or folds of the napkin.
Elaborate napkin fold styles capture the imagination of your guests and take center stage at elegant dinner parties. To showcase your artistically folded napkin creations, pair them with understated china, crystal and silver. Elaborate napkin styles take the form of fanciful birds, flowers, pinwheels, knots, hearts and hats. Elaborate napkins require additional time to create. Allow one day to plan and fold your fabric napkin designs. If you have a knack for origami, take cues from the folded paper shapes and create intricate napkins of your own design.