The way you fold a dinner napkin can suggest a relaxed soirée or a more formal dining occasion. Interesting and decorative folds add personality to the dinner table and make your guests feel welcome and pampered. Lightly starched square cloth napkins offer the most folding versatility.
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Napkins can be folded quickly into narrow rectangles and slid into rings that match the theme of the party, whether it's a seashell ring for a beach party, wooden rings for a cookout, or monogrammed sterling rings for a formal gathering. Napkins in rings give the impression of an organised dinner table ready for guests. You can use this same style of fold but swap the rings for berry branches for the holidays, straw for an outdoor party, Mardi Gras beads for Fat Tuesday or ribbons for birthday celebrations.
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Napkins look beautiful sprouting out of elegant glassware. Used at hotels and elegant restaurants, napkins in glasses dress up the table for festive occasions such as engagement parties and anniversaries. Large wine glasses and water glasses work best for this kind of display. Folding the napkin over once to form a triangle, then folding it again to form another triangle and placing it point down in the glass creates the impression of a flower blossoming from a vase.
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You can fold napkins to stand alone on a plate or separately from the silverware as the focal point for the place setting. This usually takes a bit more time per napkin, but it can have a dramatic effect. Napkinfolding.net recommends using solid-coloured cloth napkins for styles such as the pyramid fold. Other styles include the bishop's mitre, excellent for starched white napkins, and the fan, the candle and the lily. You can fold napkins so they hold place cards, menus or favours for your guests.
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Practical and Whimsical
Folding napkins into packets containing the silverware makes it easy to be sure everyone gets the proper utensils and creates an elegant presentation for your guests. This also makes it easy to store your napkins and silverware together for the next event. A diamond fold holds the silverware neatly in the napkin and shows off pretty edges of hemstitch napkins. You can tuck in a sprig of rosemary or mistletoe for added fragrance and character. Folding napkins into animals can add a bit of whimsy to your dining room table and will bring smiles to the faces of children and adults. You can celebrate holidays by folding napkins into animals like a turkey for Thanksgiving or a bunny for Easter.