Easy Napkin Folding Tips

Written by alyssa ideboen
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Easy Napkin Folding Tips
Use clean, crisp linens to create beautiful napkin folds. (Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

A napkin is just a piece of fabric or paper to wipe your mouth with, until you fold and change it into an embellishment to enhance a table's decor. Folded napkins can provide the finishing touches to a table setting and offer an elegant way to personalise a table. Make napkin folding enjoyable by incorporating a few tips to make your sculpture stay in place.

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Use the Right Cloth

While paper napkins are cheaper, cloth napkins will last longer and can be reused for multiple occasions. Cloth napkins also add a refined look to the table, whereas paper napkins are used more for utility rather than decoration. Cotton or linen fabric with a tight weave will hold a fold better than cotton/polyester or other fabric blends. Always make sure your napkins are clean and free of debris or stains. A napkin with questionable marks on it will detract from the final folded sculpture.

Make Your Napkins Stiff

To make your napkin folds look crisp and help them keep their form, use a heavy duty starch after washing them. If a can of starch is not handy, lightly spray your cloth napkins with hairspray. This will help them retain their shape. Make sure napkins are thoroughly dry before you spray any type of product on them. Napkins that are wet or damp will smell of mould and will detract from the table setting. Create an extra-stiff napkin by spraying both sides with starch. Allow it to absorb into the fabric before folding or ironing.

Use an Iron

When it comes to clean edges and tight folds, an iron is where the magic happens. A hot iron set to the linen or cotton setting with the steam selection turned on will take wrinkles out quickly. Before you make your napkin creation, iron the fabric flat on a ironing board. This will give you a flat, even surface to work with. As you create each fold within your sculpture, use a hot, dry iron to press the folds in place. The steam setting on your iron can cause burns when working the iron close to your fingers and hands.

Choose the Right Fold

Match the folded design to the theme and tone of your party to make your table setting look the best. A heart, simple or lover's knot fold works well for romantic occasions such as Valentine's Day, anniversaries or weddings. A pinwheel or artichoke fold can dress up a table and make it look formal. Use a double-roll, cone or accordion fold for a sleek and professional look. Store silverware in the envelope, napkin pocket or diamond pouch fold to keep it tucked away in a simple design.

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