Cloth napkins keep the table clean and tidy for a long time. They have long been used not only at the long table of the aristocracy.
Nowadays, you can also earn points at family dinners, Sundays, or barbecues with friends by choosing the proper cloth napkin.
So whether you’re wiping expensive wine out of your mouth with the proper cloth napkin or excess barbecue sauce off your ribs, there’s no reason not to have cloth napkins anymore.
But, which cloth napkin should I use for each occasion? How do I fold them? And aren’t the patterns kitsch?
We answer these and other vital questions about cloth napkins in our guide to cloth napkins. With our recommendations, we want to help you find the proper cotton napkin.
We provide you with all the information you need to make an informed choice of which cotton napkin best suits your individual preferences.
The most important
- Not all napkins are the same. There is also a place for paper napkins, but we will tell you why cloth napkins are the best option and what you should look for when buying them so as not to be disappointed.
- Different types of cloth napkins suit other occasions. But what is the right size for the coffee party? Are there any color standards that I should be aware of? And what is a napkin ring? We will give you all the knowledge you need to avoid missteps.
- Folding a napkin correctly isn’t rocket science, but there are a few things you should pay attention to. Also, in this case, we advise you in our cotton napkin guide to the best of our knowledge.
our recommendation of the best products
There are at least as many cloth napkins as there are mouths worldwide. To give you an overview of this sea of cotton napkins, we have put together a list of the best cotton napkins with our editorial team.
In our opinion and research, these cloth napkins are the best in their respective categories. You can never go wrong with our favorite cloth napkins!
Cloth napkins: purchase criteria and review
Now you know our list of the best products, but you might want to read a little more about what makes a good cloth napkin and how we chose it for our list. If that’s the case, we’ll also be happy to help you.
In the next section, we will list all the critical points from which you can conclude whether the cotton napkin you want is high quality and suits you, your interior, and your preferences.
First, we would like to present you with a list of the most common materials and their properties in the production of cloth napkins.
This way, you can find out which fabrics and properties you prefer and choose a suitable cotton napkin from the wide range.
- Cotton: Cotton is known to be very soft and skin-friendly. In addition, it is very light, easy to clean, resistant, and absorbent. With all these qualities, it is not surprising that many cotton napkins choose it as the main fabric.
- Jute: Jute is very robust and has a silky, golden sheen. It also has a very high water absorption capacity. As it is considered the most potent and durable natural fiber, it is ideal for long-lasting cloth napkins. It is often seen as decoration.
- Linen: Linen fabric has a pleasantly relaxed feel and is very robust. The fact that it is also very soft and highly allergy-friendly makes it ideal for making cloth napkins.
Entire Twist Thread: Full twist thread is very soft and smooth without losing its durability. It is often made with mixed fabrics that combine the best qualities of different materials.
Cotton, jute, and linen are biodegradable and environmentally friendly.
Although these fabrics are safe in most cases, you should ensure that you are not allergic to them beforehand.
Of course, it is up to you which fabric or combination of materials you choose for your favorite cloth napkin. Now that you are also informed about the properties of fabrics, we hope you can make a good choice for yourself.
As mentioned in the materials section, different materials used for cloth napkins have other properties that affect cloth napkins. These directly influence the resistance of the cloth napkin and, therefore, its foldability.
The stronger the fabric, the more difficult it will be to fold the cloth napkin. If this is important to you, you should find out how easy or difficult it is to fold the fabric before buying it. We can tell you that linen cloth napkins are the easiest to fold.
The quality of the cloth napkin also influences its durability.
In general, you want to ensure that the cotton napkin you choose can withstand at least a 40-degree wash, but preferably a bit more, as stubborn stains are often tough to remove with a 40-degree wash.
The quality of the product often determines the color’s wash fastness. This is especially important with black napkins, as they can not only bleed but could stain the rest of your laundry.
color and drawing
Meanwhile, colorful cloth napkins are no longer a rarity. Whether in black, white, pink, red, blue, or even with brightly colored motifs, animal motifs, or festive motifs and seasonal colors.
You can choose your favorite colors or patterns to match your decor, just the way you like it. You can even have names and initials printed on your cloth napkin.
The only thing to remember when choosing the colors is that it may be necessary to wash the cloth napkin selected separately from the colored ones and the white ones, as it can sometimes stain the rest of the clothes, especially with lower quality cloth napkins.
This way, you can also prevent them from fading.
Cloth Napkins: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Now you know a lot about cotton napkins and what they entail. But questions can always go unanswered. That is why we have summarized and answered the most important and frequently asked questions about cloth napkins in the following section.
All essential questions about cloth napkins are answered here!
What is a cloth napkin?
What is the 16th century was reserved for the nobility, today is part of all homes that value an elegant and orderly meal with family or friends.
The cloth napkin appears to be the savior of manners and means that you do not have to start the washing machine after each meal with the children. It saves not only nerves but also water and, therefore, money.
Gone are the days of wiping your fingers on your clothes or tablecloth after eating, for hygiene, and those responsible for the laundry.
Today, napkins are not only on well-placed tables.
They have their place at all family tables and dinners but can also be found in bars and afternoon coffee breaks.
They are mainly used to wipe your mouth and fingers but are now also considered an integral part of table decoration, as they can be bent into various shapes.
Because there is one thing that a good host must never forget if he wants the meal to be a success: The eye eats with you.
What types of cloth napkins are there?
Both the material and the size of the cloth napkin directly influence the type of cloth napkin. Below we list the most common types of cloth napkins and their use and properties.
|cocktail napkins||Used at standing and champagne receptions||It measures from 20x20cm to 30x30cm approximately; it is placed unfolded on the bar tables|
|cover napkin||It is often used as a kind of small tablecloth at dinner||It measures approx. 80x80cm to 90x90cm and is usually placed diagonally to the direction of the table|
|coffee napkin||It is used when drinking coffee||It measures approx. 22x22cm to 25x25cm and fits under the cake fork|
|mouth napkin||It is usually used at dinner||It measures approx. 50x50cm and festively placed on the table|
These are the classic types and uses of cloth napkins, but you have a lot of freedom. If you want to add a touch of class to a coffee table or cocktail party, you can fold these cloth napkins for your guests.
What are the alternatives to the cloth napkin?
As with almost everything in life, there are alternatives. In the next section, we list the most common options for cloth napkins in case you need them.
|Paper napkins||The cheapest napkin variant. However, it only saves money in the short term, as they are not reusable.|
|Cellulose napkin||Very similar to simple paper napkins, but of somewhat higher quality|
|soft drink tissues||Wet disposable tissues are used to clean the fingers and mouth.|
However, these alternatives can never fully replace a cloth napkin in terms of function, as they are only intended for occasional use.
In this way, you save money at the time of purchase but pay more in the long run. And this is for products that are not as elegant as cloth napkins.
What type of fabric is suitable for napkins?
Woven cotton is the classic choice for handmade DIY cloth napkins because it is durable, absorbent, and provides a soft touch to the skin. You can also safely wash it with your laundry, and it will look great every time. Quilted cotton is the best choice if you want to make double-sided napkins.
Is it cheaper to use cloth napkins?
They’re inexpensive, and you’ll have them forever.
Cloth napkins are one of the cheapest and easiest ways to add color and class to your table. They’re typically more affordable than a salad plate or ornate glassware, and you can even DIY them.
Are cloth napkins sanitary?
When laundered properly and handled under sanitary, food-safe conditions, table napkins are clean and safe. Even the CDC agrees – that cloth napkins are safe to use for as long as there is strict adherence to laundry, single-use, and other restaurant guidelines.
What size is a cloth napkin?
Usually, DIY cloth napkins are simple squares, and they come in several standard sizes: most popular are 16″, 18″, 20″, or even 22″ yards.
Do cloth napkins get stained?
White cloth napkins tend to get stained. Learn how to wash linen napkins and clean white cloth napkins. Get the stains out and keep your napkins white.
Do you need to wash cloth napkins before using them?
You don’t have to wash it. If you have time, you can wash it, dry it, and take it out wrinkle-free. It just washed after the first use and was still wrinkle-free after drying. The key to drying and producing it wrinkle-free is not to let it stop at the end of the drying cycle.
What is better for the environment, paper or cloth napkins?
If you add up the emissions from growing the raw materials, manufacturing the napkins, and washing and drying, the paper napkin is the clear winner with 10 grams of greenhouse gas emissions vs. 127 grams for linen and 1020 grams for cotton.
Do napkins have to match the tablecloth?
The napkins will blend into the tablecloths. Instead, try contrasting colors. In general, it’s a good idea to match a more neutral color like white, black, or ivory with an eye-catching color like green, blue or red.
How do you fold a cloth napkin?
An adequately folded cloth napkin looks good. Quickly turn a simple meal into a high-end dinner and impress guests.
You can now fold a cloth napkin in many different ways, depending on what you prefer; a variety of videos explain it through the visual element much more vividly than the written word could.
You can watch tons of videos on online platforms like YouTube until you find the folding technique that excites you the most. You don’t have to worry about whether you can do it either because from binder beginners to binder pros, there’s something for everyone.
How is a cloth napkin strengthened?
If you want to strengthen your cloth napkins, there are some home tips on the best way to do it. In the following steps, we will explain how to do it by hand.
- First, you take a bucket in which you mix starch, for example, potato starch. To do this, take about 4 tablespoons and stir them in cold water.
- Now fill the bucket with boiling water and stir it all up.
- Then add cold water until the bucket is full.
- Now take your cloth napkins and move them back and forth in the bucket, do this for about 3-5 minutes.
- Next, put the cloth napkins in the washing machine and set it to “spin.”
- Lastly, hang them up to dry. It is important not to put them in the dryer because they will soften.
If you don’t have a washing machine, you can also spin the napkins by hand. But make sure you don’t wear them out.
We hope we have been able to tell you everything you need to know about cotton napkins in our guide.
Now you know our favorites of the best cloth napkins; you know what to look for when buying a cloth napkin, and you have the necessary knowledge on how to take better care of your cloth napkin so that you can enjoy it a long time.
Give your next dinner or celebration, be it a wedding or a birthday, a little more class, and get the cloth napkin set right for you.
Now you know the effect a good cloth napkin can have, and you even know the first folding techniques to create an eye-catching element on the dining table.