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Napkin Folding: Envelope

Martha Stewart Living, November 2001

This elegantly simple fold looks appropriate at either an informal meal or a formal one.

Envelope How-To
1. Starch and press a napkin. Fold it in half diagonally, letting the bottom edge show about 1/8 of an inch, and press the fold; press all folds as you go. Fold in the two bottom corners of the triangle so they meet at the center. Then fold the sides over so they meet in the center.

2. Fold up the bottom half of the napkin to about 1/2 inch below the triangle flap. Fold flap down, closing envelope, and press to finish. This technique works well with any size napkin, though etiquette experts agree that dinner napkins should be 20 inches square or larger (medieval napkins were as large as 1 yard square). Smaller napkins are meant to be used for lunch or brunch.