Napkin Folding: Open Book

Martha Stewart Living, November 2001

This fold is pretty with bordered napkins as well as plain-edged ones.

Open Book How-To
1. Fold a dinner or luncheon napkin in half to form a rectangle. (If the napkin has a wrong side, begin with that side facing up.) Fold the top layer of the napkin back, making a new fold 3/5 of the way in from the open edge.

2. Fold the bottom layer of the napkin over the new edge, creating three strips of equal width.

3. Fold the napkin crosswise into equal thirds (not shown), and press. Fold the top third back and in half so it meets the outside edge; fold the middle third back to meet the opposite outside edge. Now the napkin has pockets for a place card on the outside and a menu on the inside, as shown. When a diner leaves the table during a meal, he should leave his napkin in his chair, not on the table for all to see. Etiquette experts differ on what to do with a napkin at the end of a meal. Some say to leave it in a crumple; others say to fold it simply and loosely. Either is acceptable, as long as the napkin is placed on the tabletop.


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