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Three Easy Napkin Folds

Martha Stewart Living, November 1997

These three napkin folds are easy to create (but your guests will never know). For impressive results, start with clean, pressed linen or cotton napkins, and keep the iron hot.

Dark Brown Napkin: Fold the napkin in half horizontally, and press along the folded edge to make a crease. Unfold; place napkin on a surface with the crease facing up. Roll napkin in from both ends toward the crease (1). Stand napkin in a tumbler to hold its shape.

Light Brown Napkin: Fold the napkin in half diagonally to form a triangle; iron flat. Fold the point opposite the crease to the middle of the crease, and iron. Fold into thirds lengthwise, ironing creases along both folds (2). Next, fold the napkin along the creases so it is long and flat. Fold up one end of the napkin 1 inch from the edge; hold down (3). Begin rolling napkin up from this end, keeping the tuft exposed. Tuck the remaining end into the bottom half of the roll, and center napkin on a butter plate (4).

Yellow Bordered Napkin: Fold the napkin in half diagonally to form a triangle, and iron flat. Fold in two corners along the fold, and press one at a time. This envelope-style fold is ideal for hemstitched napkins or those with contrasting borders; a leaf or place card can be inserted or laid on top.

Comments (5)

  • 21 Nov, 2009

    try decorativedishes.com...brown toile. Or google brown toile dishes and you should be able to find them or similar.

  • 22 Nov, 2008

    Could someone please tell me where I could find the dishes used in the photo above?

  • 4 Mar, 2008

    I love napkins and use cloth every meal. I make my own using good fabric and make them the size I like. sometimes I use colorful prints I've learn how to miter the corners to finish the edge and my sewing machine does decortive stitches and I have fun with those. When my grand kids are over they look forward to the different ways I fold them .

  • 31 Dec, 2007

    Napkins add a wonderful quality to every meal. Use them every day and if someone forgets to use their napkin have them put a quarter in the napkin jar. At the end of the year use the money to buy new favorite cloth napkins. This is a good game to teach children to use napkins!

  • 13 Nov, 2007

    those are so neat but trying to find beautiful large linen napkins takes years of visiting estate sales so many people tire of theses items and forget about them as they lay in a stuffed drawer -- stored away banished due to the thought of time consuming effort to prepare