Beautifully folded napkins set the scene for a holiday meal to remember. For best results, start with clean, pressed linen or cotton napkins. Be sure to starch them, and press each fold as you work. If you're expecting a sizable crowd for dinner, start your folding early.
Also called the water lily or the artichoke, this fold will be familiar to anyone who has ever made a paper fortune teller. The center provides the perfect spot to place a dinner roll, party favor, or place card.
A napkin in an accordion fold, also known as a stemware fold, is an artful accent to the holiday table. Fold the pleats in half as shown, insert the bottom into a glass, and then fan out the top pleats.
When dinner is served, napkins should unfold easily, without snapping or jerking. (If a napkin is particularly large, etiquette experts advise opening it only halfway so it will fit neatly across your lap.)
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