I have such fun at holiday-time dressing up the dinner table with fancy-folded napkins. And nothing fuels my passion for all things lovely in the kitchen more than . . . you guessed it—my two enthusiastic daughters.
Their excitement inspired “Napkins and Nibbles,” and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed hosting several of these mother-daughter napkin-folding-and-sweet-treat-enjoying evenings over the last few years.
Beyond the fun fellowship and festive treats, I hope to instill in them the joy of homemaking, attention to detail and striving for excellence in all things domestic. (For the record, I have a number of domestically weak areas . . . I just don’t teach any classes on those!)
Two important things to know if you’re interested in getting started with fancy folds are . . .
1) Buy napkins that are square. While some folds can be accomplished with rectangular napkins, many require perfect squares (and often napkins that may appear to be square actually have one side an inch or so longer—so be sure to check.)
2) Use good-size napkins—18-20 inches works well. Again, you can make a number of folds with a smaller size, but the larger sizes just work better, and the more intricate folds require more fabric.
My hands-down favorite book on the subject is The New Napkin Folding by Joanne O’Sullivan. It goes far beyond the basics (although it covers those thoroughly,) addressing such topics as fabric, napkin etiquette, napkin care and even stain removal.
Within these pages you’ll find dozens of napkin folds for any occasion, from casual to elegant, from simple to spectacular. This is a fabulous resource with plenty of helpful photographs of beautiful napkins (not just sketches) depicting each stage in the folding process as well as the finished product in its final presentation. This is a great book to have on hand.
Another helpful book on somewhat of a simpler scale is Napkin Folds by Bridget Jones. I actually stumbled across this one on a clearance rack back in my early married days, and I credit this find with first cultivating my interest in the topic.
A good online resource www.napkinfoldingguide.com. I much prefer the books, but this site is very helpful if you decide to try something last-minute and need some ideas.
This is the perfect month to try out some fresh ideas for your table . . . so get a book, round up your daughters and have fun folding!