For several years, we have been using cloth napkins instead of paper. It started as a way of being more environmentally conscious and also a way of using up remnants of material left over from other sewing projects. I got tired going through paper ones so quickly. Using cloth napkins, that I made myself, seemed like a better alternative.
I received a lovely rectangular basket as a gift a few years ago. I wasn’t sure what to do with it initially, but it works perfectly on the dining table to hold the cloth napkins. They are always on hand when needed. Soiled ones get tossed in with the laundry and returned to the basket, clean, folded and ready for reuse. I feel so green and crafty when I use them.
Previously, I had made single sided napkins using mitered corners. This approach works well, but it is a bit of work with a lot measuring and ironing of hems. I love to sew, but I’m also a bit lazy. The napkins also wrinkled more than I liked after laundering. This is not a concern for everyday use, but ironing is preferred when we have guests.
I came across the following tutorial via the Chocolate and Zucchini food blog. I decided to try making two sided napkins and am very happy with the results. I’ll continue to use my current napkins, but all future ones will be two sided. Not only are they easier to make, they don’t wrinkle as much when laundered. They have a nice, heavy weight and give you some fun options in mixing and matching fabric. It’s a great way of using up some remnants, especially for everyday use when they don’t need to match.
After ten years, the original napkins are still in use. They are now threadbare but functional. Over the past decade, I’ve continued to sew napkins for daily use. We love them and would never want to go back to paper.