Why napkin folding is important and how to do table napkin folding like a pro.
Napkin folding is an art and turns to be pretty useful if you want to add a decorative flair to your dinner table.
Did you know that napkin folding as we know it now is as old as the hills?
In fact, it dates from 17th century, and it was in 1639 when the first manual for napkin folding was published by the German Matthia Gieger while he was working in Padua, Italy. He became so good at it that even taught the art of napkin folding at the University of Padua! Nowadays there is no fancy restaurant that skips this old European tradition as it is a big part of table decoration. However, napkin folding it is not exclusive to restaurants. If you love to host dinner parties, you should definitely have an ace up your sleeve to impress your guests even before the food arrives at the table. We have compiled our top 5 easy and fast napkin folding ideas that you can use for any lunch or dinner celebration and gatherings. Before we start, keep in mind that the best shape for a napkin is a square one, although there are some cool ideas for rectangular napkins too.
THE BOW TIE NAPKIN FOLD
This is one of the easiest to achieve! In order to do the bow tie fold, you will need a napkin and a pretty ribbon, tape or napkin ring to secure it.
- Place your napkin on a flat surface and fold the top and bottom towards the middle to create a rectangular shape
- Wrap a few inches of tape/ribbon around the center to create the bow tie OR if you are using napkin rings, pinch the center with your fingers to shape the napkin into the bow tie shape and help put the ring in place.
KNOTTED NAPKIN + NAME TAG
This is a napkin folding basic for beginners, as it is easy and fast to achieve within seconds. Just make a knot with a pretty patterned napkin of your choice and place it off-center on the plate. Match your napkin color with a handwritten name tag to assign seats for your guests. It is a super elegant idea for any special occasion.
THE BISHOP’S HAT OR LILY
In order to obtain the best results for this napkin folding shape, iron your cloth napkin. However, you can use both, paper napkins as well as cloth napkins. It will look great on your table and you can put it lying down or standing up on the plate, it is up to you. Follow the video tutorial above by Falten mit Yvonne and see for yourself how easy it is!
THE PINWHEEL NAPKIN FOLD
The pinwheel napkin fold is a great idea for an outdoor gathering, mostly for BBQ’s or picnics. It is fun, relaxed and will set your table in style. Follow the steps below to achieve this fold:
- Open the napkin completely and fold it in half into a rectangular shape
- (Optional) if possible, iron this rectangular shape for a better final look
- Fold into quarters to make a square again and iron again (optional)
- Fold the top section towards the center, pull the top right corner up and fold it. Bring the entire right section towards the center of the napkin.
- Repeat the same process with the bottom section. Fold it towards the center and pull the bottom corner down.
- Pull the top corner out and iron one last time to make it look neat!
If you need some visuals for this napkin fold, follow this video by Brit+Co :
THE SIMPLE POCKET NAPKIN FOLD
The single pocket napkin fold is a beautiful idea for wedding receptions and elegant gatherings. Because of its elegance for wedding events, this napkin fold is commonly done with cloth napkins and will dress your table up and it is great to put inside the course menu, a decorative item or the table cutlery. In order to master this napkin folding technique, follow the steps below:
- Lay your napkin on a flat surface and fold the bottom section in half on top of the top section to create a rectangular shape
- Fold the top layer of the rectangle down and flip the napkin over
- Take the rectangle and fold it in half, bringing the right section to the left section. Fold in half again bringing the right section to the left section.
- Tie some twine or a beautiful ribbon to secure the napkin fold and add some decorative elements
- Your single pocket fold is ready. You can now tuck the menu/name tag of your guest/silverware inside the pocket.
Master tip: finally add a decorative element to personalize and embellish any of the napkin folds. For example, you could include a mistletoe branch for a Christmas dinner, some flowers, little bows, name cards and any other embellisher that would fit the occasion. What do you think of these ideas? Leave us a comment below! If you want to see more easy and cool DIY posts, have a look at our DIY Blog