If you are planning a dinner party, working on a holiday table with a theme, or simply preparing for a special family dinner, add a decorative touch to your preparations with a set of fancy folded napkins.
Your first consideration is your choice of napkin.
Some designs can be accomplished with paper napkins, but cloth napkins create decor with a touch of class, and are easier to work with when creating masterpieces for your table. Consider your choice of fabric. Cotton or cotton blends are very washable, less expensive and easily available. Linen or linen blend napkins are often the choice in your favorite upscale restaurants. Compare what you have in your linen closet, kitchen drawer, or your favorite kitchenware store to decide which is the best texture and price range for your needs.
Next, consider your fabric design. You may want to stick with a plain color that fits your theme or season of choice, but will be versatile for other uses. For a fanciful touch, consider a pattern that fits the holiday for which you are preparing. If you are feeling ambitious, perhaps you might want to purchase and hem napkins from commercial material. Be sure to look for napkins that are at least 15 inches in length, with a square shape.
Your next step is to prepare your chosen napkins. If you are using new napkins, they may be stiff enough to suit napkin folding simply because of their commercial preparation.
If you are expecting your guests to use your creations, though, you might want to wash them and begin anew. Depending on the quality of your napkins, you may want to begin with a starch treatment, or spray on a spray starch prior to ironing. This treatment will give your napkins a more workable and long-lasting texture. In any case, iron each napkin carefully before folding, steaming out any wrinkles, paying special attention to hems, which tend to become very puckered over time.
Now, you are ready to fold your napkin into a hat creation.
(1) Fold your napkin into a rectangle, matching the edges carefully.
(2) Pick up both edges of one open corner, and bring it over to the long folded edge, making a triangle out of one half of your fabric rectangle.
(3) Pick up the far edges of the rectangle that is left, folding it neatly over the triangle you have just prepared, aligning all edges. All you should see now is a smaller napkin square. The folded triangle you previously made is hidden underneath this layer.
(4) Gather up the pair of open corners left, and tuck them under your triangle, aligning this new fold with the folded edge of the triangle. You will now see a cloth triangle.
(5) Pick up your entire triangle, and examine the bottom opening. Find the middle of all the fold, which will be a space between four layers of cloth on each side.
(6) Hold your cloth triangle with the opening toward you, and a flat side down, so that your open side is vertical at a right angle to your work surface.
(7) With both thumbs in the point of the opening at a depth of about two inches, flip-up those two inches of cloth so they point away from you. Around your opening and following this flip, form a graduated one-inch cuff of cloth around the entire opening.
(8) Place your folded napkin upright with its cuff as the base.
Your cloth napkin design is now a complete cloth napkin hat creation. Continue with your full set of napkins until you are prepared for all your future guests. Use your napkins as dinner plate or dessert place decorations, to cover small glasses, or as part of your centerpiece. Your guests will be pleased and impressed with your creativity and style.Your cloth napkin