How to make bread cloths and fingertip towels

How to make bread cloths and fingertip towels

Some things at a dinner table are usually only seen on the tables of the wealthy. Some of the items would be difficult to come by for regular people, like gold silverware or only the best crystal. Other things, like bread cloths, are easily owned by average people and would appear right at home on their tables. Bread clothes aren’t just for an impressive dinner.

They not only look beautiful but they also keep the bread warm and warm bread is suitable for any household. Bread cloths are often just a towel or piece of fabric used to line the basket and flip over the top of the bread.

A simple version of the bread cloth can be made by hemming a square of fabric on all four sides. Broadcloth is a great choice of fabrics for the basket. Determine the size by measuring the basket from the outside bottom, over the edge, and across the inside bottom, over the other edge, and back to the bottom. Add eight inches to the measurement to allow plenty for covering the bread.

Or just make several bread cloths in different sizes and you’ll have one for any basket you choose. Fold the edges down a half-inch then an additional half-inch. Hem all four sides. Instead of hemming, you can also sew narrow lace around the edges.

A different type of bread cloth is made by pulling threads out of the cloth rather than hemming it. Choose a woven fabric that will easily allow you to pull a thread. After you’ve cut the cloth to the appropriate size grab the first thread in the row, at the corner, and pull it all the way across one side. Do this until you have about an inch or so of loose, hanging threads.

Repeat the process on all four sides. This gives more of a country look to the bread cloth. To prevent the bread cloth from unraveling the rest of the way treat the unraveled edges with a no-ravel product found in sewing departments. You can also paint the edge with a clear lacquer or use fusible web.

Many people embroider on bread cloths to make them more impressive. Set the pattern and use a hoop to hold the cloth. Embroider the pattern in a corner or across all four edges. Some people make two bread cloths – one to line the basket and one to cover it. In this case measure the basket from bottom edge, over to the inside bottom, and back out to the bottom edge. Cut two of these pieces before finishing the edges.

Fingertip towels are finished in the same way as the bread cloths but are cut differently. Instead of being cut in a square fingertip towel are cut in a rectangular shape: 20″ X30″. This size is perfect for the kitchen when cooking but make smaller versions when having guests for dinner.

Fingertip towels that are offered with finger bowls as a means to freshen up before eating should be about 12″X20″. Finish by choosing to either hem, add lace, or pull threads.

Fingertip towels

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