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Cloth napkins 101: Your essential handbook for a greener, classier table

Cloth napkins 101: Your essential handbook for a greener, classier table

11th Sep 2023

You probably already know the reasons why you should make the switch from paper to cloth napkins. Cloth napkins can be classier and even more sustainable in the long term. Now, the big question is, how do you use cloth napkins to make your table as green and classy as can be?

From choosing the right napkin size and colors to maintenance, we cover it all here. Read on.

What's a cloth napkin?

A cloth napkin is a soft piece of fabric used to wipe your hands and mouth during meals. They're either made of linen or cotton.

Are cloth napkins worth it?

Absolutely! If you're looking to create a green, stylish table decor, cloth napkins are a great add. Cloth napkins are not only sustainable but are also a reflection of your appreciation for aesthetics. They can instantly elevate the ambiance of your dining space and make your table decor look more stylish. A beautifully patterned napkin made of organic cotton fabric will beat one made of thin paper sheets in elegance any day.

Plus, while paper napkins might seem affordable at first glance, cloth napkins are more cost-effective in the long term as you can reuse the same napkin for 2-3 years with proper maintenance. So, cloth napkins are worth every penny.

Choosing the right fabric for your cloth napkin

Napkins made of cotton fabric feel softer and are more absorbent than linen napkins. So they wipe food stains off the dinner table better and feel pleasant against the skin. This overall experience makes cotton napkins a better choice.

If you're concerned about the environmental impact of cheap conventional cotton, go for napkins made of organic cotton like those you'll find in our shop. These have the least environmental impact of all napkin types.

What is a good size for cloth napkins?

The ideal size for cloth napkins is typically around 19x19 inches. This size strikes a balance between functionality and aesthetics, providing enough space for wiping and folding into decorative shapes.

If you've got kids, opt for a napkin size that's easy for them to handle. Of course, you can buy a smaller cloth napkin for your kid and get a larger one of 19x19 inches for yourself.

Choosing fabric colors and patterns

Whether you prefer patterns or solid colors, always choose cloth napkins that harmonize with your table setting. If your dinnerware or tablecloth has patterns, consider using solid-colored napkins that complement the design. And if your tablecloth is a solid color, a patterned cloth napkin would be a great choice. This is advised, but it isn't a strict rule. You might want to experiment to see what works to your taste.

Should napkins be the same color as the tablecloth?

Matching napkins to the tablecloth can create a cohesive look, but this rule isn't set in stone. It's great to experiment with contrasts or complementary colors to add visual interest and depth to your table decor.

Do you wash cloth napkins after every use?

It's a good practice to wash cloth napkins after each use. Regular washing prevents stains from setting in and maintains their freshness and quality. But this isn't always practical in real life as people are busy. Lightly used napkins can be folded and reused again by the same person. Also, ensure you follow the care instructions on the napkin's label.

Should cloth napkins be ironed?

Ironing cloth napkins is optional but can enhance the overall aesthetic. Crisp, well-pressed napkins contribute to a polished table appearance, creating a more luxe dining experience for your guests.

Where should you place cloth napkins?

Fold and place cloth napkins on the table for easy access. This makes it convenient for guests to access them during meals. What's more, such attention to detail showcases your commitment to hospitality.

It's always great to keep a pile of clean napkins nearby so you can easily replace used ones during the meal. There might be a big spill sometimes, you know.

What can you do with old cloth napkins?

Even if cloth napkins have served their dining purpose, they can find new life in creative ways. Repurpose old napkins as reusable cleaning cloths, sewing projects, or even decorative crafting elements. In more ways than one, cloth napkins are highly sustainable and shouldn't be left out of any eco-friendly dining tips.

Green dining begins with using eco-friendly cloth napkins made of 100% organic fabric. Completely rain-fed with 94% less greenhouse emissions, these fabrics are soft and stylish. Visit Ichcha to shop for sustainable organic cotton napkins you and your dinner guests will love for years to come.

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