Thursday, June 23, 2011

For Love of the Cloth Napkin

Cloth napkins are a great addition to any table.  They look nice.  They save paper towels and/or paper napkins.  They are durable.  They last a long time.  BUT, you have to wash them and iron them and fold them.  I am still drawn to them.  My grandma always had pretty napkins on her table . . . I wanted pretty napkins too. 

When we bought our house I decided that we were going to use cloth napkins.  Less waste in the landfill and less money spend on disposable things.  I bought a set or two on clearance (and with a coupon - that's how I roll) at Kohl's and I LOVED them.  So pretty and they felt good and looked good and worked so well.  Then I washed them and they were so wrinkly!  I do not like to iron (does anyone?) - I don't even own an iron!  So, they sat in a draw for a few months waiting to be ironed.  I borrowed my mom's iron (which I have yet to return) and finally iron them.  But, the same thing would happen every time they needed to be washed.  I then thought of cloth napkins as a chore.  I didn't really like them but I continued to use them because I had already invested in them (I use invested very lightly here because I got them for a few cents) and didn't want them to go to waste.

Then one day the boyfriend's mom handed me a bag and told me she knows how much I like napkins so she bought these from her friend's shop that had just opened.  I opened the bag and there were 8 green cloth napkins.  They were so nice that it took me a while to start using them but since the first time I washed and dried them I haven't looked back.  To my delight they come out of the dryer without needing to be ironed. 

I LOVE cloth napkins!

Now I have a few sets but by far the easiest to take care of and the best quality are the set the boyfriend's mom got me. 

This is the color I have - mint green.  Don't let the mint name fool you, these are a light green and not an obnoxious green.  They are more like an after dinner mint green than the inside of an Ande's Mint green.
I have been using my set every day for about a year.  I use them even when we have pizza and the grease washes right out!  I have NEVER had to iron them and they still look brand new.  They cover my entire lap and then some - which I love!

I can't decide between the mauve and the creamy tan - I would probably choose creamy tan just based on the name but both would get a ton of use in our house!

This color is amazing!  I would call this color a turquoise instead of a sea green but regardless of the name the color is beautiful!! 

I would probably not use these since they are so fancy, but I still really like them.  Maybe for a formal dining room?  Or a holiday?

The napkins made by the boyfriend's mom's friend - her name is Evelyn White and I am pretty sure she is related to the boyfriend but he is related to pretty much everyone, so that doesn't tell you much.  Her etsy store is called Fine Fabric Fancier and she has a large selection of cloth napkins to choose from and other items as well.  Her napkins are amazing and I will be buying more soon!  I love them so much because:
~ They are large (22" by 22").
~ They have a 2" mitered border (I am pretty sure this is why they come out of the dryer without wrinkles)
~ They are cotton and easy to wash.  I just throw them in the washer and they come out clean.  I do pre-treat when they have greasy spots. 
~ They are handmade.
~They are beautiful yet can be used every day.
~ I thought they were a little expensive (compared to my almost free Kohl's napkins) but since I use them every day and they don't look like they have aged at all - I would gladly spend the money for them.  They are $4 each and after a month of using them I am pretty sure I saved that much or more in paper towels!

Maybe someday I will make some of my own but until then I will continue to love my napkins that she made. 

* I did not ask Evelyn about posting this and I hope she doesn't mind (I have never met her) but I really think these are the best cloth napkins out there. *

Do you use cloth napkins?  If you do you have a favorite type?


Crystal Cattle said...

I definitely be putting some fun napkins on my wedding registry. Of course I like the turquoise ones the best. So excited to see your followers growing!

Farmchick said...

I was just at a town meeting held at a lady's house and she served items and had cloth napkins. Very stylish and yet practical.

Anonymous said...

Why thank you, Sarah. Evelyn is "the boyfriend's" cousin and her shop is in Grass Valley. It is a darling shop and she is a very talented semstress!
The Boyfriend's Mom

Viktoria with a K said...

Great post! I looove cloth napkins. My favorite set is actually at my mom's house. They are green gingham and are just so cute. I've actually been thinking about making some... It can't be too hard, right?

People always think of me as a treehugger (I drive a hybrid. I recycle. I carry reusable totes.), but I see myself as someone who is reducing waste. Why use paper when you can use cloth? I do a load of towels once a week... It doesn't take that much more effort to throw in cloth napkins!

Anna said...

Super fun, I love cloth too and hate ironing:(