Here’s why you should use cloth napkins every day—and how (and where) to sew beautiful mitered-corner ones for yourself. (VIDEO)
MONEY WELL SPENT | You should be using cloth napkins every day not only because doing so will save you money by cutting down on paper waste but also because you deserve nice things, and cloth napkins are nice all around: better next to the skin than paper ones, generally larger and more absorbent.
Some people think cloth napkins are only for special occasions or belong exclusively to the la-di-da crowd. Hogwash. Others think they are too time-consuming to maintain. Another fallacy. I have used cloth napkins since forever and have never ironed one that I use for every day. To keep my cloth napkins looking tidy when they are new, I pull them out of the dryer before they are bone dry, then fold them in half and iron them flat with my hands. After they have been through numerous washings, they are supple enough that I don’t even bother with that.
How To Buy Cloth Napkins
For everyday use, I buy patterned (they don’t show stains) and textured (they look okay with wrinkles) napkins in bulk. I bought my last batch of 40 on sale at Target. With so many napkins always on hand, I have been able to use each one just once before washing if I feel like it, or use them for clean up, cutting down on paper towel use.
How To Make Cloth Napkins
If you can’t find a large batch of napkins on sale like I did, why not make your own; beautiful, mitered-corner napkins are surprisingly simple to make. Professor Pincushion’s how to video featured above demonstrates just how easy the process can be.
If you don’t have your own sewing machine, Spool of Thread on E 15th Avenue in Vancouver has a sewing lounge equipped with Elna sewing machines that you can rent for just $8 an hour. —Annabel Lee