I wrote about our love of cloth napkins two years ago, and you guys actually seemed super intrigued by them. So I thought I’d post again. Now after almost three years of using cloth napkins everyday, rather than paper, we still love them!
I got the idea around three years ago when Martha Stewart Living ran a DIY article on making cloth napkins from old oxford shirts. I LOVED this idea and the look! What I didn’t love though was that each shirt only made one napkin, since oxfords are button ups and would have buttons going through one napkin if you tried to make two. I also didn’t like that the oxford fabric actually required you to sew hems. I really wanted to get away from paper napkins (and paper goods in general), but I was a beginner sewer and felt hemming each napkin would be too time consuming. So I revamped the idea.
Instead of using oxfords, I went through my husband’s stack of cotton polos that were either stained, ripped, or simply too worn. This material ended up being the perfect thing for our cloth napkins! This material cuts easily and doesn’t fray. No need to sew hems! I leave mine raw. You can see hems in these photos. Most of them are two to three years old! Still great shape! The polos that are a bit more textured, rather than just smooth and flat, seem to work better for me, in the no-fray department.
I cut my squares about 18″x18″. Some end up being more of rectangles and are closer to 12″x18″, depending on how low those two or three buttons dip on each shirt. I don’t worry about being exact. When folded, you can’t tell dimensions, and I’ve never seen a guest carefully inspect each of our napkins.
And you have to admit – the colorful variety and different patterns are pretty cute! What I really love though is that using less paper products also means less pollution. I’ve said this many times, but I feel really strongly about it – God has entrusted us with His creation. We need to steward it well! By using cloth napkins, I feel I am doing that just a little better.
Do any of you use cloth napkins? Paper towels? I’d love to know what you think!