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Napkin Fold! Napkin Fold! Oh, we love Napkins Folds!

Napkin folding is always a popular topic. It is a beautiful focal point on a dinner table as well as a key element in creating the perfect style you desire. The fold of a napkin can really set the tone of casual to formal. It's all in how you fold....and we can't get over the creativity we've seen over the years! For instance, look at this slight variation on the butterfly fold that was at a lovely outdoor wedding in 2014. It ties the loose and organic garden feel of the flower arrangement into the placesettings on the table top.


There are so many really cool videos and step by step instructions that you can find on the internet, that there are truly endless possibilities for ways to create super amazing napkin creations!

For example, we love this YouTube video by that we found online. This is the link: to see how this cool napkin fold is made in the image below:


We’d enoy hearing from you so send us a video of napkin folding that inspires you! You might just see it shared on an upcoming blog post. And if you need help with the napkins folding at your upcoming event, check out all the play by play videos online or ask your caterer, hotel banquet staff or event planner for help. We're delighted to show you a few of our napkin folding moves, too.


The history of napkin folding is honestly quite interesting as to how these beautiful table creations of elegance came into being.

According to Wikipedia, “Napkin folding has a centuries old history and dates back to the times of Louis XIV of France.” This powerful French monarch lived 1638 - 1715.

However, according to Luigi’s Napkins at,

“The use of the napkin in Europe began in 1400 on the tables of royalty, where they started to use napkins made from warm or even perfumed cloth.

At the beginning of the 1800s, napkins became part of the bourgeois lifestyle, mostly to protect the sumptuous dresses of the period during meals. This is the era when the folding of napkins as decoration for dining tables began. The art really took off around 1880 with the incoming prosperity of the Industrial Revolution.

Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management, published in 1861, had an extensive reference section on napkin folding. These designs have now become classics and are still used today…The First and Second World Wars were periods of interlude in terms of the development of these decorations.

At the beginning of the 1950s, with the war over, decorations and creativity flowed again reviving the art of folded napkins as a means of expression. This is when the development of very elaborate and complex napkin folds took place…Since the early 1980s we have become more reluctant to use napkin folding as part of the table preparation on the grounds of hygiene. With no practice there is no training and napkin folding has seen a decline in application in favour of a new style of table setting.

A new trend of minimalism has been embraced. Elaborate napkin folding went out of favour and a new term “simplicity in style” has been has adopted. This new minimalist trend is very popular today with many fine dining operations.

Even so, we still use fancy napkin folds — particularly for weddings and special occasions…There is no doubt that the development of napkin folding has been greatly influenced by Origami, the ancient Japanese art of paper folding.”

Popular Napkin Folds

We agree that in today’s event world, it is evident that the clean lined, modern style is the current trend as mentioned above. Here by the beautiful ocean in Florida, we’re mostly seeing two styles of napkin folds. One is the pocket fold, and you can see below a photo by Cat Pennenga of this popular fold being used at the Manatee Garden Club this past Saturday night. The clever bride tucked her gorgeous wedding menu into the pocket for an extra special touch.


The other style is the folding of a napkin similar to how you would a dish towel and draping it over the side of the table to the seat of the chair and securing it with a bread and butter plate or charger. We actually don't even know if there is a name for this style of napkin fold. Please enlighten us if you happen to have heard of its name! It's also a handy style when you're outside and don't want the wind to blow your napkins off the table and onto the ground. See below a photo of this napkin look at Selby Botanical Gardens.


Some of the most popular napkin folds in the US include the following, and there are lots of examples of these folds you can find such as in event planning books, wedding magazines and on the internet:

Bishop's Hat
Diagonal pocket
Dress Shirt


Above image found on:

As you can see, napkin folds are all so stunning that we can’t decide which napkin fold is our very favorite design. We find that sometimes the event theme can easily dictate the perfect fold, and often your own personal style is the best way to guide your tabletop plan. You might even find that a napkin ring is the perfect accessory to the napkin. Often at weddings, we even see ribbons tied around napkins for a soft, romantic feel. See a photo below of a funky table setting with delightfully mismatched napkins rings around classic hemstich napkins.


Enjoy all of your event planning ahead of you and start thinking more about one of the smallest details that many in the hospitality industry say has one of the biggest impacts at every function - Napkins Folds! We Love Napkins Folds!

Linens by the Sea was born out of passion, ingenuity and creative flair. Our goal is to turn important events into lifelong happy memories. We pride ourselves on attending to your individual needs, and every day we strive to make your special occasion simply unparalleled with our outstanding linens. Please Contact Us if you would like to start designing your upcoming festivity.

7600 Matoaka Road
Sarasota, FL 34243
941-757-3523 office | 941-727-1938 fax

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