Using linen napkins properly is part of the table manners everyone should know. It takes more than just dabbing at your mouth while eating spaghetti or some other messy food.
First of all, cloth napkins are used whenever the dinning occasion is more formal or when this kind of atmosphere is aimed to be created. Paper napkins are normally used during less formal meals.
Cloth napkins are still widely used and available in several sizes, each size tailored to a specific use (the simple rule is this – the more food is going to be served, the larger the napkin: beverage napkin is smaller than luncheon napkin which is smaller than dinner napkin).
Linen napkins are a very popular alternative when considering which fabric to choose for one‘s table linen. They absorb moisture instantly, are soft and nice to touch, they are easy care and come in huge array of colors and patterns. Adding a matching linen tablecloth will transform the dining time to a special experience.
When choosing your cloth napkin be aware that a high-thread-count, white, off-white, linen or linen-cotton mix damask napkin is still considered the most elegant and luxurious.
Linen Napkins – Etiquette Rules
Whether the napkin on a table is cloth or paper, when in polite company, use them according to some popular etiquette rules.
- Wait for the host to unfold his napkin and do the same with yours and place it on your lap.
- It’s not necessary to fully open a large napkin; just fold it in half.
- The napkin should stay on your lap throughout the entire meal.
- When you wipe your mouth, do this gently – just dab your lips.
- If there is a need to leave the table, leave your loosely folded linen napkin on your seat or to the left of your plate.
- NEVER tuck your napkin into your shirt collar! Its place is on your lap!
- When the host puts his napkin on a table it‘s a sign for you to do the same – the meal time is over. Leave your napkin on a table or your chair.
Knowing proper table etiquette gives you more confidence in different dining situations, whether it’s dinner at a fancy restaurant, job interviews over a meal or lunch at a friend’s home.
For tips on washing linen napkins read here.