Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Our Cloth Napkins

There are three types of people in this world: 
1. Paper napkin people.
2. Cloth napkin people.
3. Napkin? Huh? people.  

I'm #2.  Our entire house are 2's.  It's been that way for years now.  My dad has always been a cloth-over-paper kind of guy, so I guess my roots start there.  But, that's not where my passion comes from.  When I was first married, I worked at a local home decor store.  She got the best napkins there and I was always the first to see them.  The owner let me have everything at cost, so I was getting a great deal.  Occasionally, I would get some for the house.  Next thing I knew, I had a pretty solid collection.  I mainly had white, but added some soft blues and soft pinks in there.  I even found great ones at Walmart!


Fast forward 9 years, two house, and two kids later and they have become a regular part of our lives.  Every meal we're grabbing napkins for each person.  They sit in our laps and wipe mouths and clothes as the babies feed themselves, then at the end of the meal, they serve as towels to wipe down our sticky surfaces.  We go through several a day.  


We have two stashes: stained and very stained.  The stained are the nice ones for company, which is less a term and more a number.  If we have enough people over, we eat our meals in the dining room where the stained nice ones are.  If we have one person over, we stay in the kitchen in the pop up table and get them from the cubbie.

The benefits of cloth napkins are that they cut down on the cost of napkins/paper towels, they cut down on waste, and they add a special touch to sitting down to a meal (my favorite reason).  They are so a part of our lives, that Burl is quick to run for a napkin if he's playing "eat" in his room or spilled some milk or is helping us if we spill something.  


Obviously by the pictures, I don't iron them.  (Confession: I used to iron each.and.every.one back in those newlywed days. Ha!)  In one of the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks, she says that ironing napkins take away from that natural, casual look.  Since I adore natural and casual look and don't have time for formalities, un-ironed napkins are the name of my game. 


 Also, they are inexpensive for just a few.  Sometimes I'll add 2-4 into my grocery shopping when I'm at Walmart. It takes the sting out of buying several at one time.  I've even been known to ask for them as presents...I'm addicted to napkins!  Switching from #1 to #2 people has been a pleasant little switch for us.  

What about you?  1,2, or 3 people?  Wouldn't it be nice to have a little stash of napkins?  Check Walmart, Kmart, Target.  They all have cute ones, and can be found at great prices on clearance!  Happy wiping. 

12 comments:

  1. I have never thought about cloth napkins! I have a set of 6 that only come out when we have a few people over for dinner-I've used them once because we usually have the whole family over if we are entertaining! But I am going to toss a few into my grocery cart and see where it leads. Thank you!

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  2. Always been a cloth napkin person. Love them and the way it feels when you unfold them and put them in your lap. Homegoods is the best place that I have found to buy them since I loathe (read never, ever go to) Walmart. Kudos on being so green AND fancy.

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    1. Yes! Homegoods and Tuesday Mornings are great places!

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  3. We are definitely napkin people around here on a day to day basis, but cloth usually only comes out for company. You've inspired me (again!) to rethink our policy on that! :)

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    1. Yay! Read what Diane said below. She put it best!!!

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  4. I love the idea, but I could never get over them not matching.

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    1. You can't settle for coordinating? all white? different shades of yellow for you?

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  5. Yay for napkins! I'm a #2 and would not have in any other way. Cloth napkins are a sweet civilizing touch in what is often a riotous event (the family meal) and using them every day is an important way of telling children that they matter.

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    1. What you said is perfect! I loved the way you put it. "sweet civilizing touch in what is often a riotous event" could you be more poignant? Love it!

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  6. We switched to cloth a few years ago. It was in the name of less waste but I actually loved them instantly and went from someone who had a napkin beside my plate to someone who always puts one in my lap (paper napkins don't seem to do much in my lap and they always blow away to the floor).

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  7. Oh yes, cloth all the way. I just love textiles and this is one more way to get them into our lives! We use them for green/eco reasons, too, and every year I try to take another baby step in the direction of reusable over disposable.

    Another good reason for not ironing everyday cloth napkins is that irons (and dryers!) help to set stains and make them permanent. Every so often, I soak my napkins in oxygen bleach. I always try to hang them to dry in the sun, which helps to lighten stains considerably too.

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