Sunday, April 10, 2011

Secret Obsession: Cloth Napkins

I know it probably sounds incredibly fussy and pretentious to say that I always use cloth napkins, but it's true, I do.  I don't really remember how it got started, but I'm sure it had something to do with being too cheap to buy regular napkins (yes, I know that sounds dumb--napkins are what?  a couple of dollars? Don't try to understand my logic).  Anyway, the last few years I've just started collecting them and, since I'm pretty handy with a sewing machine, have even made a bunch of my own.  Here are some of my favorites from my stash:
from left:
  1. unsure where this one came from, but it was the first in my collection
  2. homemade
  3. vintage
World Market and Anthro are great places to find cloth napkins.  Especially on sale.  Other great places are Pier 1, Home Goods, and Etsy.

Here are some fun Etsy finds:
  1. Eat silkscreened napkins
  2. Organic polka-dot napkins
  3. Screen Printed VW napkins (these are my favorites!  LOVE!)
  4. Cake napkins
So are you still thinking I'm crazy?  Or wondering how much extra laundry this makes?  Well, I've just got a household of two, and we don't eat dinner at home every night, so it's not like we're going through 4 napkins a day, everyday.  Other than that, I keep a small, bathroom-sized trashcan in my kitchen, and then after dinner all the napkins just get thrown in there, along with dirty dishtowels and other kitchen linens (dry of course!!  Don't want anything to mildew!).  Then, when the trashcan is full, I throw them in the wash and wash everything.  Super easy.  AND!!  You're doing a good turn for the environment. 

I DO have a few stipulations on my napkins though.  First, I really don't like the damask ones.  They're too heavy and make me feel like I'm wiping my face on the curtains.  I also don't like the  really heavy ones.  They don't seem to want to absorb anything and just don't seem like they're really doing their job properly.  My favorites are the thin cotton ones.  If I make my own I only make them 15"x15" too, rather than the 20"x20" of most commercially-made napkins.  I'm not that messy of an eater and if you are, I don't really want you using my napkins anyway.  So I think the smaller size is more convenient. 

And yes, sometimes it does take me longer to pick out a napkin than it does to make a sandwich.  Don't laugh!

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