Thursday, March 8, 2012

Making Easy Cloth Napkins (no sewing required)

I've been talking to my husband about making cloth napkins, and why not show you all what I will be doing.  We want to cut down on the usage of paper napkins, and sense we have two very active kids that means a lot of paper napkin usage.  Not to mention it can end up costing more than you want it too.  

I will be posting 3 ways of making napkins in the next few days.  

Yes, there are many ways of making napkins.

But just to start your creative juices going......

#1:  No Sew Cloth Napkins

What you'll need:

Measuring tool

A little info about the fabric.  

Length grain :  
Threads parallel the selvage edge (the very end of the fabric, the part that looks different form the rest of the fabric, sometimes it's a different color.  See second picture)
  • It's the strongest part of the fabric.
  • It falls easily along the lines of the body.  
  • It has the least amount of stretch.

Cross Grain: 
It's the perpendicular threads to the selvage edge.
  • It has just a little more give than the length grain
  • It can be weaker in some fabrics  
Bias Grain:   
It's the diagonal line across the weave of the fabric. 45 degree angle to the length and cross grains.   
  • It's where the maximum stretch of the fabric is. 
  • It will give you the best drape on the body. 

 Ok, so now we start.

I found that Fat Quarter size fabric pieces work the best, but you can use any woven cotton fabric you want. You can even use old shirts you don't want to use any more. 

1.  Choose the size you want your napkin to be.  I chose 15" X 17", no real reason it just looked good for me.  

2.  Make a notch, no bigger that 1/4 inch, with your scissors near the edge or next to the selvage edge and rip.  

Yes, rip.  Don't be afraid.      
This will be the straightest cut you can make on fabric, because you are letting the fabric follow it's own thread.   

3. Iron your fabric so it wont have any wrinkles and it will allow you to measure better.  

4. On the side you just ripped and ironed, make another notch near the edge, and repeat steps 2 and 3. This will give you a squared corner.  Use this side to make you measurement.  

Rip near the edge or next to the Selvage edge

Make a small notch

Rip to make a straight cut

5.  Measure your fabric using your squared corner edges.
6.  Make a notch at your measurement and rip your fabric again.
7. Iron your fabric.  

Iron and measure

 8. repeat steps 5-7 one more time. 

You'll find that the fabric naturally frays.  I will give more information on fraying on part 2 of Cloth Napkin making. 

And here you have your nice, no sew cloth napkin.  I've seen this type of fabric in a popular restaurant in town. 

 Have a Great Day!


Mamita's Next Thing:

Part #2 Cloth Napkins. 

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