Linen Napkin Folding Ideas

Hand-Woven Italian Yellow Linen Napkin – Fiore di Lino

Have you ever taken your seat at the table of a restaurant or wedding reception and marvelled at the elaborate shapes into which the beautifully crisp napkins have been folded? Well, believe it or not, you need not be a master of origami to fold linen napkins into elegant and creative forms for your table setting.

Cloth napkins can fulfil a number of purposes when placed at the dining table. They can, of course, facilitate good etiquette for the guests that you are entertaining, but they can also be the icing on the cake when it comes to the tablescape. As dinner parties will call for more formal and decorative place settings, occasions like these can be an opportunity to have some fun with napkin folding. In this step-by-step blog, we have laid out out our favourite linen napkin folding ideas to make achieving classic styles of napkin fold at home simple and stress-free.

As discussed in our recent blog post on the benefits of linen napkins, linen is an extremely appropriate fabric in terms of performing the functions of a dinner napkin, but its suitability over paper serviettes doesn’t stop at the practical. When it comes to napkin folding, using high-quality linen is the key to making sure that the napkins are able to hold their shape and wow your friends and family at the dinner table – and luckily, linen of the finest standard is what we at AllÓRA do best. While many linen lovers will appreciate the naturally crumpled texture of linen, freshly-washed cloth napkins used for napkin folding should be ironed smooth while damp to ensure the best results.

So, grab your favourite cloth napkins made from linen and read on to learn four easy ways of folding square napkins that will take your dining occasions from delightful to divine!

A folded purple linen napkin holding cutlery next to a plate

The Pocket

A folding idea guaranteed to give your table that ultimate polished look, ‘The Pocket’ is a perfect way to incorporate your silverware into the napkin fold.

  • Place the linen napkin flat on a table.
  • Fold in half horizontally, so that the bottom edge meets the top edge.
  • Fold in half vertically, right edge to left edge, so that the napkin is a quarter of its original size.
  • Take the top left corner of the top layer and fold it diagonally downwards so that it meets the bottom right corner of the napkin.
  • Flip the whole thing over, so that the opposite face of the napkin is now facing upwards.
  • Fold the right side of the napkin inwards, so that the right edge lies vertically, just past the square’s centre line.
  • Now fold the left side inwards so that it overlaps the right side, tucking the bottom left corner into the tiny pouch on the right.
  • Turn the whole thing over again. The linen napkin should have a diagonal line across its middle.
  • Carefully tuck a fork and knife into the pocket behind this diagonal fold.

The Ring Roll

Oozing a timeless elegance, this simple style of napkin fold is well-suited to being presented atop the dinnerware at each place setting.

  • Place the linen napkin flat on a table.
  • Fold the napkin in half and then in half again (to quarter its size).
  • Tightly roll both the top and bottom edges inwards so that they meet.
  • Slide the napkin into a napkin ring of your choice, keeping the napkin in shape with one hand and holding the napkin ring in the other.

The Lily

A slightly more contemporary folding idea, this napkin fold will transform your linen into a lily flower, stem and all. Browse our exquisite range of glassware to bring this idea into full bloom.

  • Place the linen napkin flat on a table.
  • Fold the napkin in half and then in half again (to quarter its size).
  • Rotate the napkin slightly so that it looks like a diamond, with the corner made up of open ends as the top point.
  • Pinch together the left and right corners so that the napkin folds like an accordion.
  • Maintaining the pinch, bend the folded napkin in half so that the ends come towards each other.
  • Place the napkin in a glass of your choice, ends sticking upwards.
  • Gently pull apart the layers so that the napkin resembles the petals of a flower.

The Pyramid

Give your table setting a high-end accent with this self-supporting napkin origami shape.

  • Place the linen napkin flat on a table.
  • Fold the napkin diagonally by taking the bottom left corner to meet the top right.
  • The napkin will now be in a triangle shape. Rotate it so that the folded edge is at the bottom.
  • One at a time, take the bottom corners to meet the top corner so that the bottom edges now run vertically down the middle and the napkin is a diamond shape.
  • Holding the bottom corner together, turn the whole thing over so that you see no exposed edges.
  • Fold the napkin horizontally into a triangle, so that the top corner meets the bottom corner and some edges can be seen again.
  • Holding the bottom corner and the middle of the top edge, fold the sides of the triangle inwards so that it stands by itself in a sort of pyramid shape.
  • Carefully place the linen napkin atop your chosen crockery, with the three-layer fold facing towards the seat.
A white and pink linen napkin rolled into a napkin ring on top of a place setting

As you can see, there are many easy ways of folding linen dinner napkins into eye-catching styles. Whether you opt for cloth napkins which directly match your tablecloth, or whether you prefer ones which complement the rest of the table linen more subtly, folding them into one of these shapes will elevate your tablescape and, by extension, the entire dining experience.

Take a look at our stunning collection of linen napkins and become a napkin folding expert in preparation for your future get-togethers.

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