Handwoven Napkins for Real People

I have never woven napkins because napkins that are used get soiled. Why spend time weaving something you have to be so careful about? That is about to change. I am dressing the drawloom for napkins!

Drawloom 22/2 cottolin warp is beamed.

The napkins I have in mind are family-friendly napkins for all ages. They will get soiled, of course. They are made with grandchildren in mind–Cottolin warp and linen weft. I have a fun design for each napkin. And we’ll be ready to wipe any messy mouth. Napkins are made to get soiled.

Next step is to tie ends into threading groups to prepare for threading.

Wisdom is marked by a sense of calm. There is no dread of something ruining the day. If a little (or big) person soils a napkin, so be it. That will just serve to add a bit of history to the cloth. With a little wisdom, I’ll remain undisturbed.

May you listen to wisdom.

Happy weaving,

13 thoughts on “Handwoven Napkins for Real People

  1. I’m curious to see what you make, nothing is better than cloth napkins!
    Certain foods can leave permanent stains, and some people soil napkins more than others. Just a thought, if they were monogrammed each family member can keep theirs through the visit, and that way not all napkins would get permanent stains either. Most napkins here look like they have barely been used after a meal, and a couple always look like they have been used for a while 🙂 We use a small washcloth to wipe off the messiest mouths and hands of little kids.

    I wouldn’t worry about stains, though. We have used cloth napkins for many years.
    I have a crisp white linen damask set that I bought at an antique store in Denmark 30 years ago, and we have used them every Christmas since, always with children. I have never used bleach but they still look great. In general, stains are really not an issue.

    1. Hi Elisabeth, Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I’m looking forward to having cloth napkins at the table. That’s great news that stains are not a big problem.


  2. I can’t wait to see what you weave! I am just about to start my 3rd drawloom warp and planning out what I will weave, it’s all still new to me.

    1. Hi Renee, The planning is half the fun. I still have most of the setup to do, and then I will get serious about finishing the designs for single unit and pattern shaft weaving. Hint: each napkin will have a different image – something that children and adults will enjoy.

      Happy weaving,

    1. Hi Martha, the napkins will be from 22/2 cottolin warp and 16/2 linen weft. These will be hefty for napkins, I know. I’m thinking of them as small towels for the lap.


  3. From my distant past I knew a ‘grown up’ who had survived a fire. All those heirloom textiles with the crocheted edges and embroidery too good to use were gone. When I met her, she used everything she had, whenever she wanted.

    A stain, here or there is not noticed. The best thing about napkins is you will see them in use often.

    Kind regards


  4. I had the same thought as Elisabeth M. A monograph or symbol that represented each family member would give them the same napkin each time. Putting some single unit drawcords in the center or on one side could accomplish this. There might be some family members who have the same initials so it would be fun to come up with the design to represent each family member. This sounds like a fun project. Plus, I notice that you have chosen colors which should help with the soil problem. However, I have found that it is easier to wash soil out of linen than cotton, so that will also help. Joanne

    1. Hi Joanne, Elisabeth and you have given me some good ideas to think about. I did choose this colors with high capacity usage in mind. Also, I have some thoughts for the weft that I think will further obscure stains, should there be any. I, too, have found that linen items wash very well. So, I think we have a lot going for us with these napkins-to-be. It will certainly be a fun project.

      Thanks for weighing in,

  5. I have been using two sets of handwoven napkins for the last I think 2 years with kids ranging form 2 to 12 – now 4 and 14 and they are still in great shape not stains whatsoever… And they can get really dirty ( ketchup, chocolate, tomato sauce you name it) but they come out as good as new after washing.

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