Napkin Etiquette: What to follow. What to ignore.
If you love paper napkins as much as we do, you may have etiquette guru Emily Post to thank. She is credited with the mainstream acceptance of paper napkins when she famously asserted, “It’s far better form to use paper napkins than linen napkins that were used at breakfast.”
Fresh is best. But when it comes to etiquette, you can turn a napkin “no-no” into a napkin “why not?” Here’s how.
Napkins belong to the left of the fork. Yes. Why? Because otherwise people might think you don’t know how to set a table. And you do. Besides, your fork might get a little lonely. That said, if you’re setting an outdoor table and the breeze kicks in, it’s perfectly acceptable to use your forks as napkin paperweights.
To tuck or not to tuck. Although Emily might shake her head, you do you. If you made a juicy burger and got a little heavy-handed with the ketchup, why shouldn’t you protect your new dress shirt? Lift your chin and tuck it right in! If your date doesn’t mind, why should we? (Lobster fests make a fortune on tucking napkins!) That said, it’s always acceptable (and likely preferable) to keep it on your lap.
Know when to hold ‘em. Does the napkin holder belong on the dining table or the kitchen counter? Our vote goes to the table. Soft and strong FIORA® napkins can face any messy eater. Yet finger foods like fried chicken may call for reinforcements. Napkin holders are attractive and keep extras in reach.
Know when to fold ‘em. You don’t have to be an origami master to fold a paper napkin. A triangle? Fun. Rectangle? Classic. Try out new shapes and mix it up on the same table. Fall down an internet rabbit hole and explore napkin folds. You may even find a rabbit fold!
Spill it. Some say paper napkins shouldn’t be used to pick up spills. Who’s making all these rules? If a toppled glass of water formed the Mississippi on your table, grab anything at hand. But it doesn’t hurt to have a roll of FIORA® paper towels nearby.
Put a ring on it. Why should cloth napkins have all the fun? Napkin rings add wit and whimsy to any table. The best news? You can make your own. So, break out that craft box. (We know you want to.) Leather bracelet lace, ribbon, and large beads all make great napkin rings. Do you know what else makes great napkin rings? An empty paper towel tube. Cut ours into smaller rings. Cover them with tape or decorate them any way you’d like. You can even write names on them and use the napkin rings as place cards!
Embrace the fun (and utility) of the paper napkin without the fuss!