Make Your Own Linen Napkins
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January is always an opportunity for me to refresh our house a bit after the holiday decorations are packed away.
This year, I wanted to add some more cloth napkins to my stash. I am still trying to perfect how I finish the edges. I made (and sold) hundreds of flannel napkins last fall and winter and I would have to say, they are my fave so far. I finished with a zig zag edge about 1/2 inch from the raw edge and then washed, dryed and pulled loose threads. It is time consuming, but worth the effort.
I have washed several of these and they continue to ravel to the zig zag, but after a few washes and trimming of loose threads they are great.
I decided to try a few techniques on a linen blend:
I tried a raw edge with the first. I did a large zigzag on 2 sides and tighter zigzag on 2 to compare. I prefer the larger zigzag, they seem to wash up nicer with a bigger stitch giving more stretch around the corners.
Here I frayed the edges all the way to the stitches. A woven fabric gives you different colors on the finished napkin which I like.
Next I did a finished, mitred edge. This requires a bit more work cutting and pressing, but then stitches up very quickly.
First, fold each corner down 1.5 inches and cut that off about half way from the fold.
Then fold in about a 1/2 inch on each side and press, and 1/2 inch again, brining the corners together.
Beautiful finished edge for a more formal look, but in order to make my corners match, often my sides varied in depth.
You also need to start with a larger square of fabric with the hemmed napkins to allow for the hem. I cut an 18 inch square to end up with a 16 inch hemmed square. I also washed and dried these before any cutting or sewing.
The napkins with the zigzag edge are cut to 16 inches, then stitched, then washed and dried.
Which do you prefer?