Simple Pocket Napkin Fold

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  • Try this basic pocket napkin fold for weeknight dinner or an elegant dinner party. Each napkin takes about 1 minute to fold and it can be made days ahead of time and easily stacked for storage.

    simple pocket napkin fold

    Easy Napkin Folding Idea

    The pocket fold is sometimes called a basic silverware pouch or single pocket. It is simple and elegant and just about as traditional as you can get.

    Think napkin folding is only for fancy restaurants, cruise ships or a dinner party? Thank again! You can a regular Martha Stewart in your home on a daily basis (or at least a few surprise times per year).

    silverware pocket napkin fold

    Let’s start with a few of the basics before we get to those lovely napkin folding ideas.

    Types of Napkins

    Before I started adding these to my table setting I never really thought much about the type of napkin, but it does make a difference. Some folds are better with a thin fabric, while others need the structure of a thick one. Even more, some need the crispness of a lot of starch or even paper napkins.

    Fabric– Most will be either cotton or linen. If you are planning something with many folds, a cotton napkin might be too thick. But it you are doing a tall napkin display (something 3-D that stands up), a linen napkins might not have enough body and structure. Other materials are burlap, silk, specialty and synthetic. Most are square (which is required for most napkin folds, but not all).

    Paper Napkins– Paper napkins are fun for parties, lunches and other casual events or parties with a lot of guests. The biggest issue is that many paper napkins are not square, they are rectangle and also thin. Look for a 2 or 3 ply in most circumstances.

    The Square Test

    Again, something I had never considered, but something to be aware of, is your dinner napkin a square? When I first started this project I ordered a whole pack of square white napkins and when they arrived, I was so disappointed that NONE of them were a perfect square.

    Basically, they were just a low quality and the hems didn’t match up. So make sure you test your napkins before folding. Those that don’t pass the square test can still be used for some folds, but will never look as nice and crisp as those that do.

    All you have to do is fold the napkin into fourths and look to see if the corners are aligned and sides match up.

    Tips for Basic Napkin Folding

    Iron & Starch– all fabric napkins will need to be ironed prior to folding and some will also need to be starched, depending on the fold (noted on each step-by-step tutorial).

    Do it Ahead of Time– unless it is a fold you have mastered and done time and time again, try doing this ahead of time to save stress.

    Placing- One question I get a lot is where does the napkin go on a place setting? The answer is that it really depends on your vision and while back in the day there was a strict table setting protocol, nowadays you can use artistic license.

    But if you are going for traditional, forks go on the left and knives and spoons on the right. They are then placed in the order in which you will need them to eat with the last being closest to the plate.

    Napkins can go on the plate, under forks or just to the left of the forks.

    Bread plate is to the top left and water glass or wine glasses are to the upper right side.

    Napkin Size– Most napkins are 20×20 or 18×18. I prefer 18×18 for basic napkin folds, but 20×20 for tall napkins or ones with more detail.

    Simple Pocket Napkin Fold

    For this fold you will need a square napkin. Iron to no wrinkles, but starching is not necessary, although you can apply a light spray if you desire.

    1. Lay out the napkin flat.
    blue napkin
    1. Fold the napkin in half.
    fold napkin in half
    1. Fold the napkin into quarters.
    2. Place the napkin so the open corner is the lower right. Fold the top layer in half diagonally and press it down.
    fold back corner
    1. Turn the napkin over so that the open corner is now facing to the upper right. Fold the right-side back about 1/3 of the way and smooth.
    fold a third of the way
    1. Fold the left-side back also about 1/3 of the way and tuck the corner into the little pocket to secure. Smooth to flatten.
    tuck in corners
    1. Flip the napkin over and insert your silverware.
    place silverware

    More easy napkin folds:

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    Simple Pocket Napkin Fold

    The pocket fold is sometimes called a basic silverware pouch or single pocket. It is simple and elegant and just about as traditional as you can get.
    Prep Time3 mins
    Total Time3 mins
    Author: Jessica Formicola

    Ingredients

    • Square napkins

    Instructions

    • Fold the napkin in half and place the open end facing you.
    • Fold the napkin into quarters.
    • Place the napkin so the open corner is the upper left. Fold the top layer in half diagonally and press it down.
    • Turn the napkin over so that the open corner is now facing to the upper right. Fold the right-side back about 1/3 of the way and smooth.
    • Fold the left-side back also about 1/3 of the way and tuck the corner into the little pocket to secure. Smooth to flatten.
    • Flip the napkin over and insert your silverware.

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