I just recently learned about disposable, biodegradable cloth napkins called MyDrap from Spain. I think these are one of the most fun products I've seen in quite some time. The company used to produce disposable cloths-on-a-roll used by sommeliers to clean wine glasses. The concept was expanded upon and now they make colorful napkins, placemats and runners on a roll targeted to the home and catering market. The rolls are perforated so you just tear off a napkin and fold as desired. Catering companies may find it more economical (and environmentally sound) to dispose of the naps rather than using commercial cleaning services.
We received our samples from the North American distributor and they could not be more fun! I took my samples to a birthday party at a restaurant and handed them out to each guest as cocktail coasters. Everyone loved them and each had a different idea for uses (see below).
We did try washing one of the little napkins and the color remained as vibrant as it was right off the roll. They will require ironing if you wish to reuse them. Mydrap comes in 20 colors and 6 sizes ranging from small cocktail napkins to table runners.
We think it would be great to give these napkins to children and allow them to decorate with fabric paint to give to their moms. Decorate with holiday themes, or names. Or, at a children's party allow each child to decorate his/her napkin then take it home.
We decorated our napkin by making a hand-drawn swirl with a fabric color pen. We also experimented with alphabet stencils for monogram initials. You can find a variety of stencils at the craft store. You can paint the designs with either a brush and jars of fabric paint or use spray fabric paint.
Here are some examples of napkins we decorated using stencils and fabric paint dabbed on with a sponge.
These should be done at least 24 hours in advance of your party so they have adequate drying time.
Napkin folding can greatly enhance a well-set table. Even ironing would be a stretch for my every-day use so napkin folding tends to be for real special occasions. There are 100+ documented folds. See resources (right column) for books, videos and web sources. Most are easy but they do take time. Here are some common folds. Click on the image to view more examples with folding instructions.
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