First, always, always wash new napkins before use. Fabrics have finishes applied to them that help facilitate the manufacturing process. These finishes should be removed before use. Make sure to launder according to the manufacturer's instructions.
I find a light starch helps give the folded napkins a nice, crisp appearance. If you don't want to starch you can just spray each napkin with water, then iron. I purchase liquid starch. Using a clean, empty plastic spray bottle I add about 1 to 2 tablespoons of starch per 2-3 cups of water. Swirl that around in the bottle to mix. Spray each napkin lightly before ironing. Don't over starch or the napkins will be abrasive.
All napkins should be ironed before you attempt folding. In most cases wrinkles or creases in the napkin will detract from the end result.
This is probably my favorite fold. I use large white cotton napkins with a hand-painted thin gold border for a very striking result. Here is how to do the fold:
Use a large, square napkin.
Fold all 4 points to the center of the opened napkin.
Fold all 4 points to the center again.
Turn the napkin over; holding the folds in place as you turn.
Fold the points to the center one more time.
Hold a finger firmly at the center and unfold four petals from underneath each corner.
Now pull out 4 more petals from between each petal.
Carefully pull out 4 more petals for a total of 12 points.
Place on dinner plate.
This makes a nice presentation for a buffet style meal.
Fold the napkin twice to form a square
A very simple fold that looks nice on or above a plate. You can also use this fold for a buffet table.
This fold can stand up or lay flat on a plate. You can also tuck a little place card in the front or slide in some colorful leaves or berries for a festive fall table.
This works well when you don't want to put the napkin on the plate and you have limited table space.
We placed our candlestick fold in a tall Pilsner glass for a pretty presentation.