Cloth napkins are kind of a grown up thing. But hey, I AM grown up, so I can have cloth napkins, or maybe I even NEED cloth napkins to be grown up….. This was about my way of thinking when I thought about cloth napkins in general. And that’s when I decided to not just buy any cloth napkins (too boring and you only get the same standard ones in every shop + also kind of expensive when you’re living on a student budget), but to make them myself.
Here’s what you need
Some basic cotton fabric – I used Ikea’s BOMULL
Interface / Pressing vlies (I’m not sure this is the right expression)
Make-up sponges, oropax, wooden pegs….
Dip dye paint (Javana Batik)
First, cut the fabric in squares. Mine are 50×50 cm, so I got 6 squares out of one meter of fabric (150cm wide). In total I cut out 8 squares.
In the second step, you need to fold the seams of the fabric twice. When you fold it for the second time, put some of the pressing ribbon between the layers of fabric. Press with the iron. This way the layers will stick together. Do this with all four seams of every napkin.
I actually wanted to finish the seaming at this point, but when I washed my napkins for the first time, they almost fell apart. The washing machine seemed to be too much for this delicate seam. So I sewed over the seams with white thread.
The first four of my napkins have stamping on them. In one of this year’s Burda issues (I think it was in early spring), I saw how they had used different things to stamp on fabric. I used two different kinds of make-up sponges, oropax and a wooden peg to do my stamping. Just apply some of the fabric paint onto one side of your utensil and press down gently on the napkin. The effects can be really surprising and I was amazed by how my stamped napkins turned out to be.
For the second bunch of my napkins I wanted to try out a technique that has been à la mode in the last year(s). Dip dye or ombre dye. As with anything, too much information is never a good thing and so I got really confused by all the different ways of achieving this look.
This is the way I finally decided upon: I mixed my paint according to the instructions given on the package. Then I put about half of the napkin in the paint for about two seconds and then pulled it up by some centimeters. I left it like this for about 5 minutes, turning it around slowly all the time. I also lifted it up and down a little. After 5 minutes I pulled it up some more and waited some time again. The bottom seam stayed in the longest, about 15 minutes in total I guess. When the colouring was good, I hung up the napkin and let it dry a little bit while I did the other ones.
When I had finished colouring all the napkins, I rinsed every one under warm water for some minutes. The last step was to put the napkins in the washing machine and wash them at 30°C. Apparently, I didn’t rinse enough, because the upper part of the napkins, which I left white on purpose, got a really pale blue shade after this wash. Well, s*** happens, but I actually like them even more like this. ~Hetty~