How to Fold Napkins

Napkins are a traditional and useful accessory to any dinner table, that show you have taken care over your preparations. A carefully and attractively folded napkin can make all the difference to the look of a dinner table. It's fun to experiment with new ways of folding napkins. It doesn't matter whether your napkins are paper or linen, you can impress your visitors with your design skills. Here are two ways of folding napkins.

Pocket napkin


  1. Lay a napkin flat on the table.
  2. Fold the napkin in half, away from you.
  3. Fold down the top layer of the napkin so that it meets the fold.
  4. Turn the napkin over.
  5. Fold the left side in, toward the center, about one-third of the way across. Starting at the end of the fold, fold it again and then once one more [sources: Napkin Folding Guide, Napkin Folding Secrets].

You now have a folded napkin, with a pocket on the outside. You can put as much of the cutlery for the place setting as you wish inside the pocket.

Barrel napkin

  1. Place a napkin flat on the table.
  2. Fold the right and left sides of the napkin in toward the center. Leave at least one inch (2.5 centimeters) in between the two sides.
  3. Fold each side of the napkin toward the center so that they do meet in the center.
  4. Turn the napkin over and fold it in half lengthwise [source: Napkin Folding Secrets].

Napkins folded this way look nice in a tall water glass.