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- 18th Jun 2021

How to fold linen napkins to suit your table setting

Gone are the days of bishop hats and swans – today, the art of table napkins is certainly more understated and refined!

Linen napkins instantly add a touch of sophistication to any table setting. So skip the cheap looking paper serviettes and instead choose for a classier look that won’t break the budget.

Why choose linen napkins?

More environmentally friendly

Much less wasteful than disposable or paper serviettes, linen napkins can be used again and again.

No need to buy an endless supply of cheap, ugly napkins; hire high-quality linen ones, instead!

Better quality

Cheap paper serviettes not only look pretty mediocre but will also disintegrate after even the most minimal use!

Linen napkins hold up much better than disposable serviettes.

They simply look better!

Just like anything else on your dining tables, your napkins play their role in decorating your setting and elevating your theme. Such a simple way to make a classy impact.

What is the correct way to fold a napkin?

It depends on the look you wish to achieve as well as your table setting, including other items that might obstruct space. Some of the most popular folds to suit a range of styles and themes are outlined below.


Sophisticated, sleek, and stylish: three words to describe an elegant theme. Usually laid out flat, your linen napkin plays its stylish role in your table setting, yet is simple and understated. No folded swans or cranes here!

Draping over the table adds extra elegance.


The “effortless” napkin toss actually takes a little work! This napkin look perfectly captures a fluid, graceful, and natural look, and is great for a rustic-themed wedding.

The texture achieved is also great for a whimsical, boho theme – think flowing, draping fabrics, or even impressive overhead draping. Each element ties together to create that whimsical, magical look. Find more boho wedding styling tips in this blog post.


A simple napkin folded into a square or rectangle speaks volumes, and is the perfect accompaniment to a chic and simple wedding theme.


A geometric fold beneath a menu adds a unique focal point to your table setting. Asymmetrical settings, consistent across all your seats, makes a great impact.


Over the past few years, the “knot” has soared in popularity.

Fresh and modern, it adds both interest and texture to your table setting.

Whether you knot it in the centre or shift the knot to the top of the napkin, this fold is a brilliant way to add a touch of stylish colour to your tables. Think of it as “perfect imperfection”!

How do you fold a napkin into a menu card?

There are a number of different ways to incorporate your paper menu card into your napkins. We still like to keep it simple, but there are a few ways you can add a little more style to your setting.

A neat, stylish, and symmetrical pocket fold

Known as a pocket or apron fold, this can be created in many different ways to different looks, from simple to elaborate.

We love a simple pocket fold, where your menu card can easily slip into the fold. It’s neat, stylish, and is the perfect way to finish a beautiful table setting.

Add a modern twist with an angled pocket

A contemporary twist on a standard pocket fold, the angle is playful yet sophisticated, allowing a little corner of the menu card to peek through. Stylish and angular, the angled pocket is sure to impress your guests.

Colour coordinated napkins and menus effortlessly tie in your palette and overall theme.

Chic, modern, stylish knotted napkin

Here at Table Art, we’re a big fan of the knotted napkin. It looks brilliant positioned next to your menu card, and instarly conveys an elegant yet understated look.

It also adds texture and dimension to your setting, especially when you play with fabrics. We love, for example, adding a touch of luxe with our velvet wedding napkins, available in a range of shades.

How do you fold a rectangle napkin?

Sometimes, simple is the answer!

With a single-sided menu resting on top of a simple rectangular or square linen napkin, you can achieve a neat and streamlined look.

This is popular because it’s sup[er easy to set up, and when you’re creating a dining space for hundreds of guests, simple is often better.

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How do you fold a linen napkin with a ring?

Napkin rings are stylish and understated. While not a crucial part of your table setting, they are a great way to add a touch of elegance or texture.

All you need to do is lay the napkin out flat, grab it in the centre with your forefinger and thumb, and feed that section through the napkin ring. Pull the napkin through, so that the ring sits about ⅓ of the way from the top.

Then, place and drag the napkin so the bottom section is elegantly yet effortlessly dragged across the table. The napkin ring can be placed either to the left of your plate, or on top (along with a menu card).

What else do I need to consider?


Linen tablecloths are the starting point of any beautifully decorated table setting. High quality linen for hire means Table Art takes care of the laundering, and you don’t have to find a place to store 10+ tablecloths! Find out more about wedding tablecloths for hire.

Table runner

A great alternative to a tablecloth, a table runner is a fantastic way to show off a natural timber table. Find out more about how they can be used, and contact us now to hire wedding table runners in Australia.


Things like vases, candles, and even shared platters need their own space on the table. However, you might quickly find that space has become a premium. In such cases you might consider taking decor to new heights, such as overhanging flower arrangements.

Cutlery settings

Follow these simple table setting rules for both casual and formal events to ensure your setting looks polished and refined, and is suitable for the type of event.

Hire table linen from Australia’s linen experts

If you’re on the hunt for table linen hire anywhere across Australia, you can’t go past Table Art’s extensive range of table linen hire.

From tablecloths and runners to napkins and all your essential centrepieces, we’ve got everything event stylists like you need to create a stunning setting that aligns with your client’s theme.

Working with event and wedding planners all over the country, we’ve helped transform thousands of tables into gorgeous pieces of art.

Got questions or want a quote? Tell us a little about your upcoming event – we can’t wait to chat! Give us a call on (03) 9813 2851 or fill in this form.


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