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Napkin folding for the holidays
What is a napkin? Is it a recent phenomena or something that has existed for centuries? Firstly a napkin is a piece of cloth made of linen or cotton. It is a square or rectangular piece of cloth that has its ends sewed to give it a presentable look. Sometimes napkins are also referred to as face towels. Its main purpose is to wipe the hands and mouth while eating and as such their importance cannot be underrated. Napkins are integral to a meal and a dinner without a napkin can be a pretty harrowing affair.
The word napkin is derived from the French word nappe, which means a cloth covering a table. Coming to history a napkin is as old as history. The first reference to napkins is during the days of the Roman Empire. In ancient India also the Mahabharata records that during meals napkins or hand towels were used to wipe hands and mouth. China also had its own version of napkins, which were made of paper. It must be mentioned that paper was invented in China in the 2nd century. References to Napkins in England date back to the fourteenth century, which is a good 800 years back. The Chinese were the first to print exotic designs on napkins. Presently paper napkins are available with many designs and flowers.
Over the centuries napkins have become an integral part of a meal. They are a mandatory requirement during a formal meal in a hotel or a banquet. Generally a napkin is folded and kept on the left hand side of the plate after the fork. Sometimes it is folded and placed inside a glass in front of the plate. In large banquets and parties a folded napkin is placed on each plate. These plates may be stacked one over the other and a guest will lift the plate along with the napkin.
Other Methods of keeping Napkins on Table
Another method of displaying napkin is by folding it in a manner that it fits inside a napkin ring. Mostly they are kept in a glass or folded on the left side of the diner. With the development of technology, the paper napkin has made an appearance. This is a use and throw, single time use napkin. Cloths made napkins are reusable and after a meal are washed and cleaned. Sometimes they are mildly starched. However cloth napkins have a life and after about 2 dozen uses they may be badly stained and will have to be replaced. However cloth made napkins are many times the cost of paper napkins, which are also referred to as tissues.
Uses of Napkins
Napkins are a great fun during holidays. They can be folded into myriad shapes and designs to give the dinner table an exotic look. Holidays are what they are: periods of free time for relaxation. As such a host or hostess will have plenty of time to display napkins in elaborate designs. In many cases these intricate designed napkins are displayed on the dinner plate giving the dining table a regal look.
Napkin Decoration during Holidays
Napkins designs during holidays make for a memorable meal. Generally its best to use starched, pressed and washed napkins made of linen or cotton. While working on the designs, its best to press each fold so that the napkin retains its new shape. One of the exotic designs for a holiday setting during a meal is a napkin designed as a water lily. an imaginative hostess wil think of many designs to make the meal exciting.
Generally napkins are of white color, this is so as white is the color of purity. In some cases while incorporating designs like the water lily, pink color napkins can also be used. One can create many intricate designs with napkins during a holiday like a rose, a bird or petals of a flower.
Napkins add to the taste and enjoyment of a meal, especially during holidays when there is plenty of leisure time. But Napkins are a mandatory requirement for formal parties and banquets. Even in everyday meals Napkins serve a definite purpose and most people feel that they are missing something during a meal if there is no napkin.