Like many, I grew up using paper napkins. I never thought much of it until I began purchasing items for my own home and realized how much paper I was using. I have now fully switched over to linen napkins, and here's why...
THE ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS
There are several reasons to switch to linen napkins that will make both the planet and your wallets happy. Although linen napkins typically use more greenhouse gasses to manufacture, it is important to remember that this is not a single-use item and will, in fact, last several years. There is also very little information available regarding how the material for paper napkins is sourced, but it is safe to assume that paper napkins, like paper towels, contribute to deforestation and the ruin of our ecosystems. Plus, almost all easily accessible paper napkins are wrapped in plastic which continues to pile up in our landfills. While single-use napkins go from table to landfill, linen napkins can be used again and again in several ways. In 15-20 years, a linen napkin may begin to look a little worn, but can be repurposed as cleaning rag for several more years!
Stick with me here. This math gave me a headache but needed to be done! A standard pack of napkins on Amazon costs $18.80 CAD for 300 napkins. Let's assume a family of four uses 12 napkins a day, 4 for each meal. Over the course of 20 years, this adds up to 87,600 single napkins and 292 packs of napkins at the cost of $5489.60 CAD. I knew this number would be high, but I'm still mind blown. Now, let's compare. Again, let's assume a family of four uses 12 napkins a day, 4 different sets of linen napkins. And let's assume this family prefers fresh napkins for each meal. So 12 napkins a day, 7 days a week. That is a total of 84 napkins (21 sets) at our price point of $52.00 CAD. This comes to a total of $1092.00 CAD. Typically you wouldn't need 21 sets of napkins for a family of four, but we're going to keep the comparison as similar as possible. Over the course of 20 years, 21 sets of reusable, premium, organic linen and hemp napkins will cost a total of $54.60 CAD. Crazy right!?
Okay, here's the fun part! Linen napkins can easily elevate any table setting, whether you prefer neutrals or colour. The possibilities are endless, especially if you, unlike me, can fold your napkins into delicate, origami-like pieces.
Here are a few styling tips I've picked up over the years.
Layering, in my opinion, makes all the difference. It adds visual interest through colour, texture and height. Adding a plate charger can not only help save your table cloths from any mishaps but also set the theme, tone, or vibe of your table setting. And while this looks so incredibly planned and put together, these items were all collected over time and pulled while shooting. With a little creativity, it is easy to work with what you already have. The charger below was thrifted, while the plate is Cindy's and bowl Christen's. Since we have so many layers, textures and patterns here, We tied our Starburst Denim into a simple knot to add balance and folded or Denim Stripes into a traditional triangle.
My zia (aunt), for as long as I can remember, has always folded her napkins into beautiful flowers. A few years ago, she attempted to teach me, but this was the only one that stuck. Again, keeping balance in mind, we paired our bold Rust Splatter
with two white plates and a neutral but unique charger.
USING HERBS, BRANCHES AND TWINE
I especially love using herbs such as rosemary, sage and thyme because they add the perfect shade of green and the most subtle scent. They also pair perfectly with our Sage Stripes if you love a monochromatic moment like I do!
USING LINEN NAPKINS
This is totally personal preference. Since I am on a budget, I opted for a bold pattern and colour, such as Splatter Denim. This way, I could get multiple uses out of a single napkin throughout the day. As I add to my collection, I will begin to introduce lighter colors.
I typically wash my set after a few days of use unless they've become super dirty. The Everyday Napkins are a generous 17" x 17", so there is plenty of clean space!
When washing your napkins, be sure to wash in cool water and dry on low heat. These are wrinkle resistant so they are perfect for daily use.
Ps, if you sign up to our mailing list you will receive 15% off your order, napkins included.
I hope this post has inspired you to try our linen napkins, if you haven't already. We would love to see how you style your napkins so be sure to tag us or hashtag #MyTenandCo!