5 Best Fabrics for Cloth Napkins

When it comes to picking fabric for sewing cloth napkins, there’s almost an endless list of choices. Cloth napkins can last for years. A durable, hard wearing fabric is generally a great choice. Napkins are going to see a lot of laundry time, so picking a fabric that launders well and easily is also key. Linens, cottons, polyester, cotton, or even fabrics like gingham of flannel can be used to sew cloth napkins.
FabricProsCons
Robert Kaufman Essex Linen BlendElegant and timeless appearanceRequires special care when laundering
Richcheck GinghamTimeless gingham print, durable and versatilePolyester blend may not be as breathable
Fabric Traditions CharmsWide variety of trendy prints, versatile and easy to launderLimited to quilting fabric designs
60” Poly Cotton BroadclothBeautiful and classy, wide variety of colorsLightweight fabric may not be as durable
Timeless Treasures Moon & StarsSoft and timeless flannel fabric, wide range of printsLimited to flannel fabric designs, may shed

Best Fabrics for Cloth Napkins

Here are cloth napkin fabric reviews.

1. Robert Kaufman Essex Linen Blend

Robert Kaufman Essex Linen Blend

Throughout history, linen was the choice for elegant napkins and tablecloths. This fabric is a fairly lightweight blend of linen and cotton. Linen and cotton are both great choices of materials for cloth napkins. Linen and cotton are both breathable and dry out quickly. This line of fabric is quite timeless in appearance, making it a great choice for table napkins.

  • While this fabric is quite elegant, it can be machine washed and dried
  • This blend is soft and luxurious
  • Both linens and cottons are hard wearing, so napkins will last
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2. Richcheck Gingham

Richcheck Gingham

Nothing says timeless like a checked gingham print. Tablecloths throughout the ages, and matching napkins, have long been made of this classic fabric. This line is a polyester cotton blend. It is durable and heard wearing and easy to launder. The fabric can have many different applications, so why not consider sewing a matching tablecloth or even matching curtains?

  • Cotton fabric breathes while polyester fabric is moisture wicking- a great choice for table napkins
  • Durable, but lightweight, and extremely versatile
  • This collection has a huge variety of checks and colors to choose from
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3. Fabric Traditions Charms

Fabric Traditions Charms

Quilting fabric can be an excellent choice for cloth napkins. Many quilting fabrics, including this line, are made from 100% cotton. Cotton is a great choice for so many reasons. It’s a versatile fabric, generally stands up to a lot of use, is hypoallergenic and breathes, so it dries fast. Quilting fabrics generally pair well with other prints or solids.

  • Quilting fabric comes in a wide variety of trendy prints and patterns
  • Versatile and can be used for many different projects, eliminating waste
  • Hard wearing and easy to launder
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4. 60” Poly Cotton Broadcloth

60” Poly Cotton Broadcloth

While linen used to be reserved for elegant, fine napkins, broadcloth was often used for more casual dining. Don’t let history fool you, though. Broadcloth is still an excellent choice for cloth napkins. It is quite beautiful and classy in its own right.

  • Fabric is a blend of polyester and cotton, and though it is lightweight, it is also tightly woven
  • Hard wearing and durable, but easy to launder
  • Comes in a wide variety of colors and is versatile, making it easy to use in other projects
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5. Timeless Treasures Moon & Stars

Timeless Treasures Moon & Stars

Flannel is soft and timeless. It breathes well, especially when it is made from 100% cotton like this line, which means it’s also hypoallergenic and is quick to dry. Flannel can be a popular choice because it comes in so many different prints and colors, be it bold, quirky, cute, plaids, checks, or solids.

  • Flannel has a wide range of other applications- use leftover fabric for home accents or baby blankets
  • Very durable, but still very soft, and easy to launder
  • Flannel is usually good quality and is generally quite affordable
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Cloth Napkin Fabric Buying Guide

Why cloth napkins? There are so many reasons to sew and use cloth napkins. First of all, they’re generally quite an easy project, great for beginners. Second, you can choose many different types of fabrics. Choose something fun and funky or something timeless and elegant. Cloth napkins can be a great way to dress up your home. Cloth napkins also make great gifts, and can really come in handy around the house- not just at meal times.

Long Lasting Durability

When choosing a fabric for cloth napkins, you are going to want to choose something that really stands up. Even if you are just using cloth napkins at dinner time, they are still going to see a lot of wear and tear. Many of the fabrics suggested above, like linen, cotton, and polyester, will all stand up, but will also breathe- eliminating odors- and wash well so that they can be used over and over. These materials should also stand up to tougher tests and can be a stand in for disposable paper towel.

Customize and Reduce Waste

Arguably, cloth napkins can help reduce waste, replacing one time use napkins and even paper towel. That seems to be a hot debate when it comes to eco-friendliness, so you’ll just have to decide for yourself just what you want your cloth napkins to be used for. That’s not to say they can’t have more than one purpose. Use a fancier set for your table and a tougher, regular set to replace paper towel and messier jobs. Whatever the use, cloth napkins are fun to make and can be an exciting splash of color to dress up your dinner table or even your kitchen.

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