R, those napkins are beautiful. I think what boggles my mind about the whole weaving thing is what color threads go over and under other threads and then keeping track in your mind of what was just done and what's next. It seems so complex. Again, I think what you're doing is way cool.
"Study books and observe nature; if they do not agree, throw away the books." ~ William A. Albrecht
I agree, at least foot square for normal eating, but if it's for giving a guest a piece of cake, the tinier the better.
The older they are, the better quality was the cloth.
Some of them are absolutely beatiful.
Some were hand made, when people really made fancy stuff.
Usually some will be stained.
You could colour them (as you seem to be interested in dyeing), or not buy them if they're not sold as a "lot", or use the discoloured ones as rags, etc.
You could add bits to them.
You could even sew two together with some insulation in between to make washable placemats.
It's fun going through all the beautiful amazing "old fashioned" stuff that no-one wants anymore.
Enjoy your project. I still put far too much stuff in my bin (and plastics, yeuch !), but each new project which allows me to stop buying plastic or throwaway stuff or stuff that comes from afar or makes the monopolies richer is soOOO exciting and satisfying !
I like cloth napkins because they are washable and re-useable. I have made 4 batches now of handmade tea towels/dish towels (everyone says they are too nice to use for drying dishes so they can also be used in a bread basket for color, texture and decoration on your table). I use various types of cotton. Some have variable texture and some are thicker 8/2 cotton blend. I enjoy making them and even sold a couple of the really colorful ones.
These were woven as part of an online class I'm taking. The trick is to try different colours and patterns I wouldn't normally do and see how it turns out. Some of them I like, some of them less so. But they are all lovely.
A funny story about these. Well, funny if you know weaving. After about the second (of 6) yards, a very important part of the loom fell off. The part that keeps all the warp yarns organized. Aka, the warp beam. With a hat pin and some duct tape, I put it all together and kept on weaving with only a few problems. Not bad.
Not the best napkins in the world, but they look good in my napkin-cock.
Hopefully, these look less fancy and people will actually use them instead of reaching for the paper towel.
James Freyr wrote:I love cloth napkins!! I (and my wife too) have been slowly making simple changes in our lives, and a year or so ago it just dawned on me how wasteful and unnecessary using paper towel as napkins was. I was really disheartened by it. I also try to be conscious of where my dollars go, and having said that, I wasn't about to go buy some cheap ass cloth napkins made with slave labor in some foreign country at some retail place in the city. Etsy to the rescue. I found a lady on Etsy who makes them, and I bought a pack of 60 of them. I recall them being less than a dollar each. (Found her! took me a minute to dig. Her etsy shop is LoveforEarth) Anyway, we've had them over a year now, use them every day, and they've really been holding up well, and in fact the stitching around the perimeter hasn't come undone on any of them. They seem to be about 12 inches square and have a nice texture to the fabric. I've been real happy with them, and I felt good about sending my dollars to support someones craft.
I am adding these napkins to my wish list, behind the stainless steel safety razor. I'll be sure to mention I found her thru permies when I do. Thanks
Wow! There are a lot of great cloth napkins out there.
I go a different direction, I guess. I like to knit waaaaay more than I like to see, so I get cotton yarn and knit larger versions of washcloths/dish rags. I like the larger size. They absorb like crazy. And they go in the washer, no problem.
I use them in lunch boxes to reduce waste. They are large enough to be a place at if need be, and they are large enough to wrap around the glass canning jars I use instead of plastic containers.
You can't live a positive life with a negative mind.
I like cloth napkins better, but staining is always an issue. My solution is denim! I use old jeans to make cocktail napkins, and "dinner" napkins....the dinner napkins aren't the size of ones you purchase, but they are large enough to wipe faces and hands. I haven't met a stain yet that stays on denim and usually by the time the jeans can't be worn any more, they are nice and soft.