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Monogrammed Fabric Napkins for Your Home

Monogrammed Fabric Napkins for Your Home main article image
Posted on February 19, 2023 by Tatjana Iljaseviciute
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As natural disasters caused by global warming and climate change make daily headlines, our consumption choices become increasingly important. One of the first steps I took toward a more sustainable home was to ditch paper towels and napkins and substitute them with fabric napkins and tea towels. Fabric napkins don’t get dirty after one use, so you do not need to wash them daily – once a week is enough for our family. Also, fabric napkins work better than paper ones – they absorb more water and clean better.

As the research published by Treehugger shows, fabric napkins made from linen fabric or fabric remnants are the most environmentally friendly choice for home use. Other reasons to use fabric napkins instead of paper ones are that they are more aesthetically pleasing and will save you a lot of money, as you make (or buy) them only once and use them for many years.

Hand embroidered fabric napkinPhoto credit: Tatjana Iljaseviciute from Practical Embroidery

Why should you embroider your napkins?

So you chose to ditch the paper napkins and opted for fabric ones? Colorful napkins are great for daily use as the stains will stay less visible. You can select the colors that fit your kitchen or dining room. But you can take one more step and embroider them!

  • It’s the easiest way to add class and color to your dining table. You can quickly adapt them to your style and home interior. 

Hand embroidered napkin with Pumpkin designPhoto credit: Tatjana Iljaseviciute from Practical Embroidery

  • Embellished napkins could be a great wedding or housewarming gift. Embroider a family name and a date on each napkin. That would make a great keepsake gift.

Luxury European Linen White Napkins Green Embroidered Royal CrestPhoto credit: Luxury European Linen White Napkins Green Embroidered Royal Crest

  • If you use napkins daily, each family member could have their personal napkin, so you do not mix them up and can wash them more rarely.

Hand embroidered napkin with a namePhoto credit: Tatjana Iljaseviciute from Practical Embroidery

Let’s make some monogrammed napkins together!

I want to make a new set of napkins to use daily. I chose to embroider the names of our family members and make a couple of extra napkins for the guests – with cute images of the farmhouses. I will add simple botanical elements to the napkins to add an extra touch.

I sew these simple white napkins from the fabric remnants I had at home some time ago but I did not use them as plain white is too dull for me. So now I’ll embellish them.

Note. If you need additional support with this embroidery project – watch a video tutorial created to support this step-by-step lesson.

The tools and materials you will need for this project

Tools and materials for the projectPhoto credit: Tatjana Iljaseviciute from Practical Embroidery

  • The pattern. I chose to use the Family Farmhouse font from Creative Fabrica. This font has excellent extra elements that work great with my design idea. I used regular font and some images. I wrote the names of my family members, added chosen images, sized them, and printed them.
  • Fabric napkins. You can use already-made napkins or sew them. The standard sizes of the fabric napkins vary from 40×40 cm to 50×50 cm. If you plan to make daily napkins, 40×40 cm will work well. If it’s a gift or the napkins for special occasions – opt for 45×45 cm or more, as larger napkins can be folded into almost any shape.
  • Embroidery floss. I used DMC embroidery floss in Dark Moss Green (#580) and Pewter Grey (#317).
  • Embroidery hoop. 
  • Embroidery needle.
  • Scissors or snips to cut the thread.

Stitches we will use

  • Whipped Backstitch for lettering.
  • Stem stitch, Backstitch, French knots, and Pistil stitch for the botanical elements. 
  • Backstitch for the buildings.

If you are unfamiliar with these hand embroidery stitches – read the article “Six hand embroidery stitches for lettering” first.

Step-by-step tutorial

Step 1

Choose the positioning of the letters and images on the napkins. It will mostly depend on the way you usually fold your napkins. For example, choose a diagonal position if you form them into triangles or use a diamond fold. And if you fold them in a basic rectangle – choose a horizontal position on the angle or the second fold. I decided on this positioning.

According to the chosen position – transfer the pattern to the fabric using the Lightbox method.

Step 2

Frame the napkin in the hoop, stretch the fabric, and tighten the screw. 

Frame the napkin in a hoopPhoto credit: Tatjana Iljaseviciute from Practical Embroidery

TIP. If your napkins are already sewn, use a hoop big enough to fit the design, but not a bigger one. The design has to be placed close to the edge, so a smaller hoop will work better.

Step 3

Embroider the letters with the whipped Backstitch. 

Start with the Backstitch.

Embroider the names with a backstitchPhoto credit: Tatjana Iljaseviciute from Practical Embroidery

Whip all the backstitches. Only the tiny stitches on the top and bottom of the letters will stay without whipping.

Whipping the backstitchPhoto credit: Tatjana Iljaseviciute from Practical Embroidery

TIP. Keep in mind that the backside of your napkins will be visible. For this reason, pay extra attention to not leaving ugly knots or jumping threads on the rear.

  • To start embroidering – use a folded thread method.
  • To finish stitching – anchor the thread under the stitches and weave the end of the thread.
  • Pass the working thread under the stitches you made to jump from one section to another. 

These methods are described in detail in the “Six hand embroidery stitches for lettering” article.

Step 4

Embroider botanical elements. Use Stem stitches for the stems and leaves.

Embroider botanical elements with Stem stitchPhoto credit: Tatjana Iljaseviciute from Practical Embroidery

Some plant motives have dots – embroider these with French knots.

French knots in botanical elementsPhoto credit: Tatjana Iljaseviciute from Practical Embroidery

For the plants made with straight lines, I chose to use Backstitch.

Backstitch for botanical elementsPhoto credit: Tatjana Iljaseviciute from Practical Embroidery

And added Pistil stitches to decorate the tips.

Pistil stitch embroideryPhoto credit: Tatjana Iljaseviciute from Practical Embroidery

Step 5

Embroider the first farmhouse. Use the Backstitch for the outlines, the roof, and the doors.

Farmhouse embroidery witg BackstitchPhoto credit: Tatjana Iljaseviciute from Practical Embroidery

To add details to the doors, use Backstitch and a single thread.

The doors of the Farmhouse embroideryPhoto credit: Tatjana Iljaseviciute from Practical Embroidery

Step 6

Embroider the second farmhouse. Outline the farmhouse, the roof, and the doors with a backstitch.

Farmhouse embroidery with backstitchPhoto credit: Tatjana Iljaseviciute from Practical Embroidery

For the vertical lines, use the Backstitch in a single thread.

Vertical lines in backstitchPhoto credit: Tatjana Iljaseviciute from Practical Embroidery

Step 7

Remove tracing marks, and wash and iron your napkins. Do not be afraid to wash them in a washing machine! High-quality hand embroidery threads are fully washable – just do not use the bleach, and do not tumble dry, as this may damage the stitches.

Set up the table!

Your fabric napkins are ready to use. Please, do not hide them in a deep drawer to use on special occasions only! Use them! Show your work! Enjoy the beauty you create daily!

I live in Italy, and family meals are essential here. We set up the table with a tablecloth and fabric napkins, even for weekday dinners. We eat, talk, and discuss our day at work or school during dinner. These family moments are precious and vital to me, so I want the table setup to be sustainable and pleasing.

Hand embroidered monogrammed fabric napkinsPhoto credit: Tatjana Iljaseviciute from Practical Embroidery


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