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We go through napkins like crazy in our house, so I'm thinking about switching to cloth napkins. Problem is I know nothing about them. I picture the big, thick fancy ones that are only pulled out for Thanksgiving or Easter dinner. there have to be other ones for everyday use out there.
Where do i even look for them?
How many does a family of 5/6 need for a week?
How much should they cost?

TIA!
 

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Mine are a mix of all different styles. Some I got from thrift stores, others were given to me years ago as wedding gifts (which sat ignored in the linen closet for the first few years
), others I bought on clearance at big box stores. I usually only have ~4 matching ones, it's a really random assortment but it doesn't bother me. I have maybe 2 dozen, I'm not sure, but I know I need some more. Right now DS (5), DD1 (3.5) and DD2(1.5) use small kitchen washcloths as napkins, I have ~20 of them (for mixed use) and they are kept in a kitchen drawer where it's easy for the kids to reach them. The others are kept in a big rectangular basket on top of the fridge, next to another big basket of dish towels.

I have a big wicker basket with a liner next to the island in the kitchen, this serves as the laundry hamper for kitchen towels, rags, napkins & placemats. Maybe twice a week I wash kitchen linens, it's typically enough for a small load. With 3 kids and a bunch of spills, grabbing towels/napkins/rags for whatever needs to be cleaned up, we can go through quite a few!
 

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I got a nice set of 12 from Sam's Club once. They usually lasted me a few meals, but with kids that could vary. It really depends on how often you do laundry. If it is every day, you wont need so many, once a week, you will need more
 

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They are on clearance at target now for 1.74 for a 4 pack. I bought 5 packs. We use them for 2-3 days of longer depending on how messy the napkin is, then I wash them with clothes or towels!
 

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We have about a dozen. They may get used a few times before they get washed. I usually buy them on clearance or from a place like Tuesday Morning or TJ Maxx so they don't cost too much.

I prefer 100% cotton to blends, but if it's cheap, I'm not too picky.
You can make them too if you don't mind the monotany of tiny annoying seams. (which you can tell from my tone that I do even though I'm a fairly good seamstress).
 

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I have 8 napkins, for four people. Like some of the others, they usually get used a few times before being washed. I have a vintage set, and a new set. I don't worry about stains. I'd never soak them. I just toss them in the washing machine and if they have stains, oh well.

Oh, and I forgot, I also have a set of 8 nice white ones with a little embroidery on them. I'd use them for company. (er...if we ever had company.) For those I would soak stains out.

ETA: I see sets of napkins at flea markets/junk stores ALL the time for super cheap. Or you can find vintage ones on Etsy.
 

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I strongly prefer 100% cotton napkins and will only buy that kind. I found our newest set at a local discount store for 99 cents each (100% unbleached cotton). I live in an expensive area and these are really good quality.
 

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We have a ton. I think about 40? I originially bought one bunch of about 24 for a party. Then we started using them all the time and I eventually added another dozen or so. Ours are red, which was the color I wanted for the party. But it's a great color because almost nothing stains them (I have one that was used to clean up chocolate milk and not washed promptly that has a stain.) We sometimes reuse them, but often DS has mixed them up and I can't tell which one belongs to which person so then I just get clean ones.

I bought all of them at World Market on clearance. I think the first set was a dollar per napkin? We've been using them regularly for over 5 years now and they are fine--I expect we'll use them for another 3 or 4 years before they wear out.

Catherine
 

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My favorites I picked up at pier 1 or world market on clearance - they're nicely sized and I was able to get them in stain-hiding patterns. I tried to pick them up for a dollar or less each. I've found nice sets at thrift shops too. And, if you sew, it's real easy to hem up some squares of fabric and make your own.

We usually use ours for at least the whole day of meals - possibly 2 days if meals weren't too messy. We're a family of 3 now, and have around 15-20 for 'daily' use (though I admit I procrastinate on laundry, so it's possible we could get by with less if I didn't).
 

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What about cutting apart unbleached cotton rags/tea towels like they sell at the grocery store? Would that work or would I have to serge them?

I'm thinking about knitting some, but I'm not sure what to knit them out of. Most yarns will have to be reshaped and I'm not keen on that. But, I'm thinking about just starting some and seeing what happens. I hate how the stained knit cotton dish clothes look but I'm wondering about soaking them after use. Any ideas?

Anyone tried microfiber cloths for napkins?
 

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We've got, probably, about 16. I got some at Target, some came with a Crate and Barrel picnic basket, and some were really heavy white cotton ones from Wegmans. I change them every couple of days. We sit in the same seats at the dinner table, so in between washing, they're on the back of each person's chair.
 

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If you have a serger, you can make them really fast - 2 layers "quilting cotton". (I used fabric I no longer like so much) The kid size is about 14" square, the adult size 20" square. A good thrift store find will set you up for months. I think we have about 18 kid size.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by SleeplessMommy View Post
If you have a serger, you can make them really fast - 2 layers "quilting cotton". (I used fabric I no longer like so much) The kid size is about 14" square, the adult size 20" square. A good thrift store find will set you up for months. I think we have about 18 kid size.

I just measured out all of the 15 inch squares that I could get out of all of our scrap cotton and pinked it. We try to keep it to one napkin for the whole day but it usually doesn't work that way. I keep a galvanized wash tub on top of the washing machine and throw dish towels, dish rags and nakins n there and wash as needed, usually about three times a week.
 

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We use white terry-cloth wash cloths for daily use. I like how the terry is better at grabbing. I have a mesh bag that hangs from the underside of the counter to put napkins and towels in until I do wash.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by zech13_9_goforgold View Post
What about cutting apart unbleached cotton rags/tea towels like they sell at the grocery store? Would that work or would I have to serge them?

I'm thinking about knitting some, but I'm not sure what to knit them out of. Most yarns will have to be reshaped and I'm not keen on that. But, I'm thinking about just starting some and seeing what happens. I hate how the stained knit cotton dish clothes look but I'm wondering about soaking them after use. Any ideas?

Anyone tried microfiber cloths for napkins?
Raw edges will fray. You can serge the edges or zig-zag the edges or get "fancy" with embroidered edges. I love the 3-thread serging option the best on my machine for turning the edge of thin fabrics under a bit. It gives a very nice finished edge.

Microfiber cloths drive me crazy. I despise them because they don't wash well and are too bulky for my purposes. DD complains about them every time. She says, "They grab my fingers and HURT, Mommy!" I think she means they catch around her fingernails. We have a set of them as dish cloths and dish towels. I finally gave the dish cloths away and repurposed the dish towels.
 

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We have a ton of them, too (probably 30-40). I've got them thrifting, yard sales, putting the word out to family/old lady friends, and on clearance. I have several from Target that I like. I also have 8 from Harry and David that I got on clearance for about $1 each.

I prefer cotton or linen, rather than synthetics. I think they wash better.

We tend to get new ones for each meal. I often use washcloths for my littles (age 1 and 3) instead of the cotton washcloths. My dh packs one in his lunchbox every day, too.

My washer is in a closet off the kitchen. When we finish a meal, we throw the napkins in there, and I wash them with whatever load I'm washing next. There are usually 8-ish napkins in the bottom of the washer, which doesn't add much volume to a load of clothes. They don't pile up this way, which works for me. I don't worry about stains (cause I'm lazy, and they don't bother me, but I don't have many stains anyway), and I only iron if I'm really bored. LOL
 

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We have some Cloth napkins that I picked up on clearance(for company), but we usually use the washcloths that we have for "papertowels". We have a number of them and they pick up spills better. I usually watch for them to go on sale/clearance and pick them up. 12 for $4. (kohls/target/marshalls) I cycle them out as I need to. We have a washer in the kitchen so as things get dirty we toss them in the washer. I was them with everything but diapers. Although, I will wash extra grimy ones with just other towels. I have a couple of old sheets that I will be using to make napkins out of in the next few weeks (or that is my goal
)
 
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