Types of Table Napkins

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A formally folded napkin.

Table napkins are available in different materials, colors, patterns and sizes. Selecting the appropriate table napkin depends on the level of formality of the meal. They can be purely functional or accentuate a table setting.



Table napkins are for wiping your mouth and hands while eating and drinking. They can also serve as coasters and prevent moisture from beverages from marring the surface of a table.

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Table napkins vary from the formal, such as a vintage linen embroidered napkin, to the purely functional, such as a square from a roll of paper towels.


Paper napkins are inexpensive, disposable and readily available at any supermarket or convenience store. Fabric napkins are reusable and considered more luxurious than paper napkins.



Common napkin sizes include cocktail, luncheon, dinner and formal. Cocktail-size napkins measure 10 by 10 inches, luncheon size measure 17 by 17 inches, dinner size measure 20 by 20 inches, and formal size measure 22 by 22 inches.



Colorful table napkins are a nice addition to any event involving food or drink. Paper napkins embossed with details pertaining to the special event are common at weddings and other formal parties.



Fabric napkins can stain easily if not laundered immediately after a meal. Always wash napkins within a few hours of using them at a meal.


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