How to Fold Linen Napkins

Everyone likes to see a nicely folded napkin, right? This practice is very common at restaurants and cafes, with waiters being trained in various methods of folding. All of these methods are actually quite simple and you can pull any of them off in just a few minutes. In today’s article, we’ll be taking a look at all of these methods and we’ll be teaching you how to fold napkins like a professional.

Follow this guide to learn how to fold napkins the same way they do in restaurants!

How to Fold Linen Napkins
How to Fold Linen Napkins

Let’s get started!

The “Bishop’s Hat”

This method of folding is actually the most popular in restaurants and other establishments. To do it, lay the napkin in front of you, on the table. You should be seeing a square. Now, fold it in half so that you have a rectangular shape with two layers. You should now be seeing a rectangle, not a square.

Following that, fold the far-right corner inwards, and the right-hand side should line up with the bottom of the rectangle napkin line. The triangle should now be pointing at the center of the bottom line. Now, fold the near left corner of the napkin upwards – it should line up with your previous fold.

Flip the napkin over – you should be seeing an oblong shape, and the corners should be pointing to the far left and near right.

Fold the napkin away from you, and you should fold it in half by doing that. The bottom of the napkin should meet up with the top edge. Now, reach underneath the napkin and pull out the flap of the part you’ve just folded – you should now have two small triangles lying next to each other.

Fold over the left half of the triangle in half gently, and place the corner inside of the fold of the right-hand triangle. Flip the napkin over (for the second time) – the two points should be facing away from you.

Now, fold the right triangle to the left folding the corner into the other triangle, similar as before.

All that’s left to do now is to open the hat up and press the inside down to create space – place it up right now and your bishop’s hat should be finished!

The “Pouch”

This method is great if you want to insert cutlery in the napkin. To do this, fold the napkin twice into fourths – you need to have a square with four layers.

Take the first layer of the napkin in the far-left corner and turn it diagonally towards the near-right corner. Flip it over and fold the right half of the napkin into the center – press it down until it’s flat.

Now, repeat the last step and fold the left side of the napkin over the top of the middle of the napkin. The last thing that’s left to do is flip the napkin over and you should see a neat pouch for you to put silverware in!

The “Lily Goblet”

This method is great for putting your napkin in a tall glass! You need to lay the napkin down in front of you and fold it in half towards you – this will create a rectangle with two layers. Fold it again to the left.

Make an accordion fan with the left corner and with the napkin towards the opposite corner – fold it in half. Place the folded part of the napkin into the wine glass and fan out to create a lily shape.

The “Diamond”

This is a beautiful style that’s surely going to attract quite a few looks. You need to lay the napkin down in front of you and keep the inside seam of the napkin appearing face up. Then, fold it in half towards yourself.

You should start with the open corner – pull the first layer to the opposite corner and they should line up. Then, fold the second flap, but ensure that the edge comes around an inch below the fold before it. Repeat this with the last two layers – all folds should be evenly spaced out.

Once you’re finished, turn the napkin over and fold in the two sides so that you create a point. If you turn the napkin over once more, you’ll see that you have a perfectly shaped diamond in front of you!

The Rolling Fold

This is another great folding technique that’s going to impress your guests! Even though rolling a napkin seems really simple and doesn’t sound like something that could actually go wrong, you should follow a few tips to make sure that it’s quite perfect.

Fold the napkin into quarters and you should develop a small squared shape with four layers. Roll one side of the napkin, starting with the corner, into the center – do that with the opposite corner so the two rolls can meet in the middle. Once you do that, you can insert it into a napkin ring and you’ll see that it’s much smoother than when it’s done without any preparation.

The “Pyramid”

This is a beautiful folding method. Start with laying the napkin in front of you and folding it diagonally – you should have a two-layered triangle in front of you. Rotate it and have the folded end faced towards you – open the ends that are facing away from you.

Now, fold the right end in and it should meet the middle point of the triangle, while the fold should lie directly on the centerline. Repeat the process with the other side – you should be seeing a diamond.

Turn the napkin over and fold the diamond in half towards yourself – the furthest point should be brought inwards. You should be seeing a triangle shape that’s pointing towards you. Turn the napkin over once more and fold it in half to create the perfect pyramid!

The “Fan Fold”

This is a very elegant look that’s surely going to impress your guests. And although it may look complicated, it’s actually very easy.

Start off by folding a large square napkin in half to create a rectangle.

Starting with the short end, start making accordion pleats about one inch wide. Make sure to stop about four inches from the opposite end. The fold of the last pleat should be at the bottom edge and all the pleats should be underneath.

Now, fold the napkin in half by the length, so half of the pleats are now on top. Following that, fold the upper left corner down and tuck it behind the center pleat – you should be seeing a triangle.

All that’s left to do now is to release the structure and let the pleats fan out. Make sure to adjust the folds so the fan stands upright.

The “Card Holder”

To start this, fold a napkin into quarters and form a square on the table in front of you.

Then, have the open corners facing you and fold up each open corner one at a time, placing each corner about one inch from the previous one. Fold the bottom edge up for about an inch and make a fold that’s going to hold the place card.

Now, turn the napkin over and fold it into thirds, tucking one corner under the other to fold.

All that’s left to do is turn the napkin over and stick a place card in the bottom fold.

The “Letter Fold”

Start this method off with a square napkin, which you’ll fold in half to create a triangle.

With the top corner facing away from you, fold the bottom two corners together and have the points overlap slightly in the center where they will meet.

Now, fold the edges in and have the folds meet in the center. Now, fold up the bottom edge and form a pocket, and you can fill this pocket with a note or something else.

All that’s left to do now is to fold the envelope and seal it.

The Diagonal Fold

This is the last folding technique we’ll be covering today. Once again, fold the napkin into quarters to form a square with the open corners facing you.

Now, pick up the top open corner and make one-inch folds until you reach the center of the napkin, and repeat that same process with the next layer.

Once you’ve done this, carefully flip over the napkin and make it into a square. Now, all you have to do is fold the napkin into thirds with the folds forming a diagonal on the front.

How to Fold Linen Napkins
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