How To Create A Traditional Three-Fold Napkin Setting

A Classic and Traditional Three-Fold Napkin

How To Create A Traditional Three-Fold Napkin Setting
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Great design is all about the details. This holds true whether you're putting the finishing touches on an entire beach house or doing something as simple as setting the table. Using folded napkins to create a stylish and elegant place setting is one of those details. And while the methods of folding are many and varied and the results can be both eye-catching and complex, there's always something to be said for the simple approach.

This simple, classic three-fold napkin fold is a traditional napkin folding technique. It can be used for informal or formal table settings, and with just a bit of color and creativity, it can give you everything you need to create a dinner table place setting that is truly stunning. And, if you are interested in delving deeper into the world of folded napkins and designer place settings, this is the perfect, elementary technique with which to begin your journey.

For this napkin folding, we used a linen napkin which measures 19" x 19".

Start With a Flat Napkin

How To Create A Traditional Three-Fold Napkin Setting
Start with a flat napkin, right side down. Photo by Coral Nafie

Place your napkin on a flat surface, right side facing down.

Make the First Fold

How To Create A Traditional Three-Fold Napkin Setting
Make the first fold. Photo by Coral Nafie

Take hold of the upper two corners of the napkin and bring them down to meet the bottom two corners.

Flatten the First Fold

How To Create A Traditional Three-Fold Napkin Setting
Flatten the first fold. Photo by Coral Nafie

Use your hands to press the first fold.

Make the Second Fold

How To Create A Traditional Three-Fold Napkin Setting
Match the left top and bottom corners to the right top and bottom corners. Photo by Coral Nafie

Bring the left bottom corner of the napkin to lie on top of the right bottom corner of the napkin.

Smooth the Folds with Your Hands

How To Create A Traditional Three-Fold Napkin Setting
Flatten the second fold. Photo by Coral Nafie

With the napkin flat on the counter or table, use your hands to flatten the napkin and press in the crease of the folds you've made.

Make the Third Fold in the Napkin

How To Create A Traditional Three-Fold Napkin Setting
Gently lift the middle of the napkin an flip the left side under the right side to form the third fold. Photo by Coral Nafie

Taking hold of the center of the folded napkin, flip the left side under the right side.

Finalize the Third Fold

How To Create A Traditional Three-Fold Napkin Setting
Photo by Coral Nafie

With the folded napkin flat on the counter or table, use your hands to flatten the napkin and press in the crease of the folds you have just made.

If you prefer, fold place the napkin with the corner tips at the upper left. Another alternative is to have the corner tips at the lower right.

Turn the Folded Napkin Right Side Up

How To Create A Traditional Three-Fold Napkin Setting
You can place the folded napkin with the open corners at the corner of your choice. Photo by Coral Nafie

Flip the napkin over so that the loose corners are at the lower left corner.

Place the Napkin on the Table for a Classic Table Setting

How To Create A Traditional Three-Fold Napkin Setting
Babble

Here's an example of just how creative you can be with a simple 3-fold napkin. The beautifully layered shades of purple in this setting create an ideal backdrop for the maple leaf and a clever presentation for the perfect post (or pre) dinner snack. A simple traditional three-fold napkin looks always has a classic look. It won't distract from the beauty of the antique dishes, or you can use it as the launchpad for something fun and creative.