Napkin folding is a type of decorative folding done with a napkin. It can be done as art or as a hobby. Napkin folding is most commonly encountered as a table decoration in fancy restaurants. Typically, and for best results, a clean, pressed, and starched square cloth (linen or cotton) napkin is used. There are variations in napkin folding in which a rectangular napkin, a napkin ring, a glass, or multiple napkins may be used.
Napkin folding has a centuries old history and dates back to the times of Louis XIV of France(5 September 1638 – 1 September 1715), known as Louis the Great (Louis le Grand) or the Sun King (le Roi-Soleil), was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who ruled as King of France from 1643 until his death.
Common napkin folds
- Bishop's Hat
- Buffet fold (rectangular pocket)
- Diagonal pocket
- Dress Shirt
- Lotus (water lily)
- Kuhn, Doris (2005). Napkin Folding for Every Occasion. New York: Sterling Publishing. p. 9. ISBN 9781402728020. "It is no accident that fine restaurants have long preserved the art of napkin folding as an important element of presentation."
- "Napkin Folding Ideas". Marthastewart.com. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
- Hetzer, Linda (2001). The Simple Art of Napkin Folding: 94 Fancy Folds for Every Tabletop Occasion. Robert Penny (1st William Morrow pbk. ed.). New York, N.Y.: William Morrow. p. 7. ISBN 9780060934897. Retrieved 26 February 2013. "More than three centuries ago, napkin folding was developed into an art, ..."
- Kuhn, Doris (2005). Napkin Folding for Every Occasion. New York: Sterling Publishing. pp. 9–10. ISBN 9781402728020.
- Kuhn, Doris (2005). Napkin Folding for Every Occasion. New York: Sterling Publishing. ISBN 9781402728020.
- Oppenheimer, Lillian; Epstein, Natalie (1979). Decorative napkin folding for beginners. New York: Dover Publications. ISBN 0486237974.
- Stislow, John; Stislow, Stephanie (2008). The Best Napkin Folding Book Ever!: Add Easy Style to Any Meal. New York: Sterling Publications. ISBN 9781435104143
- How-to videos on napkin folding by Videojug Arts & Crafts
- Step-by-step visual and written instructions for a variety of napkin folds by Napkinfoldingguide.com
- Napkin folding ideas from Martha Stewart
- How-to videos and written instructions for 24 popular napkin folds from Bright Settings
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