Best Fabric For Placemats and Cloth Napkins

Placemats and cloth napkins are common projects for beginners. The crafts are easy to create, allows you to try different types of stitches, and will be used by everyone in your family. Once you found the perfect pattern for your napkins and placements, your next task is to select the best fabric to use.

What Fabric To Use?

There are several different properties that you want your placements and cloth napkins to have. You want them durable, stain resistant and easy to wash. For napkins, you want to look more toward softer, absorbent materials since you will be using the napkins against your face and hands. When deciding on fabrics for placemats, you want fabrics that don't crease or wrinkle too much, are durable as they can handle all types of messes, can be heat resistant and won't shrink after being placed in the washing machine.

Also take a moment to decide on when you will be using the placemat and napkins. Are you making a set for everyday use and another set for more elegant dining? If you want napkins and placemats for formal dinners, fabrics that are more delicate and luxurious may be desired.

Types of Fabric To Use

We will tackle placemats first because there are dozens of different materials that can be used for them. Your main choices of fabric are synthetic materials (nylon, rayon, satin and polyester) or natural fabrics (silk, linen, cotton and blends). There are advantages and disadvantages for each type of material.


Synthetic material is more budget-friendly than natural fabrics as they are durable enough to be washed multiple times. Some types of fabric are also stain and wrinkle resistant. The top problem with synthetic material is that it usually isn't as absorbent and you have to get treated fabric if you want any heat-resistant properties.

Natural Fabrics

Natural fabrics are more expensive, yet they are very absorbent and can have a beautiful appearance. Some types of natural fabrics such as blends are stain resistant and durable. A main disadvantage to natural fabrics is that while many can be placed in the washing machine, some fabrics will shrink or crease. You also have to be careful with delicate fabrics, such as silk, when cleaning them.

My Tip: Best Fabric For Placemat

The go-to fabrics to use for placemats are typically linens and blends for everyday use when you have lots of messes to clean up because of the kids. When you are just making placemats for yourself and your spouse or significant other as there won't be too much of a mess on the table, you can save some money and use synthetic fabrics such as polyester and nylon. If you are looking for a more elegant table setting, then satin can jazz up the look. Silk placemats can be used for formal dining events.

Best Fabric For Napkins

Many of the fabrics that are used for placemats can also be used for napkins so you have a matching set. Yet if you aren't worried about having the napkins as the same fabric as the placemats, there are a few more choices you can select.

Woven Cotton

Woven cotton is ideal for napkins as it is sturdy and absorbent when you want a soft touch on the face during your meals. This type of cotton is also perfect for the washing machine as it can stand up to the cycles and still look crisp and vibrant when you take it out. If you are looking for a material to make double-sided napkins, then go for the quilting cotton.

Again, like placemats, linen dominates the dining table as a must-have for sewists when creating this home decor project. Yet don't leave out the woven and quilting cotton for a softer feeling against the skin. When you have kids that will create tons of messes and might try to poke holes into the napkins with the fork when your back is turned to the stove, select the cheaper synthetic fabrics like polyester.

You can create wonderful napkins and placemats for the table. Pick out the fabric that you like the best and make these colorful creations for your home.

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