Do you use napkins at meal times?

(130 Posts)
Dillytante Sun 05-May-13 20:49:13

I went a proper 'ladies wot lunch' lunch this week, all matching china, jugs of elderflower & 3 types of salad. It was lovely, & so far above my hostessing skills that I am not even on the same scale. I don't even have matching crockery, which I'm ok about, I just have stuff I like. But what struck me most was the napkins. They were paper, granted, but floral & lovely. It's not like they were leftover Christmas napkins or Peppa Pig ones.

So do you all have napkins? Do you have linen ones? Are they special occasion things or do you have them with every meal? I don't have 'guests' very often, but when I do they make do with kitchen roll. But then it is usually good friends.

Tell me, have I been committing social suicide until now?

alexw Sun 05-May-13 20:54:08

We have linen napkins on table for all meals. Given messiness of my lot prob works out cheaper than paper anyway.

Jan49 Mon 06-May-13 00:22:48

I have paper ones which I use if people come round to dinner but we don't use any when it's just us. I always buy ones that will suit any occasion to avoid leftover Christmas napkins.

I also have some washable ones which were given to me as a present. I never bother to use them as napkins, but they are huge and I often use them as table covers for the tops of small tables. As there are 6, when one gets dusty and dirty, I can just throw it in the wash and put a clean one on.

steppemum Mon 06-May-13 00:36:26

we have basic cotton napkins.

I grew up with them, but didn't really start doing it myself until oldest dc was about 4, when I realised that since we had lost the bibs, it was just messy.

We eat at a table, have napkins, we each have a different ring, so we can throw them in the drawer and keep our own.
Paper ones for visitors, mostly cheap/peppa pig leftovers, occasionally nicer ones.

Don't really get the linen part, most I know are just cotton/polycotton.
And strictly no ironing of them allowed!!

VerySmallSqueak Mon 06-May-13 00:41:41

Christmas Day,yes,proper ironed posh ones.

Chicken legs and spare ribs etc is a sheet of kitchen roll each.

OverAndAbove Mon 06-May-13 08:12:38

I do have linen ones but they are pretty high maintenance in terms of ironing. I get packs of paper ones, and yes I do go for patterns like Emma Bridgewater etc, but you can also get lovely ones in John Lewis, and Asda usually have nice ones in the picnic section at this time of year; much cheapness and nicer than kitchen roll!

Reastie Mon 06-May-13 14:39:16

I have some cotton ones which only ever get used at christmas and a variety of paper napkins (generally people have given me as gifts). On a daily basis we don't get them out, we use kitchen roll if needed. When we have people over unless it's a proper meal (dinner party ish)/birthday celebration then we don't bother with the napkins.

SconeRhymesWithGone Mon 06-May-13 14:52:46

We have always used paper napkins for family meals; when guests come, we use cotton or linen ones.

Cotton napkins at all meals. I have messy children and am too lazy to wash their clothes after every meal.

PigeonPie Mon 06-May-13 15:05:38

We have cotton napkins for everyday use with our own rings (never have understood matching rings - how do you tell them apart?). For grown-up dinners I'd use my ancient linen napkins which have my great, great grannie's laundry marks on.

JollyOrangeGiant Mon 06-May-13 15:19:22

Wow. I didn't imagine anyone would actually use napkins. This has been an education!

HoneyStepMummy Mon 06-May-13 18:35:59

I do- napkins are sort of my thing because I'm a saddo because I don't really dress up the table much and I think they're fun. I have Marimekko fabric napkins for Sundays/guests. Otherwise we use paper napkins from Ikea. When it's a really messy meal we get fancy and use paper towels.

seeker Mon 06-May-13 18:38:07

Cotton for every day, linen for posh. Paper for barbecue.

PigeonPie Mon 06-May-13 18:52:09

Question for people who don't use napkins then: what do you wipe your mouth on when you've finished if you don't have a napkin?

ifancyashandy Mon 06-May-13 18:55:45

Like Pigeon, at my parents we use linen napkins for every meal and we each have a silver, numbered, napkin ring (so you can tell who's is whose). We light candles for every evening meal also.

I use linen napkins for meals at home (not breakfast) but as I live alone, there's no need for the numbered rings.

BlackandGold Mon 06-May-13 19:55:44

Cotton napkins for everyday use and some nicer ones for best. Oh, and special Christmas ones that match the tablecloth but are a b***er to iron.

steppemum Mon 06-May-13 20:47:49

I am curious, if you use paper ones every day, doesn't it get a bit pricey? Our basic cotton ones cost very little, get thrown in the wash every week, and have been going for years. it must cost a lot to use paper every day??

And for those who don't use napkins, what about mucky mouths and little sticky fingers?

chirpchirp Mon 06-May-13 20:49:19

I have cotton ones that get used at Christmas and any special occasions. Then every time I go to Ikea I grab a packet of throw away napkins (that are all pretty and patterned for use at BBQ's, buffets and finger food dinners.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Mon 06-May-13 20:53:40

we have fabric ones that we use every day, they are red gingham or blue gingham.
I also have a selection of pretty paper ones.. am a bit partial to a paper napkin.

Helpyourself Mon 06-May-13 20:55:09

Linen but not posh- natural coulour and I fold/ pat them when damp, i have about 10 and they go straight in the wash.

ArtemisatBrauron Mon 06-May-13 20:57:46

pretty cotton napkins every day with our own rings, loads of granny's and great-granny's linen ones for dinner parties, nice celebration meals, christmas etc.

Helpyourself Mon 06-May-13 20:58:25

For some reason all the 'mini markets' overstock paper tableware, and sell it off for 20p/ pack, so I caould also equip a small jamboree with napkins plates and cups. grin

snozzlemaid Mon 06-May-13 21:01:10

Common as muck here - kitchen roll everyday and paper ones for Christmas only.

Gingerodgers Mon 06-May-13 21:03:59

Cotton for everyday here. I have some posh ones for guests, but a faff to iron.

ShatnersBassoon Mon 06-May-13 21:04:31

Paper ones, usually from Ikea. Pretty ones, but not proper posh like linen.

CultureMix Mon 06-May-13 21:39:28

Cotton ones for everyday, we rarely if ever get the posh linen ones out as we're still at the wipe-clean tablecloth stage with the children. These days actually we tend to keep a couple of old terrycloth bibs at hand as well, say for big tomato stains.

I grew up with napkins at the table so it's second-nature to me. My DH never had any and to this day I get distracted when I visit my PILs and have nowhere to wipe hands/mouth on so have to jump up and get some kitchen roll. I notice DH does it now too grin.

DewDr0p Tue 07-May-13 14:17:25

This thread is an absolute eye opener grin

We only use napkins at Christmas and other special occasions.

As an adult I very rarely feel the need to wipe round my mouth after eating! For the dcs I grab a facecloth although it's usually only the youngest who needs it.

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 07-May-13 14:20:45

I'm surprised so many have napkins too. We don't use napkins at all ever. 2yo has a muslin which I guess could count as one grin. But it's for mopping up things she drops.

Dilidali Tue 07-May-13 14:38:52

Yes, we do. Never occured to me it's a'posh' thing to do though, it is just something we do. We don't have rings though.
Sometimes, yes, I would use kitchen roll if it has a pretty pattern on and my linen ones aren't ironed, but I always thought it's got to do with my OCD and weirdness rather than anything else.
I wouldn't judge someone who doesn't use cloth napkins though, I only do it because it reminds me of my granny and the effort she would put when serving even a coffee with a biscuit next to it.

RoganJosh Tue 07-May-13 17:49:44

Proper ones if we have people over for dinner, paper ones if we have people over for lunch.

Nothing the rest of the time. It wouldn't occur to me to wipe my mouth, I manage to get all the food inside quite nearly. The children need a damp j cloth as they're little still.

RoganJosh Tue 07-May-13 17:50:06

Neatly, not nearly!

mrspaddy Tue 07-May-13 17:53:19

Yes we use napkins everyday.. I usually buy the cream Tesco ones. At Easter I buy yellow gingham ones etc. Every now and then I buy pretty designs like Emma Bridgewater ones. DH is a fan of good old kitchen towel and doesn't really use the napkins he is more careful with money than me

every day.

Ragwort Tue 07-May-13 17:57:35

Cotton for every day, paper for bbqs & some social events (not if my dad comes round as he is very judgey about paper napkins - won't go back to a restaurant if they use paper napkins grin.)

I find it really awkward to eat a meal if there is no napkin provided, not that I am particularly messy but I just feel the need to wipe my hands etc. I eat with one friend at her house quite a lot, she never provides napkins so I have to stuff my pockets with tissues etc grin.

aftereight Tue 07-May-13 18:09:48

Only at Christmas and for BBQs/picnics.
Any mess is cleaned from DCs after meal using kitchen roll or baby wipes.
I consider napkins for a plated meal eaten with cutlery to be an affectation rather than a necessity. Do adults really get food round their mouths or on their hands?

BackforGood Tue 07-May-13 18:10:34

No. None for 'everyday'.
If I were doing a special buffet for guests, I'd probably put some paper ones out, but nothing posh.

GoofyIsACow Tue 07-May-13 18:16:02

I am getting napkins as a result of this thread! grin

seeker Tue 07-May-13 21:57:54

You put the napkin on your lap in case you drop anything . Then you just lightly wipe the for era of your mouth at the end of the meal just in case there's any traces left. It's not a great wiping and scrubbing process- that's why they generally last more than one meal and you have your own ring.

Vatta Tue 07-May-13 22:16:32

Can honestly say it has never occurred to me to put out napkins, paper or fabric.

May have to get some now, I hadn't realised they're seen as a requirement by some people!

I am reading this thread thinking that some people must have families of very tidy eaters. If my children eat porridge, pasta with a tomatoey sauce, or soup, the younger ones either need a napkin or a change of clothes afterwards! smile

nohalfmeasures Tue 07-May-13 22:28:06

We use kitchen towel for napkins. When Ds2 was about to start primary school we were going through what would happen at lunch time as he would be having school meals. His first question was "Will they have napkins?"
"No," I replied, "Everyone uses their sleeves"
He looked visibly shaken at this, but sadly it was the truth. smile

ChewingOnLifesGristle Tue 07-May-13 22:30:02

We use 'naice' paper ones. I don't like the really cheapy ones. I have a special paper napkin holder too blush

ozymandiusking Tue 07-May-13 22:32:36

We always use napkins.White linen,and have our own silver napkin ring.
Washed weekly.

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 07-May-13 22:35:23

But how would the napkin save the clothes threebee? Food goes on DD's tshirt too, not just on the lap. Besides she would never be able to keep a napkin on her lap. She is 2yo and most of the time, eats with a soft toy on her lap. And she wiggles around the chair.

As for me and DH. We are too tidy to need napkins on lap. We don't put paper napkins on our laps when eating out either. They are left on the table. I only use them when the place do cloth napkins, because I feel i ought to in this case. And why would we end up with food around our mouths?

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 07-May-13 22:38:14

I should add DD is a very messy eater. Weetabix ends up on sleeves, front of tops, trousers and even the bum area of her trousers. (That is from sitting down on weetabix dropped onto her chair). Trust me when I say no napkin can save her from dirtying her clothes.

BillComptonstrousers Tue 07-May-13 22:39:42

I have linen napkins that I use when people come over for dinner, in case they need them. But I just can't understand how an adult, using a knife and fork, would need one??

The little ones tuck the napkins into their collars. We used to have clever things that clipped on to the corners of the napkins and went around their necks. Once they stop chucking food all over themselves, they start wearing the napkin on their lap. They don't use napkins at school and I can usually guess exactly what DS3 has had for lunch, just by looking at the white school polo shirt.

Viviennemary Tue 07-May-13 22:46:51

I was made to use a napkin and ring at school. So never again!

expatinscotland Tue 07-May-13 22:52:25

Yes, paper ones. I have linen ones for special occassions and cotton ones, too.

nohalfmeasures I am with you every step of the way.

DH & I always amazed when other households don't offer napkins - some people don't even have a kitchen roll in their house - WTAF shock

dottygamekeeper Tue 07-May-13 23:55:11

We don't use them every day, but I have various sets of cotton ones to match different place mats/tablecloths/table settings, or for Christmas, and my granny's linen ones for dinner parties. I do think they add to the look of the table. I also have sets of different napkin rings for different occasions...

We had to have our own napkin and napkin ring at school, too (maybe I went to the same school as Viviennemary?).

If we have a messy meal on a week day, I hand out kitchen roll.

ItsYonliMe Wed 08-May-13 03:31:55

We always use napkins (kitchen roll, paper or cotton, depending on event). It's second nature to me to grab a square of kitchen roll even when I sit down to a quick lunch on my own.

If I'm at friends and they don't have napkins I feel really uncomfortable blush. How do I wipe my mouth after eating?

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 08-May-13 05:35:11

Sorry but napkins around the collar is just plain wrong...

And why would you even need kitchen towel with a meal? I don't get it. To me, napkins are like place mats, table cloth and table runners. They are their to dress the table. To make the setting naice. They don't serve any real functions.

FlatCapAndAWhippet Wed 08-May-13 05:48:17

Ikea pretty paper ones for us every day, cotton and linen ones when we have visitors.

ItsYonliMe Wed 08-May-13 06:32:48

OneLittleToddleTerror "napkins are like place mats etc. They are their (sic) to dress the table. They don't serve any real functions (sic)"

Some people have table manners and others (obviously) don't.

PigeonPie Wed 08-May-13 06:51:15

I am shock at the amount of disposable kitchen roll and paper napkins people use - unit must cost a fortune and isn't great for the environment either!

Washable napkins laundered weekly must take far less energy.

For lunchboxes I put in cheap Ikea flannels to wipe fingers on as I didn't think napkins would go down well but is a lot more economical than 10 pieces of kitchen roll a week.

Napkins tucked into the collar cease to be 'wrong' when you have FourLittleToddlerTerrors; believe me.

These are the clips we used to keep the napkins on when they were all little:

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 08-May-13 08:53:24

three grin. I'm sure you are right. I'm still at the PSB stage, as can be seen from my nic.

ItsYonliMe, so I don't have table manners because I don't bother with laying the table out for a family meal shock. I would like to think I'm just more casual.

And I'm with PigeonPie about the waste of paper with all the disposable napkins and kitchen towels.

ItsYonliMe Wed 08-May-13 08:55:52

Onelittle...nothing to do with laying a table, it's the fact you don't think napkins serve any function confused

expatinscotland Wed 08-May-13 09:00:29

'I am at the amount of disposable kitchen roll and paper napkins people use - unit must cost a fortune and isn't great for the environment either!

Washable napkins laundered weekly must take far less energy.

They are cheap as chips in ASDA and biodegrade.

Your napkins last an entire week without needing to be washed? shock

No chance of that with my kids. Or me. I really wouldn't fancy using the same napkin for an entire week.

I buy the little napkins from IKEA which I keep in a holder on the table. If you need one you take one, but not all meals warrant it so we don't go through them that fast. DC, despite being old enough to know better and being told millions and millions of times, still absent-mindedly wipe their nasty greasy finger on their clothes if there isn't anything else about.

I wrap their packed lunch sandwiches in a piece of kitchen towel (rather than stick it in a sandwich bag) and that way they have something to wipe their fingers on at school too.

We use linens ones when family or guests visit and we eat at the table...the rest of the time we eat on the couch and use kitchen roll :D

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 08-May-13 09:17:15

ItsYonliMe no I don't see napkins serve any functions because I never drop food on my lap. I don't get my hand dirty either. I have cutlery. I also don't leave sauce around my mouth.

Honestly, I don't see anyone in my office using a napkin for lunch either. No one have messy hands or trousers after lunch. So obviously there are many of us capable of finishing a meal without making a mess.

seeker Wed 08-May-13 11:07:33

Do you lick your lips, then?

Jan49 Fri 10-May-13 13:17:16

I agree with OneLittleToddlerTerror. I don't actually find any need for napkins. I just put them on the table when guests come so they can use them if they want to. But I don't feel the need to wipe my hands or face after a meal. If my hands were sticky from something I'd eaten without cutlery, then I'd wash them.

fantashtic Fri 10-May-13 13:45:08

I don't understand why you need different rings to differentiate who's cotton/linen napkin is who's? Don't they get washed after each use?

We use paper napkins or paper towels if we've run out.

ifancyashandy Fri 10-May-13 13:51:56

No, not washed every day. The ones in my family don't get dirty every time you put them out - they may not get used. They get chucked in the wash every other day or before if necessary. So the reigns are to differentiate between each persons if they've been put out but not made dirty.

ifancyashandy Fri 10-May-13 13:52:31

Reigns? hmm. That'll be rings.

TeamEdward Fri 10-May-13 13:54:50

Napkins? No.
We just wear long-sleeved tops.

haggisaggis Fri 10-May-13 14:09:51

When I first stayed in halls of residence (about 25 years ago!!) we all had our own cotton napkin and numbered napkin ring. They stayed in a rack of numbered pigeon holes at the door to the dining room and we each took our own before every meal and replaced them afterwards.. Think they got washed weekly. Seems so old fashioned now.
At home growing up we had cloth napkins and our own silver napkin rings, but I've not kept up the tradition (although after this I might restart it..)

I don't use napkins. I don't think I even OWN any cloth/ linen ones.

If I have guests, I might plonk some paper napkins on the table to be used if need be. If we're eating something that might be messy/ finger foody, I'll have the kitchen roll nearby.

We all seem to manage to get the food into our mouths without too much spillage. Is licking of lips another example of bad table-manners? Gosh.

Bonsoir Fri 10-May-13 14:22:32

Yes, of course.

OneLittleToddleTerror Fri 10-May-13 14:35:27

seeker, like jan49 if I have something like pizza, I would go and wash my hands and face in toilet. Same if I think my mouth is sticky with sauce. Tbh, even when I'm out, I tend to go to the toilets after food to reapply lipsticks and also check if there are veg stuck between my teeth. (I'm paranoid about walking around with a piece of spinach on my teeth grin).

OneLittleToddleTerror Fri 10-May-13 14:38:57

melanie I'm not sure about the licking the lips reference either. I assume seeker means we use our tongues to clean our mouths?

I also use the kitchen roll on table tactic if we eat something very very messy. But honestly I can't remember the last time we have something like that. I don't even get sticky hands with pizza as I hold the bread bit. Paper napkins are there for guests as part of the table dressing.

pussycatwillum Fri 10-May-13 21:20:24

*Napkins? No.
We just wear long-sleeved tops.* grin

We use napkins at every meal because we are messy eaters. I regularly drop things down my front, get things on my fingers and definitely need to wipe my mouth blush. I have been trying, really I have.
We have a variety of seersucker napkins for every day inherited from MiL. But obviously ours don't last a week without washing.

Mintyy Fri 10-May-13 21:23:02

We have kitchen roll.

Quite nice Sainsbury's ones if people are coming round (ie. not your budget Ikea packs) wink.

Decorated ones at Christmas.

I own some cloth napkins but, really, who cba?

cruxible Fri 10-May-13 21:32:49

Reading this has left me f eeling superior that my three small ish children can eat a meal without needing to wipe their hands / face on something. Are you really all so sloppy that you need a bib replacement for every meal?

Serviettes are for special meals to decorate the table (or barbecues)

Dillytante Fri 10-May-13 22:28:09

Somehow we have managed to survive without napkins. DD2 usually wears a bib,& a wet wipe or a flannel suffice for her face, though if they are not too bad I don't even worry as we eat quite close to bedtime when they get a good scrub.

Occasionally we use kitchen roll but other than that I've never had the need for anything (though I must confess to wearing my apron if I'm having spaghetti bolognaise!).

Dillytante Fri 10-May-13 22:29:10

The only time I've come across the napkin ring thing where you reuse the napkin is in a military mess.

olivertheoctopus Fri 10-May-13 22:31:09

I love any excuse for pretty paper napkins but tend to use them for parties rather than general dinners. Don't have dinner parties v often mind you. Linen napkins were on the wish list for Christmas last year but didn't get them in the end. i want them mainly because I can see myself getting excited about napkin rings!

ifancyashandy Fri 10-May-13 22:34:57

When you go to a restaurant & put a napkin on your lap, you don't necessarily use it to mop up numerous spilages or droppages, but you might use it to dab your mouth, yes?

That's how we use them. Not because we're messy eaters but in case.

ChippingInLovesSunshine Fri 10-May-13 22:44:31

What an eye opener!

No - we don't use napkins. The adults manage to get the food in their mouths and the children get hosed off wiped with a damp flannel (clean for each child and each meal).

I have pretty paper napkins for if we have people around and we have cake or whatever and my lovely aunt who is like a ship lost at sea without her napkin, even with a cup of tea grin

ChippingInLovesSunshine Fri 10-May-13 22:47:24

No, they annoy me in restaurants too. I put the food in my mouth, not around it and anything I do spill lands on my chest not my lap, it hasn't a chance of getting that far they just fall off of your knee and are a faff.

mervynmouse Fri 10-May-13 22:47:37

Blimey. Linen napkins and your own napkin ring? It's kitchen roll here and if I have guests I scrabble around for left over paper Christmas/kids party napkins. Feeling woefully inadequate!shock

carriedawayannie Fri 10-May-13 22:50:19

Why do you need to know whose napkin ring is whose? What am I am missing?

Dillytante Fri 10-May-13 22:51:28

Because you reuse the napkins I think.

carriedawayannie Fri 10-May-13 22:55:34

Ok I've read the thread now and I have to admit to being more than a disgusted that you would use napkibs that haven't been washed and contain bits of yesterday dinner.

You may think thats classy. I think its gross. Go to the bathroom and clean yourselves. Don't use yesterdays napkin under the pretence of being 'posh'.

carriedawayannie Fri 10-May-13 22:56:29

Excuse typos - combination of phone and wine.

Point still stands though.

steppemum Sat 11-May-13 00:23:00

well, I am amazed at what tidy eaters you all are!

seriously I think that it might depend on what you eat. eg at lunch time, i a have a sandwich full of salad with some salad cream. Often a bit of tomato juice of sauce will get on my fingers or round my mouth.

We like meals which are full of sauces and juice. If we ate different foods, maybe it wouldn't be needed. Or maybe we are just messy eaters.
I often need to wipe round my mouth and wipe my fingers. My dcs are 10, 8 and 5, to old for wipes and bibs, but still end up with messy faces/fingers.

We use same napkins for a week. I make no pretensions to being posh. In fact no-one on this thread has said it is posh. I simple find it a useful tool and I don't like the waste and expense of paper napkins every day. We have napkin rings so we know whose is whose as we re-use them.
using same one all week doesn't bother me, but then I don't wash my towels after every use either.
If I jumped up and went to the bathroom every single time I wanted to wipe a finger or a mouth I would be like a jack in the box.

I am confused that people think napkins have no function and are just there to dress the table. They are there to be used! I do find it difficult when at other peoples houses there is nothing on offer to use, not looking for napkins, but a bit of kitchen roll would be nice. And I have o idea why a linen napkin is any better than a cheap cotton one?

Wuldric Sat 11-May-13 00:25:13

I am terribly posh yet manage to survive without napkins for family meals

CocktailQueen Sat 11-May-13 00:26:39

Yes, we have proper napkins for every meal - why on earth not?? I hate paper towel. That's for wiping kitchen counters, not your face!

seeker Sat 11-May-13 00:29:20

Is this the most divisive mumsnet thread ever? grin I hate not having a napkin!

OneLittleToddleTerror Sat 11-May-13 05:34:21

steppemum I'm shocked you can end up with salad dressing or curry on your fingers [shocked]. Do you pick up your food with your hands? Or am I thinking the wrong types of foods?

PigeonPie Sat 11-May-13 08:08:37

Steppemum you said what I wanted to say! Thank you.

This thread shows that there is a huge divide between those who use napkins and those who have never thought about them and never need them.

Having grown up with napkins it was just natural to me to continue when I left home. I introduced DH to napkins when we met and now he feels 'nude' when he doesn't have one - he eats lunch at work and the diners all have napkins and rings (yes he does work in an arcane place!).

carriedawayannie Sat 11-May-13 10:23:19

You can't see the difference between towels you have used when you are clean ans napkins you have used when you are dirty?

Some of you sound like you weren't taught how to eat very well. I can manage to eat all my food without covering myself in it. I am not 2yo.

ifancyashandy Sat 11-May-13 11:58:02

Haha! I have excellent table manners. Which is why I always provide napkins.

Jan49 Sat 11-May-13 12:00:08

"If I jumped up and went to the bathroom every single time I wanted to wipe a finger or a mouth I would be like a jack in the box".

Steppemum, just wash your hands at the kitchen sink and keep a towel in the kitchen for hands.

Cies Sat 11-May-13 12:05:56

Cotton for everyday. Linen for special occasios. Fun paper napkins for parties.

carriedawayannie Sat 11-May-13 12:54:48

And spill food down yourself ifancyashandy hmm

ifancyashandy Sat 11-May-13 13:25:18

Nope. But I do delicately dab the sides of my mouth.

Not quite sure why the rolly eyed emoticon is necessary. Not been critical if those who don't use napkins. Unlike comments about people being badly taught how to eat.

steppemum Sat 11-May-13 23:11:17

toddlerterror - I was talking about eating a SANDWICH which had tomatoes and salad cream in it and a some tomato juice gets on my hand - why is that surprising or shocking!!!!

Jan - I do keep a towel in the kitchen, but I use my napkin all the time through the meal, why would I want to stand up and sit down 10 times through my meal?

I respect your tidy eating habits and I am sure you are never in need of wiping the corners of your mouth, and never ever drip a bit of food on your shirt/trousers. You are all obviously neat and tidy people and I am not, I take my hat off to you.

But given that all restaurants and cafes provide napkins and that at the end of the meal they are scrunched up and used on most tables, I really don't think it is so strange to use one or to need to use one!

seeker Sun 12-May-13 08:07:24

Napkins are very rarely for wiping up massive spills- but I refuse to believe that nobody gets a tiny bit of pasta sauce on the corner of their mouths or a tiny bit of wine on their top lip or a drop of butter from sweetcorn on their chin. Do the napkin rejecters use their sleeve? Lick? Back of hand?

ginslinger Sun 12-May-13 08:21:11

paper for everyday and linen for posh

Mominatrix Sun 12-May-13 08:30:56

We have napkins at every meal - regular cotton ones for ordinary use and white linen for special days.

CheapBread Sun 12-May-13 12:58:37

shock how the other half live!
I can't believe all the disposable napkin buying, and the putting of dirty napkins back in the drawer 'til tomorrow.

I'm one of those 'accomplished eaters' who don't need a wipe down post meal but my (small) children and oh are messy buggers so I sling a tea towel on the table for them to use and it goes in the wash after. I'm always aghast at how oh manages to get food around his mouth-either put less on your fork or open your bloody mouth bigger!

CheapBread Sun 12-May-13 12:59:43

...I mean wider.

Deanne100 Sun 12-May-13 22:31:36

Have I read and understood correctly? Do those of you who use cloth napkins with ID rings, generally use the napkins at each meal and wash them at the end of a week?

We use cheap kitchen towel for regular meals, pretty paper serviettes when we have visitors and I have a set of napkins and various table cloths for the Christmas/New Year period.

I see that no one uses toilet roll? :-)

ifancyashandy Mon 13-May-13 05:19:23

Not once a week only, no. Every other day or before if necessary.

Mominatrix Mon 13-May-13 06:23:10

Ugg. Reusing cloth napkins is revolting. I change mine at every meal.

OneLittleToddleTerror Mon 13-May-13 08:32:33

Deanne100 haha effectively I do. Supposedly I'm an accoplimished eater. I don't get the need to wipe my hands and face during the meal. But if I get my mouth dirty, I might go to the toilet and use the toilet roll to dab my mouth grin. (Or I might just wash it with soap and water when I wash my hands).

pussycatwillum Mon 13-May-13 17:10:50

I must admit I have often wondered whether fabric napkins will go the same way as cloth hankies and towelling nappies. After all most people (except my mother) use tissues, and although towelling nappies have had a bit of a renaisance most people use disposables.

FunnysInLaJardin Mon 13-May-13 17:13:58

we use proper napkins for every meal. It's just a habit I suppose but we have done for years. We wash them after a couple of uses

PigeonPie Mon 13-May-13 21:57:27

Pussycat - none of those will disappear in my house! I have lovely linen hankies, and the DSs and DH have proper cotton square hankies (because I hate playing Russian Roulette with the tissue hankies and the washing machine!), I used washable nappies and use napkins! But I know I'm definitely out of step with almost everyone else!

pussycatwillum Tue 14-May-13 13:55:16

PigeonPie do you use leaf tea as well? I know it is slightly (well more than slightly) off topic, but that is one thing I still do, in a proper teapot, and consider that I am definitely out of step with everyone else.

RibenaFiend Tue 14-May-13 14:40:29

We use kitchen roll for day to day. Common as muck me and paper napkins whenever.

Feeling inspired to buy proper napkins now. <off to the JL website>

ItsYonliMe Tue 14-May-13 15:19:48

PigeonPie - while I am an avid napkin user I really do think that any kind of cloth hanky is the most gross thing around. Blowing your snot into a bit of cloth that you carry about with you all day - yuk. Why do you do it?

PigeonPie Tue 14-May-13 17:00:33

Pussycat - yes I have loose Darjeeling tea, but the shop floor sweepings are in bags! I usually drink Darjeeling smile.

Re hankies - I don't see the difference in carrying round fabric hankies to paper tissues tbh. The paper ones end up in pockets anyway and as the DSs often forget to check their pockets, I'd rather fabric hankies got in the washing machine than tissue escaped and shredded itself all over the clean clothes! The cloth hankies are changed daily, if not sooner.

pussycatwillum Wed 15-May-13 09:10:36

ItsYonliMe- I think i'm with you on the cloth hanky front. You can bin or flush a yucky tissue. It doesn't have to stay with you all day, although I have had my fair share of washing machine tissue disasters.
When we first got married DH used to insist on cotton hankies which I used to boil. Eventually managed to break him of the habit when first DC was born and I decided it was something I could do without.
PigeonPie- gald I'm not the only one. Was beginning to wonder as teabags seem ubiquitous.

Do you know I read this thread with amazement. Ive never in my life (and my parents were quite posh) used napkins at home. Ive always managed with kitchen roll or a tea towel. But then I thought well I quite often use a tea towel across my lap or pegged to the kids tshirts if they are eating something particularly messy so I am using a sort of napkin grin

I'm definately going to buy some napkins but where? I hate the horrible silky feel ones you get in restaurants, ugh they make my teeth cringe, the feel of them ugh.

Can you get funky, washable cotton ones?

UtterflyButterfly Thu 16-May-13 16:24:33

We use plain white linen napkins at every meal, washed every couple of days. I've had them donkey's years (bought for a dinner party in the 80's IIRC!), but they're still in good nick (apart from a couple the dog chewed).

John Lewis is the place to look.

pussycatwillum Fri 17-May-13 10:26:47

Def John Lewis and branches of Waitrose that have homeward. Went in Dunelm yesterday and I can see why people think they are just for decorating the table because the napkins in there match the tablecloths, runners, etc. no 'everyday' ones at all as far as I could see.

pussycatwillum Fri 17-May-13 10:27:37

Sorry. Home ware

EmpressMaud Fri 17-May-13 10:35:14

Yes, we have cotton and linen napkins, they have their own special drawer in the kitchen. We don't use them at every single meal, but those where there's potential for messy finger.

Napkin holders only for very special occasions. We just throw them next to place settings.

Dillytante Sat 18-May-13 13:30:02

Well, this thread has certainly been a revelation.

hollyisalovelyname Sun 19-May-13 07:27:53

Debenhams do cotton napkins

Cerisier Sun 19-May-13 07:53:26

We only use the linen table napkins when we have visitors and for special meals. For meals every day at the table, there is always a box of tissues on the table for mopping up drips, spillages and mouths.

We have got silver napkin holders with our initials on but I don't like dirty napkins hanging around so I wash them every time they are used.

I don't like putting napkins on my lap- I don't spill stuff on my lap! Paper napkins in restaurants always slide on the floor and often linen ones do too. I like putting the napkin beside my plate for wiping my mouth during the meal/mopping up any drips on the table.

pussycatwillum Sun 19-May-13 18:35:16

holly that is useful to know although my nearest Debenhams is so grim I avoid it like the plague.

Frikadellen Mon 20-May-13 00:33:28

paper ones for every day use and cloth ones if I set a nice table.

janji Mon 20-May-13 01:08:31

Have a selection of non seasonal paper napkins (usually Tesco or IKEA).

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