Cloth napkins were one of the first eco-friendly steps I took a few years ago, without really understanding what I was doing. The why was basically that my grandmother had left me a bunch of tablecloths. They were beautiful tablecloths, and I can picture them in her kitchen to this day. The thing is, I don’t use tablecloths. I had them folded up in a cabinet for years before deciding I wanted to do something with them.
I took them to my mom (aka my seamstress – I can sadly hardly sew a straight hem) and we cut them into squares. For some, “we” (she) hemmed the edges, but for others “we” (she) just used a zig zag stitch to keep them from fraying.
We have a set we use at home, and a set we pack in lunch boxes to take to school. I love that my grandmother’s tablecloths are being put to a practical use, and that I can think of her whenever I use the napkins. On the plus side, the tablecloths made so many napkins that my mom kept a set for herself – and she’s been using them lately after using paper napkins for a long time! Small steps!
Do you or would you use cloth napkins? Do you have anything sentimental from a relative that you use in a way other than what was intended?