Napkins — Rent, Buy or Make?

Row after row of fabric at Elegant Fabrics NYC

After receiving the quote from Wildflower Linen, I decided that I should explore other options besides renting. Either buying cheap napkins or making them.

If I bought, I would look for napkins from one of the discount stores like Kohls or Overstock.com on sale–I’m thinking like 70% off! I have been searching on the internet and it has been crazy difficult to find the color napkins I want. So I think I may just need to stumble upon them. I am hoping for a dusty peach or rose color, and something with natural fibers and textures. Has anyone seen anything? Pottery Barn would be my style…but not the price range!

Everyday I walk past a little gem of a shop–it is called Elegant Fabrics. Heard of it? Yep, it is the place Project Runway went for oh so many seasons. I love their selection of fabrics. It is unworldly! If you are used to JoAnn’s or Walmart you will be gasping for air when you find this place. There are no quilting calico prints anywhere!

Fabric Swatches

So after work last week I cruised around Elegant Fabric so I could find that perfect material. It couldn’t be too thin, or too shiny. It needed to be soft enough to wipe your mouth.

One of the best things about going to a fabric store in the middle of Fashion District in New York City is that they have swatches ready for you. They are used to fashion and design students asking them for swatches so they are ahead of the game. They have them pre-swatched and hanging from the fabric bolt so you can help yourself and leave the clerks alone!

The Selections
My favorite -- Raw Silk @ $14.95 per yard

It took me awhile to find exactly what I wanted but this is basically it: I like raw silk or duponi, either in golds, pinks and peach neutrals, and soft colors with a pop of coral color.

I wasn’t even considering any fabrics over $19.95–but was really aiming for half this–which wasn’t realistic here. Unfortunately half the fabrics in there were $19.95-$24.95. So that eliminated a few at the get-go.

On the way home I looked at tutorials on how to make dinner napkins. They say I would need about 1 yard of fabric for every 4 dinner napkins. Since all the fabric at Elegant is 60″ not the more common 45″ I could get away with a little less yardage.

But would this be cost effective at $19.95 a yard? Not really!! But I could always keep the napkins for later…? Would it be worth the trouble of cutting it into square, and perhaps hemming four sides of 75 napkins?

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