How to Machine Embroider Napkins- Simple Tips to Napkin Embroidery

Image of embroidery art, know How to Machine Embroider NapkinsNapkins are among the easiest fabrics to embroider. They do not slip or stretch during stitching and, therefore, a dream material to work with on various embroidery projects. Additionally, napkins are an excellent way to create home decorations and beautiful accessories. So, let’s discuss how to machine embroider napkins.

The process gets much easier if you select napkins with an easy-to-embroider material. Cotton and silk are perfect examples as they are sophisticated and durable. The next step is to choose which part of the napkin you want to embroider. Then, set up your stabilizer, and hoop the napkin. Finally, choose the desired design and load the fabric into the embroidery machine.

Although the embroidery results are unique, you can easily learn the craft. Follow this article and learn all there is about embroidering napkins.

Why Embroider On Napkins

There are many reasons for embroidering napkins. We have embroiderers who love experimenting and want to see how well they can work with the fabric.

On the other hand, monogrammed napkins are an excellent gift. So, you may want to have it as a present for a loved one.

Additionally, embroidery napkins are perfect accessories to your home decor. They are easy to custom-make, and you can create a personalized design.

Where Do You Embroider Napkins?

You need to select the most suitable position for your embroidery design_it will help you determine how to start and what embroidery techniques to adopt.

Fortunately, you can get to the right place easily by locating the design’s center. This practice will also help you to have consistent embroidery positions if you are working on multiple napkins.

Additionally, if you intend to fold the napkins, it would be best to position the embroidery design at the center of the napkin’s bottom half. Also, you can opt to monogram the bottom corner of the fabric, a few inches from the corner. 

Still, regardless of the scenario and chosen position, it will help if you get the napkin’s center. Simply find its center by folding if you want to embroider at the material’s bottom center or middle.

In addition, you can get the fabric’s center by folding it along the diagonal_put the napkin’s adjacent sides together.

How Do You Embroider a Napkin With a Corner?

Whichever napkin position you choose to embroider, the rules are the same. The only difference will be how you locate the fabric’s center and position it in the machine.

So, check the following simple instructions and get to work.

  • First, ensure that you have all the equipment needed for the job. For example, get a set of napkins, a tear-away stabilizer, embroidery threads, and an embroidery hoop. Also, you need to clean and iron the napkins to keep them from shrinking after you have embroidered the design.
  • Determine the perfect spot for the design. You can choose the napkin’s middle, lower center, and the corner’s bottom. In addition, if you want to embroider the napkin at the corner, ensure that you identify the fabric’s center. This exercise helps you to place the embroidery design symmetrically on the napkin.
  • Hoop the tear-away stabilizer and remove its top paper. Then, mark the stabilizer using a marker to help you to center the napkin properly. It will ensure that the embroidery design appears in the chosen location. Besides that, you need to get the right hoop for the job. It should hold the napkin tightly. 

In addition, the hoop should ensure that the stitches are firm, thus making the embroidery as clear as possible. Therefore, consider an accessory that will fit the desired embroidery point.

  • The next step requires you to print out the embroidery design template from the embroidery software. Also, ensure that you get the hoop and design’s center marks on the printout.

A hooping aid is essential as it ensures that you get the exact hooping placement on multiple napkins. It also provides an even tension during the embroidery process. So, if you are working on multiple napkins, a hooping aid is a necessary accessory.

  • Get the napkin and the printed embroidery set on the working table. Then, place the embroidery template at the selected corner. Use a pen to mark the design template’s center. But if the marker is out of reach, you can use an awl to make a hole. Also, it would be best if you mark the embroidery design ends as it will help you determine how much fabric you need on the hoop.

In addition, you can rotate the design at 45 degrees using the software before you print it out. Therefore, feel free to make preferred edits to the design before you begin to embroider.

  • Hoop the napkin part that you want to embroider. However, the napkin may not fit the hoop properly. Therefore, ensure that you position the corner and center marks for the embroidery design.
  • Place the napkin on the embroidery machine and ensure that you align the design center correctly. This step is critical because the embroidery design will begin at the wrong place if you don’t place the design properly on the machine.
  • Load the design into the machine and set it to start stitching. However, if you don’t have such settings, align the napkin and ensure that the embroidery starting point is directly at the machine needle.

The hoop needs to stay away from the machine needle. And as the embroidery moves during stitching, the machine may sew on the hoop. So, you need to be alert during the embroidery process as to move the hoop manually.

Also, ensure that you remove the embroidery design template from the fabric before you begin to embroider.

  • Begin the embroidery process and allow the machine to finish stitching the design. Then, cut the final thread and remove the hoop from the machine.
  • Assess the complete design to verify that it meets your expectations. Then, tear off the stabilizer, and unhoop the designed napkin. You can set it on the table to check for mistakes, then proceed to embroider other napkins if you are satisfied.

Can You Use Hairspray to Stiffen Fabric?

Yes. You can use hairspray to stiffen fabric. It is an affordable and efficient substitution for a fabric stiffener. However, please consider an aerosol instead of a spray pump as it helps to distribute the hairspray into the fabric evenly.

Also, ensure that it is an alcohol-free hairspray as alcohol may cause bleeding dyes or discoloration on the fabric. In addition, use an iron or hair dryer to apply heat on the material to set the hairspray.

What Would You Use to Stiffen Fabric Napkins?

Napkin fabrics should be flexible enough to fold and roll. However, you may want to stiffen the fabric. In this case, you can use glue, wallpaper paste, or commercial spray stiffeners.

Also, you can use a simple DIY technique to get temporal stiffness. Simply hang the napkins on a washing line after cleaning or over a radiator. Then, wait for a few hours, but don’t let them dry fully.

The dampness will help you get a crisp feel after ironing. So, iron out the napkin’s creases while the fabric is still damp and store flat until needed.

How Do You Permanently Stiffen Fabric?

Glue, commercial spray stiffeners, and wallpaper paste are perfect products to stiffen fabric permanently. Follow the steps below for each stiffener and get superb results.

     1. Glue

  • Mix equal glue parts and water in a bucket or bowl, dispensing on the fabric’s size. Then, continue to mix until the components blend completely.
  • Immerse the material into the water-glue mixture. Then, get the fabric out of the bucket or bowl and use your fingers to remove excess water and glue. Place the material between your fingers and run them down the fabric’s length. This exercise will help you to remove excess water glue without twisting the material.
  • Finally, allow the glue to dry while allowing the fabric to drape into the desired shape.

     2. Wallpaper Paste

  • The first step is to mix equal wallpaper paste parts and water in a bucket or bowl. Then, continue to mix until they completely blend.
  • Then, immerse the fabric into the mixture. Take it out and carefully remove excess wallpaper paste and water.
  • Lastly, set the fabric on the work surface and drape or mold as you wish.

     3. Commercial Spray Stiffeners

  • Cover the workspace with old newspapers or plastic. Then, shape the material.
  • Next, spray the entire fabric piece and ensure that it is completely wet. Also, please hold the stiffener spray bottle approximately six to eight inches from the material.
  • Then, let the fabric dry completely. You can consider a hairdryer to hasten the drying process. 
  • Finally, assess the fabric’s stiffness and repeat the process if necessary.

What Is the Best Fabric to Make Napkins?

Napkins have multiple purposes and, thus, should be flexible enough to fold and roll. Also, the fabric should be stain-resistant, durable, and easy to wash. Besides that, you need a soft and absorbent fabric that is water absorbent and deals gently with your skin.

In addition, the purpose of the napkins will also dictate the fabric you will select. For example, if you intend to use them for daily use, it would be best to choose a washable and affordable fabric.

On the other hand, you can consider a luxurious fabric if you want them for a special event or occasion.

Below are some common materials for napkin fabrics.

  • Synthetic fabrics

These fabrics are durable and will serve you for an extended period. They are also cheaper than natural ones, and therefore, you will save some coins.

On top of that, synthetic materials are wrinkle and stain-resistant and can work for placemats too. However, they are not heat resistant. So, you should not use them on hot dishes.

  • Natural

Natural fabrics are more attractive than synthetic ones. Also, although they are more pricey, some types are stain-resistant and incredibly durable. Therefore, you will get additional value from the fabric if you choose wisely.

However, unfortunately, many natural fabrics shrink when you machine wash them. So, please be extra careful during cleaning sessions, especially with silk materials.

What Are the Best Cloth Napkins for Everyday Use?

Though some users prefer to use paper napkins, cloth napkins are the best for everyday use. Also, you need something that will make your table unique even without special occasions. 

In addition, you can reuse cloth napkins, unlike their paper counterparts: So, if you want to cut down on household waste, cloth napkins all the way!

I have compiled a detailed list of the most popular cloth napkins in the market. Check them out.

     1. Bole Road Textiles Abren Napkins

I highly recommend this napkin as it is the best for everyday use. It is woven with premium Ethiopian cotton and, thus, incredibly soft. Also, the cloth is thick and strong to withstand frequent use.

Bole Road Textiles Abren Napkins are machine-washable, so you can do your cleaning at home without incurring dry cleaning costs.

Additionally, these napkins are elegant and have a thin contrasting stripe that makes them compatible with your decor. This stipe also spikes enough visual interest to get your attention.

     2. Utopia Kitchen Cotton Dinner Napkins White

These napkins pass the litmus test of a perfect napkin. They are aesthetically pleasing and durable.

Also, they are 65% pure cotton and 35% polyester, which is a perfect blend to enhance wrinkle resistance. Therefore, you will avoid the hassle of using an iron after washing them. This material blend also makes the fabric durable and soft to touch. 

In addition, the napkins come in various colors ranging from standard black or white to olive or navy. So, you have a color variety to suit your decor preferences.

     3. Company Everyday Napkins

Eco-friendly napkins are perfect for everyday use. Imagine all the paper you will save if you avoid paper or disposable towels after every meal.

Utopia Kitchen Cotton Dinner Napkins White are beauties that you will enjoy using. They feature an ethical construction with high-quality GOTS-certified cotton, which means fewer dyes, toxic bleaches, and chemicals in the production process.

In addition, the manufacturer provides various neutral shades such as white, dark gray, tan, and gray. Also, each set of four has an inbuilt cutlery strap, and you don’t need fancy folding to get an attractive look.

     4. Gee Di Moda Cloth Napkins

These napkins are excellent for their price. They are price friendly and have a seamless construction with hemmed edges. Therefore, you can consider them for everyday family mealtimes and special occasions such as thanksgiving for the whole family.

Besides that, the napkins are wrinkle and stain-resistant. Thus, you need minimum effort to keep them in shape.

Also, you have over 20 color options to choose from, and thus, you don’t have to tone down your decor. Moreover, regardless of your chosen color, the napkins will retain their original look through heavy usage.

     5. West Elm Belgian Flax Linen Napkin Set

If you want a napkin set that carries the day, then this is your choice. West Elm Belgian Flax Linen a perfect napkin for your special occasions. The fabric is pre-washed to provide a lived-in, luxurious look from the beginning.

Also, you will get these soft napkins in nine color shades. So, you have an alternative for various deco styles.

     6. Herringbone Border Linen Napkins

These napkins are ideal for a perfect monogrammed set. The retailer has an extensive personalized items roster that will meet your preferences. Also, the napkin set is available in five color shades.

Additionally, there are limitless monogram options. You can opt for standard three initial markings or more creative and inspired designs.

     7. Wayfair Basics 10 Piece Napkin Set

Wayfair Basics napkins give you an easy maintenance time as you do not need to iron them after each wash. They feature an anti-wrinkle polyester that makes washing and folding sessions a walk in the park.

The napkins are also elegant and have crisp, serged edges.

On top of that, you get to pick from 40 different color options ranging from vibrant accents to muted staples to themed parties.

     8. Linoto Linen Dinner Napkin

These napkins ensure that you spend less time cleaning up after dinner. They are stain-resistant and have bold and rich neutrals. Also, the napkins give a sophisticated look and continue to soften after every wash. Thus, you can be sure to use them for a long time.

You may have the money and multiple options, but it is not enough if you don’t know how to select a perfect napkin. So, please check out some of the essential qualities to look for in an ideal napkin.

  • Material

Napkins should be soft to touch, and thus, cotton is the perfect material to get. However, linen fabrics are also common as they have a luxurious look. But you need to be ready to spend more ironing time for a wrinkle-free look.

Also, you can opt for silk-like fabrics if you are into more elegant affairs.

  • Absorbency

A perfect napkin should soak up easily. Therefore, you need to ensure that you pick one with enough surface area to absorb whatever falls on your lap during mealtime.

  • Embellishments

If you want to monogram your napkin, you need to get a fabric that will accommodate stitching. Also, you can consider other embellishment alternatives such as tassels, embroidery, and lace detailing.

Where Do You Put the Monogram On a Napkin?

Where you place the monogram largely depends on your personal preferences. However, the most popular positions are the napkin’s center or at the lower right corner.

Also, please ensure that you use a tear-away stabilizer for linen and cotton napkins during machine embroidery.

How Do You Monogram Linen Napkins?

General monogramming instructions remain even for napkins. For example, if you want to use a single letter in the design, the first initial of the last name works best.

Also, if you are using the first, middle, and last initials on the embroidery, you consider a person’s preference.

However, the most common technique includes arranging the initials as the first, middle, and last names in that order. Or the first, last, and middle name.

Additionally, married couples prefer to have the initials of their first names on both sides of their married surname. Therefore, ensure that you get the exact initial order sequence before you get to work.

Monogramming styles also factor in various fonts. But, experts recommend Delano and Script fonts as they are clear and will you a more elegant look than the others.

We have other monogram cases that you should consider, such as having more than one middle or first name. For instance, if you want to embroider a napkin for Michelle Tracy Ellen Smith, you should consider MTES or MTSE. 

Also, you may get a couple who wishes to merge their last names. For example, if you have Charles Gideons and Stacy Andrews, they will have Gideons-Andrews as their last name. So, their initials will be CGSA or SGAC.

NB: Although we have general monogramming guidelines, it all boils down to a person’s wants and personality. Therefore, please ensure that you listen to an individual’s preferences keenly before deciding the letter sequence. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Is The Best Fabric For Reusable Napkins?

You can choose from a variety of fabrics depending on your preferences. However, linen, quilting cotton, synthetic or pure cotton are perfect for reusable napkins.

Woven cotton is a classic choice for most DIY cloth napkins as they are absorbent, soft to touch, and durable. Also, it is safe to wash with your laundry and looks beautiful every time.

On the other hand, quilted cotton will deliver excellent double side napkins, and linen offers a sophisticated touch to your table.

However, if you want a fabric for messy everyday use, an affordable synthetic variant is your top pick.

  • How Do I Embroider On Linen Fabric?

Linen prides itself in producing high-quality garments and delivering an unmatched texture. Therefore, you will find it in diverse sewing and embroidery projects.

The fabric is also excellent in absorbing sweat and thus cools the body to give a cool feel.

Before you embroider on linen, ensure that you have sharp embroidery needles to get through the material easily. You do not want to have tears or visible holes once you finish the work. Also, please get a cut-away stabilizer for the embroidery project.

To embroider successfully, ensure that the fabric is stable and tight. This practice applies to both hand and machine embroidery and keeps the fabric’s underside from marks. Therefore, consider watching the material closely during the process to keep it in the right position.

Finally, after the embroidery process, wash the fabric and iron it to remove wrinkles. In addition, ironing also strengthens the fabric. So, please get to it as soon the linen dries.

Also, since linen is delicate, handwashing is the most preferred cleaning method.

  • Can I Embroider Napkins On A Regular Sewing Machine?

Usually, when you think of embroidered napkins, your mind will automatically think of an embroidery machine. Furthermore, it would be standard to use the ordinary sewing machine to make the napkins, then get an embroidery machine to add their preferred embellishments.

However, it is possible to use a regular sewing machine on your napkin embroidering projects. So, you can use your regular sewing unit from start to finish when dealing with napkins.

Using a regular sewing machine is simple as long as you have the correct tools. You need embroidery needles and threads, a stabilizer suitable for the fabric, the embroidery design, and the napkin.

  • Can I embroider without a hoop?

Yes. You can embroider without a hoop. All you need to do is keep a balanced tension level to keep the fabric from clamping or puckering.

In addition, a hop helps to stabilize the material on the sewing machine. Therefore, if you can get another way to achieve stability, then you do not need a hoop for your embroidery project.

  • Can I Embroider On Any Fabric?

Generally, any fabric with a thread count under 150 is perfect for embroidery projects. Embroidery needs a fabric that allows you to pull your thread and needle without any problems. Therefore, any materials that allow such thread and needle movement are perfect.

They include Aida, Floor Sack, Muslin, and Osnaburg.


Napkins are a popular accessory in the kitchen and at dining tables. Therefore, since you cannot avoid working with them, you need to make a perfect selection. Also, if you are an embroidery enthusiast or just want to spice things up, a monogrammed napkin will spice things up a bit. So, it is important to learn:

How to Machine Embroider Napkins.

All you need to do is first to get an easy-to-embroider napkin material and determine where you want the embroidery design. Then, choose your preferred embroidery design and load the napkin into the machine. Also, it is vital to get a stabilizer if you suspect that balancing the fabric in position will be challenging.

The first trial may not get you home. So, be patient and perfect the craft.

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