Napkins: A Piece of Fabric with Many Rules


Everybody knows to always have their napkin on their lap while eating, right?

But did you know…..

Napkins Notes:

As soon as you are seated at the table, place your napkin on your lap, unless you are at a more formal dinner, in which case, wait until your hostess has done so. When dining out, waiting to place your napkin in your lap until after you’ve ordered is also acceptable.

Unless you are eating lobster or are a baby/toddler, do not place your napkin around your neck. This screams “I’m a SLOB!”

When you need to excuse yourself from the table, place your napkin to the left of your plate (although some sources suggest you place it on your chair. Yikes – etiquette conflict!)

When the meal is complete, loosely folded napkins should go to the left of your plate. No need for beautiful refolds, but no crumpling.

Once plates have been cleared, you may set your napkin directly in front of you.

Napkins are not used for spitting out unwanted food or blowing your nose -especially at the table!

Napkins are also not washcloths. Pat those lips – do not wipe!

Mind Your Manners,


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