Where to buy inexpensive cloth napkins

Last year for our Christmas party, I really wanted green napkins. I went to all of the usual stores, and even though it was just a month before Christmas, I had absolutely no luck. Then in July at Value Village, I found a dozen dark green napkins.

Dark green table napkin

Christmas was honestly not the first thing on my mind in July, but I knew I’d use the napkins and the price was much more reasonable than at any of the usual stores, so I bought them.

We use cloth napkins all the time at our house, and I’ve had the most success finding napkins at a decidedly unusual source: the dry cleaner.

You know the rack of abandoned clothing? One day at the cleaners, hanging from the rod alongside the shirts and trousers and outdated suits were dozens of napkins clothespinned to wire hangers.

I picked out a set of gold and a set of chocolate.

Where to buy inexpensive cloth napkins

They must have been from a nursing home or restaurant because there were so many of them. It’s been a few years since I bought them, but I’m sure I paid less than a dollar each. They’re all large and nice thick fabric.

The one issue with formerly institutional napkins is that some of them are stamped on the back side.

Stamp on a cloth napkin

For me, that’s a small price to pay to get 12 napkins for less than $10.

Do you use cloth napkins or paper? Where do you usually buy your napkins? Have you ever bought anything at the dry cleaner?

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4 thoughts on “Where to buy inexpensive cloth napkins

  1. We use cloth most of the time – it’s how I was raised. In my Mom’s family, you each had an engraved silver napkin ring, so you would know which napkin was yours and would use it all day (unless it got really bad at one meal). I have some cloth napkins I love that I got from Christmas. A lot of the ones I have are from a store that no longer exists (Caban) or from Pier 1 – they put their napkins on clearance every once in a while and they go down to about $2 each and they come in really fun colours. I do have some we received as wedding gifts, and some red ones for Christmas – for the life of me I can’t remember where I got those!

  2. I didn’t know you could buy things at the dry cleaner’s! You learn something new every day. I have lots of cloth napkins from various sources. When I was younger, my mum made a ton of Christmas napkins out of a wide variety of printed Christmas fabrics. For many she didn’t hem them, but just pulled a thread and frayed the edges. I also have a bunch that are of a material that’s kind of like burlap only in super bright colours, that came from Mexico, I think. I haven’t had to buy many. I like how your three colours look together up there. Those rings are beautiful! 🙂

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