Fog Linen

How pretty are these napkins and trays from Fog Linen? The understated Japanese home store has such lovely things. I’d love to get a few for relaxed family dinners and having people over.

P.S. Do you use cloth napkins for regular dinners? Is that a thing most people do? (We always end up using leftover Chipotle napkins!)

  1. Cloth napkins: yes. Every time. I’ve picked up a few vintage sets per the years that I LOVE.

  2. Buyer beware! I just learned the hard way that when you order a dress from Fog Linen that says “one size fits all”, then you get it and learn that oops, you are not one of the “all”, you cannot return it for a refund. Read the fine print. No returns. You can exchange or get a store credit, but if you ordered a $170 dress that does not fit, and there is nothing else on their site that you want, you are out $170. I wrote an email to complain and got back a patronizing response. Guess who I won’t be ordering from again!!

  3. What a cute idea! Growing up we always used cloth napkins for nice dinners (my mom was a big sewer, and they were mostly made by her). With kids and their messiness, I keep a pen jar (no lie) well stocked with paper napkins always handy on the table – but I was recently thinking how fast we go through them. Why didn’t I think of cloth napkins, so much more environmentally friendly!

  4. Cloth napkins. Always. :-)

  5. We use cloth napkins because we were going through so many paper towels. Also useful as hankies. My grandma got me a variety, and I agree with the previous poster about bandanas as napkins, I hardly ever use them for anything else. I’ve got some cute ones I didn’t want to get rid of so that’s the perfect use.

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  7. HP says...

    I read a tip somewhere that bandanas can double as cloth napkins. You can usually find them at the dollar store in a multitude of colours and they’ll add a little country/rustic to the table in an affordable way.

  8. L. says...

    Now the practice isn’t as common as it used to be, but I grew up in the South and my Mama and Grandmama always had cloth napkins. It was the job of the little ones to set the table, and cloth napkins were essential. As the little ones got older, they were taught to use the iron and press them just right for the week…for more table settings. We even had a drawer in the kitchen low enough for the kids that was strictly for folded and pressed cloth napkins (for any occasion- including delicate cocktail napkins from my Great-Grandmama). It may seem outdated or silly, but I love it. My Grandmama would pop over having sewed a few place settings’ worth of seasonal napkins from scrap fabric- just because it added some pizzazz, and why the heck not? Most of the time I can’t get the computers in my house turned off long enough to have a real meal at a table, but believe I don’t keep paper towels or napkins in my house. It’s cloth all the way, baby. Neatly folded and rife with pizzazz.

  9. We used to use paper napkins, but then we stayed with friends in another city… they had an amazing apartment, and they always used pretty cloth napkins. They would use them for a few days if they weren’t too dirty, making it a lot less effort but still stylish and environmentally friendly. We have been doing the same ever since! I can’t imagine using paper napkins now… it just feels like a waste, and sort of tacky to boot.

  10. We used to use paper napkins, but then we stayed with friends in another city… they had an amazing apartment, and they always used pretty cloth napkins. They would use them for a few days if they weren’t too dirty, making it a lot less effort but still stylish and environmentally friendly. We have been doing the same ever since! I can’t imagine using paper napkins now… it just feels like a waste, and sort of tacky to boot.

  11. We almost always use cloth napkins for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. We have some pretty sweet black and white panda napkins made by my aunt that are in regular rotation.

  12. We almost always use cloth napkins for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. We have some pretty sweet black and white panda napkins made by my aunt that are in regular rotation.

  13. I’ve never been to chipotle. What’s so special about their napkins? Now I am intrigued and will have to go.

  14. Are these the trays they sell at Brook Farm General Store? If so, I love them! We always use cloth napkins. breakfast, lunch, dinner, even picnics.

  15. Yep! We always use cloth napkins, even for snacks. I think that simple little things in life make a big difference, not just in terms of reducing waste, but for feeling special. I even enjoy the task of folding the napkins when they are fresh out of the dryer!

  16. I love cloth napkins. We used them growing up. I have a bunch of them, but I seem to be the only one in my family that uses them!! :(

  17. We have used cloth napkins exclusively for several years now-it just becomes such a habit! It would be nice to update some of ours though!

  18. Love those trays in the first photo!

    We just started using cloth napkins in our house. They save us money and make even tikka masala from a jar feel fancy :) Will definitely check out some of their products!

  19. I’m single so when it’s just me, I use a paper towel because I hate the idea of using a cloth napkin once and throwing it in the wash…it has never occurred to me to re-use it if it’s not very dirty, so I might start doing that!! If anyone else is here for dinner, I put out cloth napkins, whether it’s my hooligan brother or a romantic interest!

  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

    • We only use cloth napkins. Less paper waste. (deleted the last post for spelling errors :)

  21. We use cloth napkins for dinner parties! I love collecting cloth napkins, and it feels so famcy to use them. It’s actually really easy, too, since all you have to do is throw them in the laundry when your guests have left. For cocktails, we use cute little cocktail napkins, like those that Target sells. They don’t get used much, but they’re adorable.

  22. So cute! I want to start getting those.

  23. Our cloth napkins only come out for fancy occasions…although, having cute ones like these might change my mind! It is better for the environment, right!?

  24. I use cloth napkins at home and at the office, but my husband refuses to give up using paper towels.

  25. I grew up with cloth napkins and use them today as well. They’re stained, but we don’t care. I try to keep a nice set for when there’s company…but those are stained too now…maybe I should hide a nice set for company, now that I think about it! ;)

  26. we use the cloth napkins i had made for our wedding. it’s become a habit now so it feels weird to use paper!

  27. oh these are pretty! honestly, we use paper towels. i feel so wasteful having paper towels, napkins and toilet paper. ahhhh!

  28. We always use cloth napkins! I bought restaurant napkins in bulk for our wedding (something I’d highly recommend). We’ve been able to use them afterward, and have a big supply!

  29. All we use is cloth napkins, with two little kids they get really messy while eating. I would go through an entire roll of paper towels at every meal. This way, we can wash and reuse. I love the trays!

  30. My husband said that if I wanted to have dinner parties, we had to use cloth napkins, and not paper towels. Now I have a few nice sets.

  31. We always use cloth napkins. We have nice ones for company and ones that get tossed in the wash with dish towels weekly. They’re softer than paper and it always feels a little more like sitting down to eat together is a special ritual with cloth napkins. Maybe even placemats!

  32. we use cloth for every meal, and have really liked it. I just pick up cute napkins (cocktail, dinner, whatever – cocktail size works great for little ones) from the thrift store or antique stores or crate and barrel sales and then we use those. When they’re dirty, we throw them in a bucket by the washing machine (which is just off our kitchen, so it’s convenient). Very easy. I have a few I save for company so that they stay nice.

  33. we use paper napkins even though we keep cloth napkins for hosting. and what happened, we ended up using fancy paper napkins when hosting! it’s totally a habit. i hope i’ll make an effort to start using all our cloth napkins soon…

  34. These are so lovely! I always use cloth napkins, even though I live by myself and eat most of my meals sitting at my desk. It makes me feel fancy. :)

  35. Yes, Chipotle napkins! We do the same thing!

  36. We use cloth! Initially just for the trash reduction, but now for the aesthetics and tradition of it as well. Our daughters like it. We each have a napkin ring in our favourite colour, so that if we don’t really use our napkin, it doesn’t have to go in the wash… it just stays in our ring in the drawer and we can use it the next time.

  37. Oh, we’re definitely a cloth family…hate to see how much paper napkins we’d use if we didn’t have them!

  38. B says...

    we use cloth napkins. unironed, wrinkly, stained cloth napkins, lest you think we are fancy or something. :)

  39. I made 130 cloth napkins for my wedding! I loved them and planned to use them in my home … but making a quilt instead!

  40. So pretty! And don’t worry, we usually just throw the roll of paper towels on the table like animals.

  41. We use cloth napkins with every meal. I do not iron them- just fold them up after washing!

  42. We did have special linen napkins when I was growing up, but only for fancy dinners. I always liked using them as it made me feel royal

  43. We use cloth napkins every meal. I have a napkin ring assigned to each of us and reuse the napkins until they need washing (usually every 3-4 days, depending on what we eat and how sloppy we are.). Been doing this for years and years.

  44. Hahah! We do the same thing with the Chipotle napkins! I always have those around.

  45. Hahah! We do the same thing with the Chipotle napkins! I always have those around.

  46. I am sooo glad you asked. We use cloth every night, yep, every night. I call it my signature. I recently broke my foot and since I couldn’t get around aka do laundry we stopped using extraneous washable things and did away with cloth napkins. I lasted a week and decided it wasn’t worth it. Back to my ‘signature’. Why? Because cloth napkins are just so…civilized. They elevate the pleasure of the meal for me. We have all sorts, from bandanas to pretty autumn paisleys to fun Christmas napkins. Love ’em.

  47. We use cloth napkins daily. my mother used to buy paper napkins and once I learned something else existed, I couldn’t understand WHY she paid for paper napkins instead of buying cloth ones. They’re SO much softer too. Eco-friendly. I’m a changed diner. :) heehee

  48. Here I thought my husband and I were the only people that grabbed a stack of napkins from Chipotle to use later…glad to be in good company!

  49. I have read your blog for at least 4 years but I’ve always been a lurker and never a commenter. But I do the exact same thing with Chipotle napkins! I have a little stash in my kitchen. Thanks for confirming that I am not the only lover (*cough* stealer) of Chipotle napkins

  50. I’m definitely a cloth napkin fanatic! They’re even better when you have small children because they’re much more effective at mopping up.

    The sewer in me gets annoyed because the purchased ones I have are cut off the grain of the fabric and so don’t fold neatly (or at least that’s the story I’m sticking to).

    Plus, then you get to buy vintage napkin rings!

  51. My mom prefers paper napkins but I love cloth napkins, they have the coolest ones at Pier 1 and at Cost Plus World Market. I love to mix and match them at the dinner table because we always use different colored plates and cups, too. Just our style I guess (:

  52. My husband and I have cloth napkins that I like a lot- they’re pretty! But we really only end up using them when company is coming over. The extra added step of washing them afterwards seems to act as a deterrent from using them all of the time. Lazy? Maybe. But sometimes paper napkins are just easier!

    – Lynn-Holly from The Attic

  53. We actually do use cloth napkins for all our meals. I also use them to wrap snacks for my lunch like dried fruit or nuts. A co-worker saw the way I had it tied up around my snack and asked if it was a “hobo sack”. Well, I guess, in a way, it is the same concept – just smaller.

  54. Cloth napkins FTW! You really do not have to wash them often (once a week) depending on how saucy dinners were :) i love reading peoples’ comments, interesting. Anyway, yay to less waste!

  55. We switched to cloth napkins a few years ago for regular dinners to reduce our reliance on paper products. We use cheap ones from target – but it would be nice to upgrade to something a little nicer!

  56. Yep, we use cloth napkins every day! My kids are so used to it, when I bought some fun Ikea paper napkins for a big dinner party a few weeks ago, my daughter insisted they weren’t “real napkins” and made me get a cloth one for her!

    Years ago I read a great entry on the Soule Mama blog about how she uses special napkin rings for each member of the family, which helps cut down on how often she washes her cloth napkins. I have yet to try something like that, but I always thought it was a great idea!

  57. We use cloth everyday too. We’ve just got a bunch of solids that get mixed and matched. We use them for a couple days, and with a 9 year old, find that they’re much more durable. (We give him the dark colors, depending on what we’re eating).

  58. We use cloth napkins every day to cut down on paper products. It’s definitely not for fanciness, considering we use them a few times until they look dirty, then switch them out for new ones. It’s fun hunting down cute ones on sale at West Elm or Anthro, and my SO’s dad made us a cute set of animal-shaped napkin rings!

  59. I only used cloth napkins when we have friends over. The exception is my husbands best friend. He gets paper napkins bc hes over all the time and I get sick of washing those things!

  60. I always used cloth napkins growing up, and can’t picture doing anything else. Paper towels just never seem substantial enough. And I really like dish towels, too, they have such nice patterns and are fun to get when traveling – especially in the UK.

  61. And now I cannot go back to paper napkins. I just don’t like them.

  62. I love fog linen napkins. You cannot go wrong with these napkins!

    When I lived in Asia, I had linen napkins made because I like the natural fibers and they are sturdy!

  63. awwww these are lovely! i am half italian half spanish, and yes, both parts of my family and most of my friends’ families use them all the time.
    my mom refuses to, though, because with four little children, the constantly washing them was getting terrible.
    since moving to the usa, however, i have not seen one of my new american friends use them!

  64. So funny – it bugs my mother so much that I don’t use cloth napkins (or place mats…. or bed skirts, for that matter). She always pushes them on me, but then they get mixed up with the dishtowels, and uuuugh. maybe if i could find some that didn’t wrinkle too badly, I’d consider it.

    I’m a total paper towel junkie (with everything). Guests love the “guest towels” in the powder room though, so I know I’m not alone!

    (I swear I recycle and try to be good otherwise!)

  65. we “say” we want to use cloth napkins, but we still haven’t gotten around to it. my boyfriend has this weird idea that ONLY water can be wiped up with kitchen towels and rags and that everything else MUST be done with a paper towel. he just doesn’t get the idea of a “rag”. it’s so bad :(

  66. We use cloth napkins every day – I have an entire drawer full from various places. Funny enough, it’s something that I often find at yard sales. A quick spin through the wash and good to go!

  67. We use cloth napkins daily. We have everyday napkins, and fancy napkins :) No paper towels either. Too much waste.

  68. You made me laugh with the ‘Chipotle’ napkins. I thought I was the only one that recycles left over napkins aka el cheapo.

  69. yes we use cloth napkins. my husband grew up with them. i grew up with paper napkins or the habit of going to wash my mouth right after a meal. i find it so incredibly civilized and grown up to use cloth napkins, even though the linens wash every week is a pain the ass.

  70. I made and collected cloth napkins for our wedding and now we use them everyday. It’s such a simple thing, but it makes me really happy.

  71. Growing up, my family used cloth napkins every day. Nothing fancy, just stitched up by my mom. She made me several sets when I got married and we still use them for everyday. I have lots of sets of purchased cloth napkins for when we are hosting.

  72. I use cloth napkins at every meal where we sit down together as a family. To me, it elevates the importance and really creates such little additional laundry. That and a bunch of fresh flowers weekly from Trader Joe’s helps to separate us from the cavemen!

  73. I always, always use cloth napkins. When they get dirty, just toss them in the wash. I hate the idea of using paper anything, it’s so wasteful and they aren’t as fun to use.

  74. Six years ago, I made the one and only New Year’s resolution that has stuck-to use cloth napkins everyday. It instantly makes any dinner time feel slightly more fancy, and my conscience is clear because it’s less waste!

    …now if I could only kick my paper towel habit ;)

  75. When I got my first place ages ago I obsessed over (and ultimately bought on sale) these cloth napkins from Anthropologie. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve busted them out :) Paper towels reign supreme!

  76. Thank you for sharing! We try to use cloth as much as possible. I love these check kitchen cloths! The yellow is so sweet.

    A good gingham kitchen towel is always a must. :)

  77. Normally, we use the boring square paper napkins and break out the cloth napkins for special occasions (a.k.a. birthdays, holidays, company, etc.). But with such pretty napkins as these, maybe I’ll go cloth more often? Thanks for sharing such a lovely shop!

  78. K says...

    I almost never use napkins at all. Is that weird? Usually I don’t really make a mess, and when I do, like while eating tacos, I just go wash my hands after I’m finished.

  79. I always use cloth napkins, even when I am eating by myself. I just throw them in the wash (I don’t iron) and use them again. I have everyday napkins and company napkins. But then again, I don’t use paper towels or paper plates either. Too much landfill!

    • Ditto and ditto! For my wedding my mom nearly cleared the store out of these durable, no-iron, go-with-everything golden tan napkins. We never run out!

  80. Uh, no. Normally it’s a dish towel, or a paper towel used as napkins.