Ironed cloth napkins provide a sharp look to your place settings. If you're serving an elegant dinner, fold your napkins into buffet pouches. In a typical place setting that uses buffet-pouch napkins, the hostess positions a salad plate on top of a dinner plate, with the buffet napkin in the center of the salad plate and the fork, knife and spoon tucked into the napkin. This arrangement decreases the need for table space, making it a smart way to set your table if you are hosting a large party.
Press the napkin flat with a hot iron. Add water to the iron and use the steam setting for extra-crisp linens.
Fold the napkin in half horizontally, with the two open ends facing you. If your napkin has a front and back side, position the front side on top, with the back inside the fold.
Fold the folded napkin again, vertically. The napkin is now folded in quarters.
Turn the napkin so the open edge, where all the edges meet, faces away from you, and the open corner is to the upper right. Fold the outer layer of napkin diagonally, pointing the corner toward the center. Iron the folded corner to maintain the crease.
Fold the same corner diagonally again, as if you are rolling up a bandana to use as a headband.
Fold the second layer of the open corner down as you did the first. The tip of the second corner should touch the upper folded edge of the first layer.
Roll the second layer as you did the first. Tuck the second fold beneath the first.
Flip the napkin over so the folded pieces face down. Fold the left edge vertically, using approximately 1/3 of the width of the napkin. Iron the folded edge.
Fold the right edge vertically to meet the left folded edge. Tuck the right edge under the flap on the left. Iron the back of the napkin.
Turn the napkin over and insert your silverware beneath the second folded layer.