Best fabric for placemats and napkins?

Can anyone tell me of the best fabric for making placemats and napkins that
won't wrinkle and curl and need to be ironed? I want something that comes
out of the dryer looking halfway decent.
Denim maybe?
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You may want to browse around the linen dept. of a store to see what they are using for placemats these days. For napkins, I have a dozen white ones I made from birdseye weave diaper fabric - you can buy it by the yard in the quilt dept. I bought three yards of 44" wide, cut each one into four "fat quarters" then hemmed them on three sides - the other side was selvege, and as these are for everyday use I wasn't about to get fancy. If I fold them and smooth them as soon as the dryer stops they do not need ironing. Also, if they get stained, they can be bleached with safety.
Olwyn Mary in New Orleans.
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Olwyn Mary
I don't know if you can get it anymore, but I've used hopsacking with good results. The more you wash it, the softer and more wrinkle free it gets. I would look for a soft, "homespun" type fabric, with large threads. I found hopsacking at -
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In my former home, I made all-cotton osnaburg curtains for two doorways, one picture window, and five regular windows. These were useless after we moved, so I cut them square to make everyday tablecloths, and made the scraps into dishtowels.
I line-dry the tablecloths (draped over an unused shower-curtain rod in the winter), store them clothespinned to wire hangers in the laundry room (which is close to the table), and never iron them. They do collect stains even though I use bleach as a disinfectant.
I'm thinking of trying the recipe for soap powder given in another thread[1], but Ivory Snow is long since extinct in this area and I've yet to stir up the energy to grate a bar of Fels Naptha. I do know that real soap in boiling water is the ultimate cleaner.
I use paper towels for place mats; if I were making mats, I think I'd get cheap (i.e. cottonized) linen, and stack the mats flat under a pile of towels or sheets -- I don't iron my pillowcases, but use from the bottom of the stack, so that they have been pressed by the time it's their turn on the bed.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [1] The other thread turned out to be on another forum, so here's a snitch:
1c Arm & Hammer washing soda 1c borax (20 mule team) 1 bar Fels Naptha soap.. grated. stir together. Use 1 TBL per load, or if extra dirty, use 2. I would love to hear . . . why this appears to do a better job of cleaning. The cost is 1 penny per use. I . . . will grate the soap by hand next time. I used my food processor and it bogged down with the bar of soap.
[another poster] . . . those old hand-operated meat grinders . . . are great to grind up the soap, and they take apart to wash. . . . Pure soap washes out easily, so you can use it again for food.
[a third poster]
Ivory Snow, borax and washing soda. The ratio is 2:1:1.
The last is the version I would use -- if Ivory Snow were still being made. I think I saw a detergent that snitched the brand name once, but haven't seen even that in decades.
Back when you could buy soap flakes, I learned that you must put the soap in first and let it agitate for a while before putting the clothes in. Ultimate cleaner in hot water, works in cold if the water is very soft -- I once spent a year in a place where the county collected rain water for the public supply, and I didn't use anything but soap -- detergent would have bubbled all over the yard.
Joy Beeson
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Joy Beeson
Joy Beeson wrote in news:
if you have a microwave & a really large glass/ceramic bowl, put a bar of Ivory soap in the bowl & microwave it for 90 seconds to 3 minutes (you can go up to 6 minutes. it won't hurt anything). trust me, you *need* a big bowl! the soap will expand to about 6x the size of the bar. when it cools (about 2 minutes) it will be crumbly. almost instant soap flakes & it's fun. lee
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