Am 22.02.18 um 22:00 schrieb Mike Case:
1) What size napkins were used for folding (especially in the 16th and
early 17th centuries, in Italy or Germany)?

I'm really not an expert on historical napkins, but researching the history of the napkin folding art I observed that the size of the napkins change depending of the factories in each country (mainly italian states, Saxony, Sweden, Holland, Irland and France), each court, the given use, or the century. For different reasons, the napkin size was from 16th century until today always progressiv smaller. In the 16th and early 17th century the size of the napkins were not standarized because ich country, region or city had their own sizes and mesures, but checking the napkins of the mentioned centuries conserved in many museums of the world, we observe that can be oblong (over 100 cm the long side, but smaller too) as well as square (around 100 cm x 100 cm, but smaller too). This sizes remain at least during the Barocke time.

2) How were the edges of the napkins finished: plain hem, rolled hem,
something else?

Because napkins were weaved together in a (for me called) „napkin train line“ (which was rolled to be easily transported by the napkin seller, and cutted in units by selling), on the edges paralel to the warp threads the hem was „selfweaved“, without sewing work, but the edges parallel to theweft threads needed to be stitched after be cutted. They sewed it extremly fine, sometimes under one milimeter, or some times directly on the edge. An incredible work of time, good eyes and finger skills. To fold the caracteristic centerpieces of the 16th-18th centuries, a longer piece of fabric was frequently obtained through uncutted „napkin train line“.

I hope it can help you.

Joan Sallas
Badalona, Catalonia

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