Whenever a tree is felled, little birds, animals, and even insects die or lose their home. And when many trees are felled, the planet suffers in a way that makes our environment less secure for all of us. Felling trees so that we can have disposable table linen – serviettes (napkins) placemats, and table runners – is pointless when there is an alternative that's good for us and all those little homeless creatures.
You only have to run your hand over a piece of natural fabric to appreciate its beauty. And you can do that every day by using Australian-made cotton or linen napkins. Australian placemats can make you feel at home every mealtime and create a seductive mood for special occasions because Australian textile designers create patterns that reflect our local society, and print them in colours you'll recognise. Whether you go for a pop of personality with clear, bright colour, or opt for crisp white and neutrals, fabric elevates your mealtime in a way that paper and plastic simply can't match.
Match elegance with sustainability
Try a few of these ideas to give your dining a lift.
- Experiment with different textures, colors, and patterns to create your own personal style. Try solid colours with patterned lines, or cotton canvas with a fine linen, to add interest and surprise your guests.
- Add a touch of elegance with decorative napkin rings – look for lovely old ones in the local Op Shop. Alternatively, try wrapping your serviettes in a beautiful silk ribbon or twine. For day-to-day use, individual serviette rings help family members remember which is theirs.
- Continue the Australiana theme by incorporating local flowers, foliage, or fruit as a table centrepiece. Gum leaves look great while bottle brush and banksia add drama. Organic accents work well with natural textiles and create an inviting ambiance.
- Set the mood by incorporating candles or warm lighting into your table setting. Try a string of LED lights twisted between place settings, or half hidden under a length of muslin. The soft glow will create an intimate atmosphere and enhance the drama of your carefully laid table.
- Embrace the spirit of the seasons by incorporating floral or botanical patterns into your table decor. Colour too can be aligned with the seasons: fresh pinks, frosty blues, summer colours, or earth tones will help set the mood. Or opt for the simplicity of black and white which is always fresh and on trend.
Wash rather than waste
Some might argue that disposable linen is better because it just has to be scooped up and put in the bin at the end of the meal. It is just as easy to scoop up cloth items and put them in the wash. A quick dry in the sun and they're ready to use the next day and the next.
Table linen made from natural fabrics can be used for years. Highly durable cotton and linen fibers withstand countless washes, making them an investment rather than a household cost. If everyone took steps to reduce their reliance on single-use paper and plastic products, it would significantly contribute to the preservation of our planet.
Caring for natural fabric table linen is surprisingly easy. A delicate cycle machine wash with mild detergent is usually sufficient to keep items clean and fresh. Line drying is best, but a low-temperature tumble dry can also maintain their shape and softness. Ironing isn't always necessary but you'll be surprised how impressive the sight of crisp, freshly pressed serviettes on the table can be.
By embracing the beauty of linen and cotton serviettes and placemats, we not only add elegance and charm to our mealtimes but also contribute to a more sustainable future. Investing in quality Australian placemats and table napkins eliminates waste every day and every small step helps to reduce our environmental impact. Let's set our tables with grace and enjoy the delight of hand crafted, Australian textiles for years to come.
See the range of table linen at O Gosh Shop.