Repurposing vintage naturally dyed napkins

What can be done with these beautiful naturally dyed fabrics, if one does not use napkins at the dinner table? Repurposing vintage, naturally dyed napkins is one answer.

Plenty of things can be made with them! I have made various items from these fabrics. They include scarves, tote bags, a kimono style jacket and a Tibetan panel coat.


Actually, the choice of things to make is only limited by one’s imagination.

Most of my fabrics are upcycled linen or cotton table napkins. On occasion, I also use vintage table cloths or used lengths of fabric.

While these cloth napkins are eco friendly and add a more luxurious touch to the dining table, they can also be regarded as pieces of fabric.

Natural dyes on repurposed vintage napkins become new items


Upcycled Cotton/Viscose table cloth made into an elegant, unisex scarf

To make scarves, I have often used 2 and 3 of my naturally dyed linen napkins depending on their size. They have been folded in half, then sewn together to make a length. To embellish them, I sometimes add some wee bells or beads at the ends of the scarf.

My fabrics are dyed with a variety of natural dyes. Also, I use design techniques such as shibori, stencil and eco printing.

So, for a creative sewist/project maker, it could be a worthwhile purchase of a few, one of a kind napkins to sew into a personal fashion item.

Some ideas for projects include: home decor items such as quilts, curtains, pillow covers, bed covers and wall hangings.

These fabrics could also be incorporated into a sewing project in combination with store bought fabrics.

Clothing, such as jackets, pants, tunics, summer tops combined with fabric from other sources could be used in combination with mine to create very unique clothing.

My kimono jacket which I made for my personal use, incorporated seven linen napkins. These had been dyed with Indigo and various shibori techniques.

As well, accessories such as scarves, tote bags, change purses, head bands are other options for the creative sewist.

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Hi. I'm Maija.

Producer of one of a kind fabrics, I am a Visual/Textile Artist at MaiTribe Studio Gallery, in central Ontario, Canada.

My life and art have been inspired by my travels  to countries such as Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Bali and India.

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