This was the original inspiration for this project; simply beautiful fabric and some need for a little black stripe. I hemmed and hawed for a while and thought about all the options for a lovely new set of napkins for the table in time for the holiday.
I couldn't bring myself to use black bias tape, it just seemed to clunky for this fabric. The idea of turning all those hems was fine, and nearly happened, but then I just couldn't really seem to do it. So, I started to pull. I remember reading about something like this years ago in a Martha mag, but after a bit of snooping, could find nothing.
I decided to fray the edges by pulling threads on all sides of the napkins except the selvedge. This helped get these suckers square too, as the wide weave and slippery texture created some crooked cuts. I did have to trim up the frayed edge to get it even again once the threads were pulled, but that was a snap.
This would work well with any linen or wider weave cotton, something with a natural tendency to fray and easy to see and pull threads. I would give instructions, but really, there are none. Just pull threads. If you don't pull enough, you will know after some washing. Your napkins will take shape before your very eyes.
They washed up nicely, and may still loose a thread or two as they settle in to their raw, un-fussy selves, but I don't mind. They are fairly casual, and can be used day in and day out. We are dedicated to the cloth napkin around this house, and have been for years. These will really add a nice little touch to the turkey, don't you think? I am totally pleased with the results.