Stitching Fabric Napkins on Your Serger

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I’d like to make fabric napkins to match my new placemats. Can I finish the edges on my serger?

Using a serger is an ideal way to finish napkins, and you can make dozens of them quickly and easily. For more information on making fabric napkins, see our SEW-lutions Guideline 8.130

You have two choices for serger edge finishes–an overlock stitch or a rolled hem. The overlock stitch, made with three or four threads, finishes the edge but allows some of the fabric to show through the stitching. It creates a flat hem, and you can adjust the stitch length depending on how dense you want it to appear. A rolled hem creates an edge that is slightly rolled and encased in denser stitches than the overlocked edge. The edge appears slightly raised (with the rolled fabric inside) and continuous, without any fabric showing through the stitches. It’s a good option when using contrasting and/or novelty threads. Follow your machine instruction book to adjust the settings (and tnesion) to create a rolled hem.

Using a texturized thread like Woolly Nylon or Woolly Polyester,  for edge finishing produces a dense, filled-in line of stitching. The thread stretches slightly as it’s serged, then relaxes to fill in any space between stitches.

When you work with a serger for napkin making, there’s no need to cut apart the napkins before finishing. Simply draw the lines on the fabric length, then serge on the lines. The blades will cut the napkins apart as it finishes the edge.

To finish the corners, stitch off the ends of each edge, apply seam sealant to the serger threads, and trim when dry. Another option is to thread the serger tails into a tapestry needle and thread them back under the edge stitches.