DO NOT READ IF YOU LIKE NAPKIN RINGS AND THINK THEY ARE FANCY…
As an authentic etiquette expert I can’t unlearn what was taught to me in Swiss Finishing School. Etiquette History was a prerequisite for graduation and with knowledge comes a decision. Do you continue or change courses?
However, I do accept that many people have their own way of doing things according to their taste and knowledge. I was recently asked why I didn’t use napkin rings on my napkins at dinner parties or my etiquette classes by a friend who was obviously a fan of them, and I must’ve made a face. Because she immediately said “What’s wrong with napkin rings?”
My finishing school brain could hear my French Professor explicitly threatening us: “I had better not discover a napkin ring on your formal dining table, it is disgusting it is not sanitary and they do no belong on a table in front of the guests”
Me: Clutching my pearls as I recalled all the napkin rings in every house I ever visited in my family.
Napkin rings are a holdover from the days before washing machines, when table linens were not washed after every meal and it was necessary to use personalized rings to identify which napkin had been used by which family member so they could continue using the same one until it was washed. Putting a napkin ring in front of a guest would imply that he or she was receiving a used napkin.
However, use what you like on your place setting, but if you’d ever like to upgrade your napkin folds I’m here to help. No napkin rings needed.