Paper serviettes – they’re a commonplace item that most of us have used at one point or another. We use them to wipe the corners of our mouths at dinner parties, to capture crumbs at cocktail events, or to clean our hands at a picnic. The serviette, one could argue, is as commonplace as the spoon. While crisp material varieties might be the order of the day at high-class establishments, most everyday folks opt for the paper variety. They’re simple, easy to use, and get the job done.
Moreover, in the current Covid-19 pandemic, they are a more sanitary solution than their cloth counterparts. Whilst those with a penchant for the environment might opt for material varieties, they are simply not as viable in public institutions, restaurants, delis, or cafeterias (places that need optimal hygiene and sanitation!) For this reason, serviettes remain a popular product in South Africa and beyond.
While these itemsare a normal part of mealtime in today’s world, they also have a fascinating and ancient history. Here we explore four facts about napkins that you might not know.
The first serviettes or napkins were edible: Yes, you heard that correctly. The Ancient Greeks used the firstserviettes and were known for throwing lavish, if not utterly decadent, dinner parties, where food was eaten by hand. These serviettes were made from dough and in-between courses; this so-called apomagdalie would be used as a serviette to wipe hands clean. Later, the Romans introduced cloth napkins. Namely, the sudarium was used to wipe the face (much like a sweat cloth), and the mappa, was used to capture crumbs whilst the guests reclined and ate their food. In China, however, paper was the preferred material for napkins: a material that would eventually gain global acclaim.
The word napkin has multicultural origins: The word napkin comes from the Old French nape meaning a tablecloth or towel. This derived from the Latin mappa (used by the Romans). Interestingly, the origins of serviette are less known, but it’s believed to be of Scottish decent and might relate to the word ‘serve.’ This makes sense if we consider the important role of the serviette in dinner service and hospitality.
Paper models gleaned global popularity, thanks to Japan: While varieties of serviettes (made from cloth, dough, or even bread) had been around for hundreds of years, paper napkins gleaned global fame in 1887. The popular British firm John Dickenson brought over a range of specially decorated napkins from Japan and used them as a marketing souvenir by printing their logo on them. Initially, however, they were seen as subpar. By the 1950s, however, this perception changed when the famed author of etiquette, Emily Post, gave the paper ones her golden seal of approval. The rest, as they say, is history.
On average, a family of four will use thousands of napkins a year: The average family of four and said to use around 12 napkins a day (and this isn’t calculating any extra guests.) This amounts to a whopping 4380 napkins a year and up to 21 900 over a period of five years. These numbers are pretty staggering and do not even begin to convey how many napkins are used in restaurants and public spaces. Serviettes are popular across the globe, and that’s why it’s important to find premium suppliers who sell high-quality products. Better designs mean less wastage and ensure that one serviette can do the job, rather than needing multiple sheets per meal.
Choose the Paper Hygiene Experts at Wipe-it for Superior Paper Products
If you are looking for quality serviettes, your search is over. When it comes to serviettes, we use wet strength paper for ultimate quality. When you choose Wipe-it, we guarantee you ultra-absorbency, ultimate strength, and the choice between one or two-ply options. Serviette quantities and specifications include:
One-ply serviettes in packs of 1000: Each sheet is 300 mm X 300 mm and offers full embossing.
Two-ply serviettes in packs of 1000: Sheets are 300 mm X 300 mm and come with an embossed patterned edge.
Takeaway serviettes in packs of 3000: Each sheet is 300 mm X 200 mm.
We also offer various other popular paper hygiene products, including garage rolls, folded hand towels, auto cut/reflex rolls, toilet rolls, and more. Chat with our team, and we’ll happily find you the perfect paper products for your needs.