The samples arrive. I test drive them immediately. The colors are vibrant, the fabric pristine and crisp.
The single-ply napkins feel thin, but are a giant step beyond paper. What's more, they pass my hostess test: Elegant, frugal and fast.
Fast is key because I'm chronically short on time, with no extra minutes to press linens. When my guests ring the doorbell, I usually have an eyelash curler in one hand and a vacuum in the other.
Consider these advantages to the Mydrap products:
• Perfectly ready. Mydrap linens come off the roll pristine, pressed and perforated. Edges tear clean like laser-scored paper. Each piece has an imprinted border that looks like stitching.
• Mix and match. The product comes in 24 colors, a few prints, including two cute holiday patterns, and four sizes (www.buymydrap.com). Mix them to suit your decor, the occasion, holiday or season. You can also order linens custom printed with the name of your event, say a bridal shower or bar mitzvah.
• Convenient clean up. “At the end of the party, you scoop everything up and toss it in the compost pile,” MacKinnon said. The 100 percent cotton product is biodegradable, recyclable and renewable. If you want to wash and reuse, you can. The second and third time around, they're great for picnics and lunchboxes.
• Linen option. Though cotton is the bulk of her business, linen products are also available but cost about 30 percent more, and come in fewer and more muted shades. “The linen does become cost prohibitive, but if you're a linen girl like me you'll love it,” MacKinnon said.
• Make your own. You can also find your own inexpensive or discounted cotton linen, cut it into squares with pinking shears and make your own elegant hostess touch. Either way, cloth will look and feel better than paper, guaranteed.
Syndicated columnist and speaker Marni Jameson is the author of “House of Havoc” and “The House Always Wins” (Da Capo Press). Contact her through www.marnijameson.com.