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Western Tablecloth Standards


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I am considering a new tablecloth and the thought struck me that there must be some cultural standards for tablecloths.  Such as how much overhang is optimum on the sides and ends of a rectangular dining table.

 

Suggestions?

Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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I don't know about any hard and fast rules, but I know I dislike an overhang of more than about five or so inches. I don't want it in my lap interfering with placing a napkin there or possibly setting up for the comedic gag where the tablecloth is inadvertently jerked, disrupting the placement of the dishes.

 

This site disagrees with me, so your mileage may vary, especially if you're buying it for a special occasion.

 

Also, of course if the cloth is for a table, such as a buffet, where no one will be sitting and dining, I agree with them that a long fall to the floor is desirable.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Thank you both.  This is the sort of information I am looking for.

 

Edit:  if it is not clear I mean a tablecloth for sitting and dining...something that I like to do a lot.

 

 

Edited by JoNorvelleWalker (log)

Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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My Aunt, staying with relatives (during the depression,,,, things happened), she was tasked to set the tea table (this is in England), it was the full monty, silver and all, cake stand as well, as she spent a few minutes lining things up her Aunt informed her that she had put the tablecloth on up-side-down so everything had to be taken down and done again.

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Martial.2,500 Years ago:

If pale beans bubble for you in a red earthenware pot, you can often decline the dinners of sumptuous hosts.

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The nearest standard size would give 10.5 inch drop on the ends and 12.5 inch drop on the sides.  There is always custom made but I need to decide if off the shelf would be OK.

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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I have quite a few tablecloths - many dating back to about 1967 when I first got married I think and some from my mother's era. I cannot remember the last time I put one on a table though. Closest I seem to get is runners, but primarily I now use placemats if anything at all. My, my, how life changes. Hope you post a picture of your new cloth when you secure one, Jo. Perhaps it will get me to use one or more of mine again.

Edited by Deryn (log)
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If I do get a new tablecloth I suspect it will look a lot like the navy polyester tablecloth that's shown up on eG several times.  Even if I manage to spring for linen.

 

The problem with the current tablecloth (not that I don't have half a dozen) is that there is only a couple inches drop on the ends and no drop on the sides.  And I am planning to add another leaf, if that is the correct term, to make the table slightly longer.

 

Then I have to worry about a new table protector for the longer length.

Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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As far as drop goes, for daily use,  I'd avoid anything significantly longer than the tabletop-to-chair-seat distance, for the reasons that @Thanks for the Crepes mentions. In my dining room, that's 12 inches.   I don't think the difference between 10.5 and 12.5 should be a functional problem but if you will often see the table from an angle that displays that inequality and are grossly offended by it, get something custom or that can be hemmed to avoid further offence.  

I have a square table in a bright room and those 2 inches would begin to annoy me at some point but I have gotten over worse things.

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3 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

The nearest standard size would give 10.5 inch drop on the ends and 12.5 inch drop on the sides.  There is always custom made but I need to decide if off the shelf would be OK.

 

I don't think this would be far off. I have gravitas, and I wouldn't want much more on the sides with my fat little legs to avoid skewing the setting when I sat down. But I think this would be OK.

 

(I have a cheap and cheerful polycotton tablecloth for coffee mornings, a lovely inherited Irish linen set for special occasions, and good quality placemats for everything else. Take a guess as to what actually gets used :D)

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In case you are interested in springing for a custom option - I worked with this linen company for years and they are located near York, PA.  Claudia, the owner, is fabulous.

 

Oops...just realized they mainly do custom for commercial.  However, I do know they have a sale once or twice a year that is open to the public.

Edited by LizD518 (log)
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I have a weirdly large dining room table and have always had trouble finding tablecloths to fit it. Finally I gave up and went to a large fabric store - bought extra-wide upholstery or drapery cloth and took it to a dressmaker who hemmed it to the exact size I need. This has been the best solution by far - and the least expensive. You can choose from endless fabrics and get the exact colour and type of material you like, made to your specific requirements.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nyleve Baar's solution is mine also...except that I have hemmed mine myself.  (Not bragging...I'd rather have someone else do the work.)   Our dining room table is also very long...in fact it's 4'x8'...and if they make tablecloths for that size table, I suspect they would not be in my snack bracket.  I'll go with you next time, Nyleve.

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Thanks for the tip on extra-wide fabric  @Nyleve Baar,  I have never seen it in my local fabric shops but It's certainly available on-line and would make a good solution for me.  

My table is not excessively large (~ 55 inches square) but I've never seen ready-made tablecloths the right size.  

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48 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

Thanks for the tip on extra-wide fabric  @Nyleve Baar,  I have never seen it in my local fabric shops but It's certainly available on-line and would make a good solution for me.  

My table is not excessively large (~ 55 inches square) but I've never seen ready-made tablecloths the right size.  

 

Check anyplace that sells drapery and upholstery fabric. These often come in unusual widths. I need a minimum of 80 x 150 for my dining room table so this is the only way I can get such a thing.

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