What should be the size of the tablecloth?

Choosing a dining table from the hundreds, if not thousands of models available is quite a challenge. Once we decide on the one and only one, a new question arises – what kind of tablecloth should be placed on the top?

Combining the color scheme, furnishing and decoration into one coherent interior, which will be both practical and aesthetically pleasing, may be compared to a complicated jigsaw puzzle, in which each element has to find its place. The tablecloth is precisely one piece of the puzzle, on which depends whether we will have a bedspread that emphasizes or destroys the decor of the entire room.

Do we start with…?

Contrary to what you might think, it’s not the pattern or even the type of fabric that the tablecloth will be made of. The first step should be to determine the shape and size. Both factors depend on the table, which the material will cover. Here are some tips to help you choose the perfect tablecloth.

Rectangles and ovals

The easiest tablecloths to arrange are those that resemble the shape of the table top on which they will lie. If your piece of furniture is oval, look for oval tablecloths, if rectangular – rectangular ones

Remember, however, that circle and oval are two different figures! The same, although to a slightly lesser extent, applies to a square and a rectangle (after all, you can turn a rectangle into a square even with a discreet overlap, hidden under the dishes). So if you have a folding table, you might want to consider buying a larger tablecloth, or two different ones to match the other shapes of the furniture

In a free overhang

Ultimately, the tablecloth covers the whole surface of the table top (if we cover only a part of it, we talk about a tablecloth or a runner) and the ends hang over its edge. The length of the overhang, as we call the loose part, should be adjusted to your preferences, but should not exceed 20 cm. This is the length that makes it possible to create an aesthetic curtain on the sides of the table and at the same time makes it possible to sit down and get up from the table without the risk of pulling off the tablecloth together with all the tableware

Within those 20 cm we can change the overhang according to our preferences. The shortest overhang can be as long as the thickness of the table top – it gives the effect of joining the fabric with the surface on which it lies.

In order to test, which overhang suits us best, we can use a blanket, sheet, or other sheet of material, which we will put on the table. Then, by moving it closer to or farther from the edge, we test what length of loose material we think is most aesthetically pleasing.

Long alternative

For interiors with modern, restaurant decor, tablecloths to the ground, covering the entire piece of furniture, can work. Due to practicality, however, it is not the best solution for everyday use, although, for example, as an additional Christmas decoration, it will prove perfect.

Measure in hand!

Well, we have already chosen the length of the overhang, and what next?

Then it is necessary to measure the countertop. An ordinary tape measure is best for that, although a tailor’s centimeter will also give us the right data.

Depending on the shape of the table, we will measure other lengths. In the case of a rectangle, we need the length and width. If the tabletop is a circle, we need to measure its diameter, while an oval must have the distances measured from its furthest ends and at its widest point. In the case of irregular shapes, such as a trapezoid, it is necessary to measure all the sides that have different lengths.

Once you have these measurements, you add twice the planned overhang to each – after all, you want the tablecloth to look the same from all sides!

So for a 100×100 cm square table with a planned overhang of 15 cm, the tablecloth dimensions are 130×130 cm (100 cm edge+15 cm overhang on one side+15 cm on the other). A round table top with a diameter of 200 cm and a planned overhang of 10 cm will have a tablecloth with a diameter of 220 cm.

And most importantly – don’t stress if you haven’t found a tablecloth that is exactly the right size. Sometimes trims, such as ruffles or reinforced edges, will overstate the dimensions a bit. And if you want to be really safe, use the option to sew a custom size tablecloth, which most online stores provide.

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Toby Kenney

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