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When it’s time to find the perfect tablecloth for Summer dinners, you’ll need to know how to buy the right size tablecloth.

how to buy the right size tablecloth

HOW TO BUY THE RIGHT SIZE TABLECLOTH

There’s A Formula – And I’m going to teach it to you today!  

After all, the basic building block of any table setting is your tablecloth.  Which is why it’s so important to pick the right one for your party or special occasion.  But just like other home decor, choosing table linens is about more than finding a set that reflects your style. It has to be sized to fit your table.

There’s some simple math to do.  But I’m going to show you how to measure for and calculate exactly what size tablecloth you’ll need for any table.

IT’S IMPORTANT TO KEEP TRACK OF YOUR COLLECTION

We’ll also discuss how to organize, store and catalog your table linen collection.  That way, they’ll always be ready and easy to locate when you need them.  Keeping an accurate record of your linens also helps inform you when you are in need of a new set.

When planning my holiday gatherings, I’ll pull out my inventory and make sure I have the exact linens I’ll need.  I how to buy the right size tableclothhave several different tables that are used when entertaining larger groups, so I like to make sure I’m completely covered! (yes, it’s a bad pun, but I couldn’t resist!)

And, after the holiday season is over, make sure you update your Table Linen Inventory Sheets to reflect any pieces that were stained or damaged. 

If you had to discard any of your cloths or napkins, make sure you change your inventory count.  It may mean you’ll need to replace the item(s) before the next occasion comes around.  

Now let’s get started learning how to buy the right size tablecloth and exactly how to care for it too!

HOME TABLE LINEN GUIDE PDF

If your head is spinning with just the thought of organizing and cataloging your home linen collection, you’re not alone!

Because today’s article covers so much information, I wanted to give you a resource that has it all in one place for just when you need it.

home table linen guideMy Home Table Linen Guide PDF contains all the information on how to buy the right size table linens for both rectangular and round tables.

The formulas are outlined and I’ve included an example with a diagram image to help you understand how to do the calculations.  I’ll go over the example with you a little later.

 I’ve also included an Overlay Sizing Chart on how to buy the right size table linen overlay for round tables from 32″ diameter to 72″ diameter.

Since I’ve done all the calculations for you, it’s simple to refer to the chart when ordering online or shopping at your local mega-mart.  How convenient is that?

I’ll be touching on the subject of the most popular table linen fabrics today also.  But my Home Table Linen Guide covers exactly how to clean 11 of the most widely used fabrics for home and party table linens.

It’s important to know exactly how to treat each fabric individually, as they all have different characteristics that need to be considered before cleaning.

 

HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR HOME LINEN COLLECTION

How exactly should you organize and store your home linen collection?  Because we all live in very different housing situations, I don’t believe there is an absolute “right” answer to that question.

If you’re living in a large home, then you might have a closet dedicated to your linens right in your hallway.  I remember with great longing my 2-linen closet home before downsizing a few years ago. The second was a spare bedroom closet that I used half how to buy the right size tableclothsfor linens and half for my boots and our formal clothes.

But I imagine that many of us are working with limited space and must make the best use of every inch we can eke out of our corners and dark recesses.  

I no longer am able to hang the majority of my linens, and now store them in under-bed sliding bins.

But how exactly do you go about categorizing and separating your table linens for storage and easy retrieval?  Again, there’s no correct answer, it really just depends.  On what?

If you’re just starting out and only have one size table and a few tablecloths and naps, you can pretty much keep them all togetherAs long as you keep an inventory of what table linens and napkins you own, you’ll be all set to entertain at a moment’s notice.

But, if you’ve got a medium to large selection of table linens that you’ve collected over the years, then you’ll need to decide on a single system.

Stick with whatever categorization method you choose, and with a current inventory of your collection, you’ll be ready for any occasion.  

Here’s a few suggestions on how to separate your table linens in categories for storage purposes:

  • COLOR FAMILY
  • SEASONS and HOLIDAYS
  • SIZE or SHAPE

 

I personally prefer separating my table linens by seasons and holidays, that way I’m generally working from one bin at a time.  Since I need to duck under beds for my tablecloths these days, that’s a good thing!

 

FILL IN YOUR INVENTORY SHEETS AS YOU ORGANIZE YOUR TABLECLOTHS

Once you’ve decided what method is best for categorizing your linens, you’ll want to keep track of what you’re table linen inventory sheet pdfstoring!

The Home Table Linen Guide also has two sheets that I created to keep a record of all your table linens so you have the information right at your fingertips!

I use the Table Linen Inventory Sheets to record all the information on color, size, fabric and shape of my tablecloths.  There’s also a column to show how many matching napkins you have for each cloth too.

Of course, if you need more than 2 sheets, just print out an extra copy of just that page and you’ll be all set.

 

HOW TO BUY THE RIGHT SIZE TABLECLOTH

how to buy the right size tablecloth

DETERMINE TABLECLOTH DROP

  • Casual event tablecloths should have a 6- to 8-inch drop from the edge of the table to the bottom of the tablecloth
  • Formal events favor a 15-inch drop from the edge of the table to the bottom of the tablecloth

 

The length of the cloth helps dress the table and set the tone for the meal.  Think of this as the difference between the attire for a casual brunch and a formal dinner.

MEASURE YOUR TABLE

After you’ve decided on the tone of your occasion, apply this simple equation to determine the correct length of your tablecloth.

  • First,  measure the length and width of your table, or the diameter for a round table
  • Next, apply the following formula inserting the number of inches of “drop” you desire your tablecloth to have

As the diagram indicates in the formula above, next:

  • Add twice the desired drop to each side’s dimension
  • The example table measures 38 inches wide and 61 inches long, and you want a drop of 8 inches
  • Add 18 inches (twice the drop) to each side
  • The resulting dimensions of the tablecloth needed is : 77 inches x 55 inches

 

CONSIDER ADDITIONAL TABLE LINENS

Because dining table sizes are not standardized across the furniture industry, tablecloth dimensions usually fall within a range that can work on many tables. A cloth with a drop of 8-to 9-inches from the side of your table is considered comfortable for casual, easy dining. It won’t restrict your diners legs or block access to the chairs.

 

how to clean your tablecloths properly

If your table proves difficult to dress with a standard cloth, consider using other table linens as design elements.

For extra wide tables, use multiple runners in place of a single tablecloth.  Either by placing 2 runners across the width as “placemats for two” or using two runners along the length of the table under the place settings.

If your table is oblong or oval, use a rectangular cloth allowing it to pool on the “corners”.

Once you’ve found the right size or solution, invest in a few colors or patterns so you can mix-and-match your linens.  You’ll have a wonderful time coordinating your table linens with your dinnerware to fit the occasion. After all, fit matters, right?

 

YOU KNOW HOW TO BUY THE RIGHT SIZE TABLECLOTH – But what about cleaning it?

Cleaning and caring for your table linens can be confusing and problematic because of the sheer number of fabrics they come in!

Don’t stress, below I’ve given a broad overview of how to properly clean and maintain them.  In my Home Table Linen Guide, I how to buy the right size tableclothspecifically cover the exact cleaning instructions for 11 of the most popular table linen fabrics.  Some have to be handled very carefully in order to keep them from being damaged during the cleaning process.  That’s the price we pay for beauty!

The Home Table Linen Guide gives specific cleaning instructions for the following tablecloth fabrics:

BURLAP, CHIFFON, TULLE, SATIN, SEQUINED, TAFFETA, SPANDEX, LACE, EMBROIDERY SWIRL, BRIDAL SATIN AND VELVET.

Here are a few tips to avoid damaging your linens after purchasing:

  • Keep your linens in their bags/casing until you need to remove them for ironing or prep
  • Always store your products in a dry, dark location, as prolonged exposure to sunlight and water will damage them
  • When in doubt, consult the Home Table Linen Guide before cleaning linens or talk to your dry cleaner 
  • Avoid fabric softeners with machine washable/dryable items. They can leave your linens with oily spots or looking limp after laundering

 

Now you’re primed and ready to get your table linen collection organized and cataloged!   While you’re getting your hostess game-face ready, you really need to look at your home entertaining supplies…

GRACIOUS HOSTESS SERIES – Basic Home Entertaining Essentials PDF

gracious hostess basic home entertaining esssentials listAs any Gracious Hostess knows, having the right basic home entertaining essentials to depend on makes having guests over a hassle-free “affair”.

And that’s exactly why my Gracious Hostess Series is so important!  Especially if you’ve been hesitant to entertain because you just don’t feel like you’ve got the right equipment.

My GRACIOUS HOSTESS SERIES – BASIC HOME ENTERTAINING ESSENTIAL + PDF LIST is an article that you won’t want to miss.

Want to learn how to build your own “home entertaining capsule”, just like you do with your fabulous wardrobe? Then my Gracious Hostess Series is just for you!

In the series’ first installment we discuss the basic entertaining and dining pieces you need to start entertaining at home. 

I’ve included tips and helpful information about how to assemble a home entertaining capsule that suits your entertaining style and personality.  

After all, entertaining at home should be a comfortable experience for both the gracious hostess and her guests!

Click the link here to read the articleGRACIOUS HOSTESS SERIES – BASIC HOME ENTERTAINING ESSENTIAL + PDF LIST 

Don’t forget to download and print your copy of the Home Table Linen Guide PDf today!

 

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