A: Tablecloths have two main purposes, and only one of them involves protecting the tables in your establishment from food and drink spills, wine stains, unintentional scrapes and scratches, or any other activity that may permanently damage your table. A tablecloth’s other main purpose, of course, is to increase the aesthetic value of the room in which it happens to be displayed.
Tablecloths come in a very wide variety of materials and styles, and you’ll certainly want to take both of those factors into account while shopping for tablecloths that will work best in your inn’s dining room or the kitchen of your bed-and-breakfast. But because tables come in such a wide are variety of shapes and sizes, the specific shape and size of a tablecloth is something you’ll need to consider as well.
There are four basic shapes of tables: square, rectangle, round and oval. But tables today are available in an incredibly wide variety of sizes and configurations based on those four basic shapes. An oblong table, for instance, is a rectangle having length greater than width. An oval also has length greater than width, but it has continuous curved sides.
Below are images of four fairly common table shapes:
No matter what shape or size the table is that you’re interested in covering, choosing a correctly sized tablecloth is crucial. You want to avoid bunching and creasing as much as possible, although it can get tricky. A rectangle table, a rounded rectangle table and a racetrack table are all considered “oblong,” for instance, and they all use an oblong tablecloth. A round table that is lengthened with leaves, meanwhile, is an oblong, racetrack-shaped table.
A customer may use an oblong tablecloth on an oval-shaped table, but she should be advised that her tablecloth will “spire” in the corners with a longer drop towards the floor than on the sides; this is perfectly normal.
If you’d like to learn how to measure a table in order to get just the right size tablecloth, click here to read a blog post we wrote about that topic last December.
At InnStyle, which has been a treasured source for innkeeper supplies and lines since 1952, we offer a wide variety of tablecloths in various shapes and sizes, and in several table linen styles. Please visit the Dining section on our website to view all the tablecloth choices that we offer
If you can’t find the tablecloth you’d like on our website, please call 1-800-877-4667 to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members. They’ll be more than happy to help you find what you need, and to help you correct size tablecloth for your home or business establishment.