There doesn’t seem to be a definitive origin story for table runners, but most writers we found seem to agree they came about in the Middle Ages.
As blogger Amy Isaman put it:
“Apparently, back in medieval times, people would wipe their faces on the table cloth. Eventually, thank God, this became unacceptable and somebody invented napkins, but people still ate like pigs and spilled their food and drinks all over the tablecloths which then had to be laundered, so some wise woman invented the table runner to protect the table cloth.”
The idea was that the table runner would catch all the spills and dropped food, and then be gathered up for cleaning at the end of the night, leaving the pristine tablecloth behind. Tablecloths and table runners became standard dining fixtures by the 1600s.
Hopefully, you’ll be using your table runners for decorative, and not simply practical, reasons. Here are 10 ways you can put one into play in your home:
Continue reading How to Use a Table Runner →