how do you store tablecloths?

woleileDecember 6, 2007

I know they can be folded and stored on a shelf, of course, but with a large tablecloth you end up with a lot of fold lines. What I'd like to do is press it as soon as it comes out of the dryer and then hang it up somehow. One fold down the middle would be ok, but no more if I can avoid it. Obviously with a tablecloth to fit an 8' table, say, that's not so easy. I'm building a house and do have some space to do it, if I could only figure out how.

If you have an idea, I'd love to hear it.

LauraG

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Maura63

Mine are pressed and on a hanger in my front hall closet. I beleive this is how they are returned to you if dry-cleaned.

I only have two that I store this way - the rest are casual, with lots of creases!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2007 at 6:51PM
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mustangs81

Like Maura, I have mine on hangers. They are specialty hangers like in the link below. They are 20" wide. I have some foam tubes that fit over the rod so the table cloths won't have a fold line.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hangers

    Bookmark   December 6, 2007 at 9:08PM
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bud_wi

To get rid of a table cloth crease from a tablecloth on the table, spray a fine mist of water and then two people pull taut on it both directions. No more creases. This is a trick restaurants use.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2007 at 9:11PM
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claire_de_luna

This may sound kind of weird, but it works great for me. Instead of storing my tablecloths, I stack them on the table. (Once I've ironed them, I hate to fold them.) When one gets dirty or I'm ready for a seasonal change, Presto Change-O! I just changed mine yesterday from Fall to Christmas, and all I had to do was take off the top layer. The other nice benefit is that there's padding to protect the table top. I have squares on top of rounds, and most coordinate well with each other so it works. The best thing is I don't suffer from creases!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2007 at 11:31AM
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joann23456

I always wash mine right before using when I'm giving a dinner where I care about creases. So, I store them all folded up, wash the morning of a dinner party, remove from the dryer before it's done, and put it directly onto the table. I have to say it's not as perfect as I'd get if I ironed, but I *wouldn't* iron, and it's a lot better than if I stored them folded.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2007 at 1:58PM
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woleile

I like that 20" hanger. For a tablecloth that's 70" wide, that's only three folds, and I can try the spray bottle trick with those. Biggest I could find before was 17".

And I always iron and starch, but it just may be that tossing the tablecloth in the dryer with something damp for five minutes may persuade those fold lines to come out. I do it all the time with clothes that have sat in the dryer too long and got all wrinkled. I'll try it on a tablecloth sometime when company isn't coming.

Thanks everybody for the great suggestions!

LauraG

    Bookmark   December 7, 2007 at 7:13PM
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msmarion

I have several irish linen cloths that were passed down by my great aunt. I store them as I received them, on drapery tubes covered with a blue tissue paper ( I assume it's acid free). They are then placed in a fabric drawstring bag.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2007 at 12:25PM
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jannie

Folded and in a drawer of my dining room sideboard.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 9:57AM
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talley_sue_nyc

In the old days, the days of big houses for the rich, and household staffs, they hung them in the basement.

On drapery tubes or fabric tubes would be one solution! But I bet they'd still be a little wrinkled.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 11:59AM
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dyhgarden

I store my nicest one on a hanger in the closet. I take it out before a big dinner and wash it/dry it again. Pull it out damp. Put tablepad down on table. DH and I pull it taught and work our way down the table, smoothing and pulling. If it's too dry, I mist it with water.

Cameron

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 11:10AM
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woleile

Drapery tubes! That's sort of what I had in mind, but I had no idea where to get a tube big enough! Ok, now I gotta get busy designing a system for storing the tubes so I can see the cloths and get at them.

LauraG

    Bookmark   December 12, 2007 at 2:03AM
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talley_sue_nyc

In the basement, against a wall, two 2x6s (since 2x4s may not leave enough space) spaced the right length apart. Holes in one, slots in the other (sort of like the

Or easier still, use these wooden closet pole sockets

If you can find drapery tubes that are 1-3/8" diameter and will fit in the sockets. If not, maybe you can use actual wooden closet poles. They'd be heavier.

Or, any sort of support on the inside of the 2x4s

    Bookmark   December 12, 2007 at 10:08AM
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talley_sue_nyc

maybe against a wall will take up too much space--but if you had a closet in the basement w/ a wide enough door, you could put them on the inside of the door; that would be very space-efficient, as long as you could live w/ the door being that wide.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2007 at 10:09AM
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talley_sue_nyc

If you can't find drapery tubes, maybe PVC pipe, or aluminum pipe (if PVC is too saggy)? Aluminum would be very lightweight.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2007 at 10:11AM
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talley_sue_nyc

there's the whole "acid free" issue; you might ponder whether you'd like to worry about that.

Some thoughts I found online:

Some ethoughts on what the tube should be--anything w/ a wood base (wood itself, or cardboard) will have acid that can discolor fabric eventually.

I found several pieces of into

From SewNews magazine:
http://www.sewnews.com/library/sewnews/library/aafabr9.htm
Eaton rolls large textile items on acid-free cardboard tubes. To approximate this setup for home fabric storage, she recommends, "You can cover any cardboard tube with household aluminum foil to prevent acid migration. Because the metal surface will encourage condensation, cover the foil with sheets of acid-free tissue or laundered muslin, then wrap the fabric around the tube for long term storage."

From Whispers (online magazine for women) story on quilt store, from The QuiltBroker
http://www.cyberpathway.com/cgi-bin/homeart/print.pl?article=53

2. Choose a rolling tube that is SAFE if you don't wish to fold your quilt.

Many conservators do not like to fold their textiles because of the pressure and distortion that occurs on the folded sections. Long-term compression on the inside of the fold creates a setting or creasing of the fabric. The outside fibers stretch around the curve of the fold. Quilting stitches will be more stressed in the folded areas. If you do choose to fold your quilt, take care to refold it periodically along different lines.

Hollinger supplies us with a textile rolling tube with a 3" diameter in lengths up to 120". It is made of a chemically inert polyethylene plastic. If you are currently using a brown kraft tube, protect your quilt by isolating the inferior tube material with an absolute barrier of Tyvek or archival quality polyester film before rolling your quilt on to the tube for storage. You may use several layers of acid-free tissue as a temporary barrier but even they may eventually convey the inferior tube's acidic properties. Roll your quilt with the image side out and consider interleaving it with tissue. Use acid-free tissue or Tyvek as a final wrapping layer. Periodically rotate the tube to relieve the flattening effect of shelving pressure.

Most of the archival tubes are too big for those brackets I found. But maybe you could use hooks or something, or simply make a V shape using wood trim, to set the ends of the tube in.

i thought Martha had shown pics once of a similar rolled-storage rack, but I can't find it.

Here is a link that might be useful: acid-free cardboard storage tubes

    Bookmark   December 12, 2007 at 11:12AM
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pinktoes

You could drill holes in a long strip of wood (2 x 4 or whatever) and glue in dowels, which come in various sizes. For less creasing, just put whatever fat tubes over the dowels.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2007 at 4:38PM
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talley_sue_nyc

I think you'd want to be able to take the dowels off the rack, though.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2007 at 5:58PM
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pinktoes

The ones I've seen with dowels were part of a permanent installation inside a closet, with their ends facing the door. You just reached in and slipped your choice off its end, toward you. I like that and I don't.

I use a fat hanger with one open end, which makes them easier to remove and insert. No trying to hold the hanger and get the cloth through the top part of the hanger. Mine are designed for comforters/blankets. They have that grabby rubber coating on the bar part.

I like them well enough to use the same system in the new house, where I could design something else if I found anything I liked better.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2007 at 7:07PM
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mustangs81

The tubes that I have are foam. They are like really long foam curlers with a slit the length of the tube. The slit allows you to attach the foam to the horizontal rod on the 20" hanger.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2007 at 11:11PM
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msmarion

Fabric tubes are easily found at: Upholstery shops, fabric stores, drapery workrooms. They will happily give them to you, otherwise they have to dispose of them.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 12:04PM
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mustangs81

Thanks Marion, that's a great tip.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 1:02PM
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katie_cr

Great news about the 20" hangars. I had no idea of these. For a foam tube, HD has pipe insulation in various diameters, with the slit along one side. This might be the ticket and now is the season for getting it. Also re getting the creases out: I use my Mom's trick which I grew up helping her with. She would put the cloth on the table over her table pads, and simply iron the cloth right on the table. I've done this all my life, although I use a lower temp than I would on my ironing table. It works great and the table pads seem no worse for wear. Also, I often use a simple white "undercloth", sort of like a slip for a table.

Katie

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 1:52AM
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katie_cr

I should say, the tablecloth was ironed before it went on the table, and the ironing on the table pads was just to get the creases out.

Katie

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 1:55AM
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mustangs81

Katie, Great idea about the foam insulation. That is exactly the type of thing I have but didn't know of a resource to get additional tubes.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 5:18PM
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gayle0000

I don't worry about how to store them & not willing to shop around for or buy supplies to do it. Extra supplies = extra clutter.

I just fold them up with the rest of my folded linens knowing I'll be washing it and (maybe...depending on the event) pressing it before I use it.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 6:41PM
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paabal_yahoo_com

I have been trying to figure this out for years. After reading all of these ideas...I have decided to try getting these hangers on the attached link...I'm going to get some of the floating pool noodles, and cut them lengthwise. I will put the noodle over the bottom of the hanger. That way I shouldn't get a crease. I'll let you know how it works out!

Here is a link that might be useful: tablecloth hangers

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 10:56PM
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ginih

Drapery poles (or wood dowels of similar size), on brackets installed ladder fashion up the wall of your storage room. You can slide your tubes, if you use them, over the poles and wrap the t-cloths around them. This is how I store fabric in my workroom.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 3:45AM
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