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Layering Tablecloths?

Posted by anele (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 21, 12 at 12:56

We just got a new dining room table and it's large.

I'm having a hard time finding tablecloths that will fit that I like. It's 82" long, and I would not trust the 90" ones not to shrink, though that would open up more options for me.

What is a tasteful way to layer tablecloths? Any photos to share?

Thank you!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Layering Tablecloths?

can't you buy a 102 and have it cut to size, if necessary?

RE: Layering Tablecloths?

Sorry-- I was not clear! I can get ones the right size, but I don't like them! I was wondering if there is a way to layer tablecloths so that I can get something boring/solid as an underlayer, and then use the one I like on top.

I am thinking it would still be a challenge as the standard size would be too big to layer one way, and too short if I put it the other.


RE: Layering Tablecloths?

I cannot picture how you are thinking of layering and you didn't specify what type mof cloth you want that you can't find in a size that would fit the table. Williams Sonoma has lots of styles and patterns and many are on sale now. I am also linking to Schweitzer Linens which is more expensive, but has lovely tradition linens.

I would definitely use one cloth in the 108' inch length. If you can't find one you like, it would not be hard to buy fabric and make your own-only need to make four hems. I don't sew, but I could certainly make my own table cloth.

Hope you can find something.

Here is a link that might be useful: tablecloths


cyn, the layering I've seen is mostly done on round tables, though I have found a few that are rectangular.

RE: motif-- not looking for anything formal or white. Our dining room is our only eating area, and it's used by my young children, though I admit to being just as messy as they are when eating! Looking for patterns that are not stuffy. Thinking in the orange or red family. :)

And yes, I could make a tablecloth-- just not a lot of time for any sort of sewing right now.

RE: Layering Tablecloths?

I think the 102 would give a very nice table edge. My table collapses to 78" but has two leaves, each 19". So, the table can be 78, 97 or 116 in length. It is 42" wide. I have 90, 120 and 144 x 60 table cloths in white. I sometimes fancy it up with seasonal overcoverings which I purchase at a fabric store.

Here are a couple photos. Hope you enjoy your new dining room. I know many still like to entertain in style and hope you can too.

Christmas Table

New Years' Eve Table

RE: Layering Tablecloths?

anele, I have seen layering on round tables and I like it, but usually I have seen the bottom cloth going to the floor with the top layer going only partway down. I think that would be difficult to accomplish on a rectangular table. W-S has a big variety that might suit your purposes/taste.

Here is the Provence cloth in red that they have in the 70"x108" size. There is also a deep yellow/mustard shade, but I didn't check to see if they have the larger size in that. There are other patterns you could check out. I will keep looking, though! I love pretty table linens.

Here is a link that might be useful: Provence tablecloth

RE: Layering Tablecloths?

I've spent a lot of time looking for table cloths. My dining room table is wide (48") and we always have one leaf in it for 94". The second leaf makes it 116".

I cut a photo out of a decorating magazine that showed a short rectangular cloth spread across the middle of a longer table, with 4 placesettings on the cloth and then a placesetting at either end using matching placemats. It was creative and looked ok, but not formal.

I've purchased and returned I can't tell you how many tablecloths between Thanksgiving and Christmas this past year. The 60" cloths look too skimpy, so I've learned to search for 70" wide cloths. Even though it's an oval table, 70 x 120 works with the one leaf. 70 x 128 works ok on the 116 extension, but 70 x 144 would be ideal.

You have to be careful how the pattern plays around the edges, if you get one with a medallion or pattern in the middle and a border.

Williams Sonoma has beautiful tablecloths and I bought what I consider an heirloom Thanksgiving tablecloth from a seller on eBay for considerably less than what WS was asking. However, I would not spend that much money again on an everyday tablecloth.

My experience has been that TJMaxx, HomeGoods and Marshalls carry several brands (Ralph Lauren and Waterford) that are 70" wide and 120 or 144 long. I've also seen some on Dillard's website. The cloths that are cotton/poly are easier to launder (not much worry about shrinking or wrinkles).

Land's End also had a linen tablecloth 70 x 144. I bought one with a 30% discount and free shipping before Thanksgiving, but I didn't even take it out of the package because I just couldn't see myself ironing that sucker lol.

Educate yourself by going to eBay and search tablecloths for the dimensions you want, then shop the discount stores. You can try the tablecloths on for size, and return them if they don't work for you. Maybe try a patterned square cloth layered on top of a solid rectangle.


RE: meant to add

The Williams Sonoma one I linked is $49.95 for the 70"x108".

RE: Layering Tablecloths?

Cyn, I have the white Provence tablecloth and I love it!

A., one way to layer is to buy a "Table topper" and place it at an angle on the table.

RE: Layering Tablecloths?

check out crate and barrel's outlet/clearance section online---they often have nice, young, colorful tablecloths--- i've gotten a couple and have been very happy with the quality!

RE: Layering Tablecloths?

I have used lace over a solid color. You can also use a runner or 2 or a square cloth laid diagonally.

Below is a website with some long table examples for weddings, but it gives you an idea

Here is a link that might be useful: reception tables

RE: Layering Tablecloths?

Don't forget to google "layered tablecloths" and then click on "images" - there will be quite a few things to look at.

This Christmas I decided to not put a tablecloth on our dining table and used an antique runner was really beautiful seeing the china/chargers/silver and crystal against the dark table.

I think one of the easiest ways to layer a rectangular shaped dining table is to use a long formal tablecloth with two 36" squares layered over the top of the tablecloth, or use two or even three runners across the table with space between each runner - two place settings can fit on one runner (across from each other) - alone or layered over a larger tablecloth.
like this:

Here is a link that might be useful: runners on top of tablecloth

RE: Layering Tablecloths?

This is also pretty - I do this quite a bit - I have many antique square linen tablecloths with embroidery and openwork - they are my favorite.

Here is a link that might be useful: simple antique tablecloth square

RE: Layering Tablecloths?

oakley, I love the ws cloths, too! I like the white Provence a lot. I am thinking of getting the Marseille in navy since it is only $59.95. I like the heavy-weight cotton which gives them wonderful drape and they launder beautifully.

RE: Layering Tablecloths?

Garnier-Thiebaut has many colorful tablecloths in sizes that would fit your table. I like a drop of 10-12 inches on each side. They also have formal linens, but that's not what you requested. You could use place-mats on top of a cloth to help with minor spills.

My table is round and used daily. In the winter it has a cloth that goes to the floor. The next layer is another cloth - sometimes round, sometimes square. For casual meals there are place-mats on top of that.

Don't rule out bedding either. A matelasse coverlet can work as an under-cloth. A friends used old-fashioned thin quilts as both over and under cloths at different times.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garnier-Thiebaut

RE: Layering Tablecloths?

Slightly off topic --- is a table runner supposed to drape over, or fall short, or just cover (lengthwise)?

RE: Layering Tablecloths?

Kitschy, a runner should either drop off a good 6 inches or so, unless the runner is made to cover oly 2/3's of the table. I've done both.

Another thought is finding THE prettiest patterned placemat, and using that under a centerpiece. You can buy them separately online if you look hard enough.

Tabletoppers are just like smaller square tablecloths.

RE: Layering Tablecloths?

fnmroberts-- lovely tables! What a way to celebrate! Thank you for sharing!

cyn, I love the Provence tablecloths. High on my list now, esp. since it's on sale!

seagrass, you've given me a lot to think about! I think I will have to look in person to make returns easier, as you said. Very true about the pattern placement. Much more challenging when it's a non-standard size table.

busybee-- great idea about CB. We have an outlet not too far, either, so that could be another place for me to look!

WhiteRiver-- Wow . . .endless ideas from that site. I've bookmarked it for inspiration. I can see having a lot of fun decorating for everyday and the holidays with those ideas!

catt-- I had not had much luck with the image search, which is why I posted. Sometimes I have no idea how some images come up in the searches I post-- they seem so random! I would love to use runners more and see the table as-is, esp. since we got rid of our water-damaged table (bought that way used). But, DH is afraid the kids will ruin it (or maybe me, too) so we have it protected at all times with a pad. Hmm. If we clean up spills right away, what is the worst that will happen? I guess the more "dangerous" thing that would happen is if we put something too hot down without the right kind of pad?

yogacat, what great ideas. I forgot about bedding. I love matelasse and do not own any of it . . .keep dreaming of raspberry matelasse covers for my sofa, but since that's not going to happen, I could get a spread for my table! Are they pretty much a standard size? Some sites had actual dimensions listed, but some only "queen," "king," etc.

oak, I am going to have to explore table toppers!

Thanks again, everyone!

RE: Layering Tablecloths?

Beautiful pics Catt!

Honestly, I only use tablecloths occasionally. I much prefer seeing the wood. I do have several antique cloths, some hand crocheted. I love runners and they can hang down over either end - or not. I also like old tea tablecloths - I believe that is what they are called - similar to a table topper, although tea tablecloths I think only come square. You can get round or square tabletoppers.

I'm very picky with placemats also but love to use chargers!!

As for bedding - I've used a Christmas quilt as a tablecloth before. LOL


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