Are Tablecloths Out Of Style?

Tablecloths have been a classy and widespread household item used across the years. Their use and elegant appearance have made them a mainstay in houses across the country. But you might be wondering just what these benefits are exactly, and are they still worth the hassle of maintaining a tablecloth? We have looked into the uses and styles of the tablecloth and come up with some helpful information for you below. 

Tablecloths are excellent at protecting your table from stains and spillage from food and drink. If you have an antique table, this can be quite helpful. A pleasing-looking table cloth also helps hide imperfections from visiting guests, instantly dressing up your table. Linens and soft cotton tablecloths are currently stylish as well as comfortable.

Read on below for more info on the uses and fashions of tablecloths today.

When are tablecloths best to use?

Empty wooden deck table and red checked tablecloth over mint. - Are Tablecloths Out Of Style? 

Personal Style

Using a tablecloth when home alone or with family is primarily a thing of personal taste. Tablecloths come in near-infinite colors and patterns and can brighten up your dining room accordingly. A lovely tablecloth may well serve your sense of style and customization to brighten up your table. On the flip side, however, your table might be a beautiful piece of furniture able to stand on its own. Many tables are worthy of showing off. 


Beautiful tables are also worth protecting from food stains and potential damage. And tablecloths can also help with this. If you eat at home on an average day, a tablecloth offers excellent protection from potential problems. It's a choice that remains in your hands for your specific needs and wants. 

Camouflage a less than perfect table

Tablecloths shine when company has come to visit, as they provide easy elegance with almost no effort. They can also easily cover any issues your table might have that might otherwise prove embarrassing. In that regard, it's a wise choice to have a tablecloth you can take out and throw on when company is over. 

Outdoor Use

Using tablecloths outside is also a great option as picnic tables can be rougher and dirtier than indoor tables. Employing a nice tablecloth on your outdoor table will not only cover up imperfections and potential dust, but it will also give you a much softer and comfortable place to eat.

What are some popular types of tablecloths?

Empty kitchen countertop covered with red and white checkered tablecloth

Popular tablecloth styles can vary depending on location and surrounding decor. If you're covering an outside picnic table, for example, classic gingham always looks beautiful. Clean and beautiful linen tablecloths are always a hit in the summer and come in near-infinite colors and patterns. This makes them incredibly easy to fit into just about any existing decor. Solid white is always a popular choice for tablecloths, given their sleek elegance, but these showcase stains with ease. Be aware of this when using white or light-colored tablecloths.

Tablecloths can be another way of accessorizing your home while also employing some usefulness at the same time. Feel free to explore the wealth of options and see what works best for you and your home. 

Click here for an outdoor spillproof gingham tablecloth on Amazon.

Should You Leave A Tablecloth On The Table Indefinitely?

Kitchen background with table cloth.

Tablecloths are very simple to remove and easy to clean. This gives you a reason to remove it when it's unnecessary and place it back on when you need to. This also lets your table be shown off when not in use. Whether this repeated action is worth the effort to you, depending on factors such as how often you need your tablecloth, is ultimately up to you. 

If your tablecloth remains on your table throughout the day, keep an eye on its cleanliness and make sure it receives the proper amount of laundering throughout its lifespan. 

How Far Should A Tablecloth Hang Over The Sides?

Living and dining room interior with grey couch and table covered with orange tablecloth

This answer varies greatly depending on the setting. If you notice, the tablecloths found at formal events almost always hang down all the way to the floor, sometimes even puddling on the floor. This allows for a uniform and glamorous appearance to tables at a formal dining space. While this might seem appealing for your home space, this isn't recommended for home living. The annoyances that pile up frequently outweigh the benefits for the home. 

Long tablecloths can drag on the floor, collect dust and other debris on the edges, and keep them there near the table. It will also completely cover the legs of your table, which, as previously mentioned, might be quite elegant and worth showing off. Guests might find it annoying to sit at a table with long dragging fabric in their laps or at their feet. 

For these reasons and more, the consensus for tablecloth hanging length at home is shorter. The exact perfect length depends on the height of your table, but there are various formulas out there. These can compute the ideal drop and overhang for your table height. For example, the consensus for drop length is (tablecloth diameter - table diameter)/2. The internet is also full of helpful charts that can assist you.

To learn more, check out this post: How Big Should A Tablecloth Be [By Table Size]

How Do You Keep A Tablecloth Clean?

Autumn table setting. A white plate, cutlery and dry grass lagurus on a beige linen textile background. Top view, flat lay. Selective focus.

Tablecloths are likely to get messy, just by their nature. Unless you are an incredibly meticulous eater, messes and spills will occur. Your tablecloth will have to make its way into the wash eventually or have some spotty stains treated. You can partake in some tips to help keep your beautiful cloth looking just that, however. 

Don't let stains sit for too long when they do occur. You can spot clean certain smaller stains with grease-fighting soap and a brush. Brushes are much more desirable than using something like paper towels, so invest in a good stain-fighting brush if need be. If necessary, throw it in the wash or take it to a cleaner when you are able. The longer stains sit, the harder they are to remove. 

If you have particularly messy young eaters at home, you can purchase a plastic sheet covering at many local craft stores and cover up parts of your tablecloth and placemats with this clear plastic. This will keep particularly egregious stain makers somewhat contained. 

Generally speaking, if using your tablecloth and placemats regularly, spot treat it as necessary. Supplement that with a monthly deep clean, and your table should be looking pristine for your use. 

Do Placemats Go On Top Of A Tablecloth?

Tableware and empty wine glasses ready for dinner

Tablecloths and placemats are generally used separately for mealtime, but there certainly is no ironclad rule preventing you from using both if you so desire. Placemats can offer an additional splash of color or design if coordinated well with your table cloth. Place them on top of the fabric at each position to keep your tablecloth clean and protected. This will give you both a bit of a break when it comes to stain cleaning, as well as additional chances to dress up your home. 

Read on Homedecorbliss: "What Are The Best Placemats For A Round Table?"

What Can You Use Instead Of A Tablecloth?

Glass of lemonade and leaf shaped cup coasters on grey wooden table Photo Formats.

The placemats mentioned above are an excellent substitution for using a tablecloth if you're completely against the idea. Though not recommended for fancier to-do's, placemats work wonderfully for casual meals and get-togethers. They're smaller, much easier to clean, and can protect from minor spillage and stains in the immediate area. 

Coasters are another excellent means of protection from damage to your table when it comes to placing your beverages. Making sure glasses never touch your table goes a long way in keeping it looking beautiful. 

Alternatives for tablecloths that still do a similar job include butcher paper for when you want an easily disposable means of spill protection, plastic sheeting that can be hosed off easily and offers similar protection, and even spare blankets. Provided you don't mind having to wash it, a nice blanket you have lying around serves as an excellent tablecloth. And it will likely save you a bit of money as well. 

If you want just a simple splash of color on your table along with a place to put hot plates, consider looking into a table runner. They only cover a portion of your table but do just that. 

Click here for leather placemats on Amazon.

In Closing 

Tablecloths are excellent in that they offer both functionality and decoration. The amount of experimentation and personal taste you can engage in with just one household item is boundless. Have fun and enjoy your meals in beauty and comfort with whatever design you go with. 

A restaurant table with a checkered tablecloth on the street, Are Tablecloths Out Of Style?

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