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Buying Table Linens And Determining the Correct Size

Whether you are planning the biggest event of the year or planning a small dinner party from your home, you will likely be purchasing a few decorations. For any size event, decorations play a substantial role in setting the mood for the affair. Metallic colors, flowing fabrics, dim candlelight, and delicate crystals provide an elegant ambiance. However, wild flowers, vintage décor, and DIY centerpieces create a more relaxed and comfortable feel.

Part of decorating a space includes a large focus on the tablescape. A tablescape refers to the table linens, dishes, centerpieces and other table décor and lighting. This is your guide to making the right selection among the hundreds of table linens for sale.

Make a Budget

The first step is to establish your budget. Table clothes cost anywhere from $8 to $40 a piece. Used table linens for sale can be found for as low as $3 a piece but are often stained or worn. If purchasing used, make sure you check the quality of each one. In many cases it is worth spending a little extra money on a better quality product because able clothes can last a long time if taken good care of it. Most times banquet or wedding table linens for sale online are the most affordable options for new linens. Online stores also provide a wider range of sizes and colors. Some even will make custom sizes.

Make sure you get the right size!

That brings us to the next big part of purchasing tablecloths- sizing. Obviously it is important the fabric be longer than the table, however it may be difficult to determine how much longer. In most cases the general rule of thumb is to have at least an extra 8 inches hanging off each side of the table. This is called the drop. For example, for a 6 foot rectangular table (72”) the cloth should be at least 88 inches long. For an 8 foot table (96”) the cloth should be at least 112 inches. In addition, having longer table clothes provides a more elegant look. For casual get-togethers, table clothes that hang close to the floor are unnecessary and may even look out of place.

Round tables are slightly different in that they are measured by their diameter. The average ten-person banquet table is 72 inches in diameter and most event professionals suggest they be covered with 108” or 120” diameter round linens. These sizes provide 18” drops and 24” drops respectively. To determine the diameter for your specific size table, double the desired drop length and add that to the diameter of table being covered.

To add a bit of extra flair, consider purchasing table runners or overlays. Runners are simple to size; they should be the same length as the fabric for the coordinating tablecloth. This applies for both rectangle and circle tables. Overlays are most common on circle tables. Circle overlays can simply be additional tablecloths of a contrasting color that have a shorter drop. Square overlays also work well on round tables. Square overlays are traditionally 72” by 72”. When using these overlays it is important to make sure the fabric underneath reaches close to the floor. This allows it to be seen beneath the overlay. For added style, try picking an overlay with a different texture such as organza.

It is well worth the time to carefully choose table linens to provide an attractive canvas for the rest of your table scape. It truly makes a world of difference when impressing your guests.

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