Your need to know guide for tablecloths

Updated on: March 11 2014

Hilden’s Tablecloths Guide

Why use tablecloths?

A tablecloth is an important part of a dining room; not only as a protective aspect to furniture but also to provide a decorative and welcoming feel to the room. They’re a great way to introduce style to the room also.

Formal Vs Informal dining

When deciding what tablecloths you need for your establishment its best to think about it in terms of if you’re providing a formal or informal dining experience for your guests. This will determine various different deciding factors:

Colour, pattern and napkins

Formal settings tend to stick to crisp whites, ivory and shades of ecru which all whisper luxury to your guests. In addition, less is more in terms of the pattern for a formal setting as you don’t want to detract away from the tableware and setting. Keep tablecloths plain with maybe a hint of satin for design. You should also try and match the napkin colour to your tablecloth when providing a formal setting.

For an informal setting, the world is your oyster in terms of colour. Think about the room decor, furniture and accessories and pick colours to suit that, or stay with white if it’s more your style. With an informal setting, it can be good to play with colour and have contrasts when choosing your napkins and tablecloths. As for the pattern, you don’t have to shy away from bold but do make sure it matches the room and isn’t too overpowering – if you have a small room less is always more!



Again, it’s good to think of the tablecloth in terms of a formal or informal setting. For formal settings a deeper overhang works perfectly to provide a luxurious feel to your dining area – we would recommend between 10-15 inches for this. For an informal setting, you’ll probably want to have a smaller overhang of the tablecloth – up to 10 inches.

How should I store my tablecloths?

The main thing to think about when storing your tablecloths is keeping them out of harms way. You want to store them somewhere clean, dry and smoke-free, where they aren’t going to absorb any unwanted odours. The next thing to think about is how to keep them as crease-free as possible. One way to ensure this is to use something cylindrical and to wrap the tablecloth around it.

Caring for your tablecloths

As above, storing your tablecloths correctly, as well as ensuring they are washed and cared for as soon as they have been used will give them a longer life. Different stains need different types of treatment, so it’s good to wise up on how to get a greasy stain out versus how to get red wine out. This means you’ll know exactly what to do, as soon as possible.


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Hilden Team
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Hilden Team

Hilden Team

Michelle Pegg is the Assurance and Compliance Manager at Hilden Linens.