Choosing the Right Tablecloth Size: 3 Easy Steps

Finally! We're here to answer the question that has bewildered great minds since the beginning of time (...or at least those of Misto Lino shoppers!)

"What size tablecloth should I buy?"

When choosing a tablecloth size, there are three basic steps that will help you arrive at the perfect size for your table:

1) Measure your table. Please, we beg you...don't skip this step!

2) Decide on your desired “drop,” or overhang of the cloth’s drape from the edge of the table toward the floor. This may depend on whether the meals/occasion for which you’re purchasing the tablecloth is formal or informal, OR...simply your aesthetic preference.

3) Do the Math!

 

A few words about The Drop…

The drop sets the tone and atmosphere for the occasion. As a general rule of thumb:

- For informal or casual dining, allow a 6”-10” drop on all sides.

- For formal or more elegant occasions, use cloths that drop anywhere from 12” all the way to the floor, which is typically 30”.

- For a dramatic effect, there is also what is called a “puddle drop,” where the cloth drapes to the floor and softly puddles.

- Keep in mind that unless you're talking about round or square tables, The Drop will most likely not be equal on all sides.

Okay...Math Time! (Calculations are based on the assumption that your table is 30” high, which is a standard table height).

ROUND TABLES

To calculate the correct size for a round tablecloth, measure the diameter (side to side through the center point).

Informal dining:  Add 12” to the diameter to get the smallest tablecloth size, and 20” to get the largest size.

Formal dining: Add 24” to the diameter to get the smallest tablecloth size, and 30” to get the largest size (full length drop).

Choose: a round tablecloth size no smaller than the smallest and no larger than the largest size you derived from your calculation.

SQUARE TABLES

To calculate the correct size for a square tablecloth, measure along one side of the table.

Informal dining: Add 12” to this side measurement to get the smallest tablecloth size, and 20” to get the largest size.

Formal dining: Add 24” to this side measurement to get the smallest tablecloth size, and 30” to get the largest size (full length drop).

Choose a square tablecloth (also known as a “topper,” no smaller than the smallest and no larger than the largest size you derived from your calculation. Above photo: Place the topper diagonally over a larger cloth for a vibe of rustic elegance.

RECTANGULAR TABLES

To calculate the correct size for a rectangular tablecloth, measure one of the long sides and one of the short sides of the table.

Informal dining:  Add 12” to each of the measurements to get the smallest tablecloth size, and 20” to get the largest size.

Formal dining:  Add 24” to each of the measurements to get the smallest tablecloth size, and 30” to get the largest size (full length drop).

Choose: a rectangular tablecloth that is no smaller than the smallest and no larger than the largest size you derived from your calculation.

OVAL TABLES - Notice we don't even have a current picture for this. (Or at least one we felt was a decent representation). Had I taken a pic in 1975 of my nonna's oval--and lace at that--tablecloth, we'd be in business!

 

To calculate the correct size for an oval tablecloth, measure across the table through the center point to get the lengthwise dimension and the crosswise dimension.

Informal dining:  Add 12” to each of the measurements to get the smallest tablecloth size, and 20” to get the largest size.

Formal dining:  Add 24” to each of the measurements to get the smallest tablecloth size, and 30” to get the largest size (full length drop).

Choose:  A rectangular tablecloth (because, realistically speaking, if you're looking for the perfect oval tablecloth, well...let's just say...have fun with that!)...no smaller than the smallest and no larger than the largest size you derived from your calculation.

 p.s…. Don’t leave out the leaves!  If leaves will be used to extend the table, the full measurement including leaves will need to be taken into account.

As always, the most important element... HAVE FUN!

 

Lisa Cecconi
Brand Manager
Misto Lino

 

 

 

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