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Tablecloth question


Senior Member
Table cloth

After 3 kids and 4 grandkids I still use a table cloth 25/7. There are constant meals, crafts, projects on this Amish made table. I have recovered the chairs 3 times and have the fabric for another go round. I would love to remove the table cloth someday for good. This table had been the heart of our family for over 40 years.

Ima Teacher

Senior Member
The only reason I own a tablecloth is that I have my mom’s dining table now, and she had two tablecloths for it.

I had one friend who kept the tablecloth on the table, and then she took it off when they used the table. :confused:

Beach Glass

Senior Member

We have a combination kitchen/dining area. Our house is quite informal with an open concept.

I have always used a tablecloth for daily dining in order to keep the table protected and, actually, it prevents people from making into a catch-all. My grandfather was a custom furniture maker for a place in Minneapolis, and he made this round oak table with claw feet from "scraps" at the business back in the 1920s. We have had it rebuilt once, and I want to keep it looking nice. I have a stack of cotton washable tablecloths that have worn like iron! (As well as nicer holiday ones.)

Here at our cabin, I have a smaller oak table we got after MIL passed away. I also use tablecloths here to protect it. I found some fun "buffalo plaid" cotton tablecloths in blue, red, and green.

I stopped using placemats decades ago when I realized DH would never master shaking salt and pepper on his food without getting it all over the table! LOLLOL

I shake them out daily, change when needed, usually a couple times a week. My mother always covered her kitchen table with a vinyl/flannel backed tablecloth, and I swore I would never use vinyl in my own house!

Teach 5

Senior Member

I would agree that they are more of a generational thing. My mom always used table clothes even on the old gray and white metal type table. I used to think I needed in for holidays or guests but I no longer own any. I think they have fallen out of fashion except for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I do have placemats. They are bamboo and can be easily wiped clean.


Senior Member
I guess

I'm old fashioned. I have a beautiful table, that I keep covered by a table cloth because we eat in the dining room for our meals. We always ate in the dining room when we lived in quarters - no eat in kitchen in any of the quarters we lived in. We don't have an eat in kitchen in this house either except for a counter, and it's not big enough for dinner. I eat lunch there sometimes, but hubs never does. I have always used a tablecloth because my oldest son (the one on the spectrum) was always messy and spilled things. Hubs is careless and would have scratched it six ways to Sunday without a tablecloth. I have some placemats that go on top that I can wipe down. I change the tablecloth out every month or so.


Senior Member
I love to display a table runner. I went through a travel phase at one time where my souvenir shopping was a table runner that was representative of the culture or textile specific to the region.
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Senior Member

We have a kitchen/dining area. It’s an open floor plan. We only have 1 table but it’s a very large heavy wood table. I like to use a tablecloth or runner for seasonal decoration. Sometimes we eat on top of the tablecloth, but most often I fold back the table cloth to give us half to use for eating (my table is ginormous). It depends on my mood. Regarding cleaning, if we eat on top of it then I’ll launder it frequently but usually I just fold it back and use the wood (which is easy to wipe down). The problem is that it’s a soft wood so that it easily picks up kicks and scratches.


Senior Member

We have to eat at our dining room table for all meals. No room in kitchen for seating.

I love tableclothes and table settings. Always a tablecloth which covers the protective pads. I change it out every few days or if we have something extremely messy. Sometimes I put placemats out on top of the tablecloth.

I also use cloth napkins that coordinate with the cloth. Those get changed out every few days.


Senior Member
I have personally never owned a tablecloth. Growing up, my parents put a tablecloth on the table ONLY for non-eating activities, to protect the table. So for example, if they're getting out the Christmas decorations, they'll put the tablecloth down and then put all of the boxes on the table.

However, my grandparents had tablecloths at their house; we spent a lot of time there when I was little. They had the plastic kind that could be wiped off in the kitchen and sun room. These stayed on all of the time and were just cleaned off with the dish rag after meals. We only ate at the formal dining room table during times like Christmas or Thanksgiving. I know they had cloth tablecloths on that table. I'm trying really hard to remember if that tablecloth stayed on all of the time, and I honestly can't remember.


Senior Member

I usually have a table cloth on my table. I just think it looks nicer. Right now I have a vinyl lace looking cover on it that can be wiped off after we eat. I have a beautiful
Battenburg lace tablecloth that was given to me by my students one year. I like to use it when company comes.


Senior Member
My mom always had one on her table. I thought it was strange and made things really difficult to clean. Plus if we wanted to play games we had to take it off.

My current table is so durable that there's no need for a tablecloth. Plus I love the look of the table so I don't cover it unless we are doing some kind of holiday meal or something (which, let's face it, happens once a year at the most :o).


Senior Member
I own one table cloth and I have not used it in years!

I do, however, have too many placemats to count! I keep placemats out on the table all the time and change them often.


Senior Member

Interesting question!

I have only one table, and yes, it does have a tablecloth on it. Before I married DH#2, it was a beautiful solid oak table that my late DH#1 and I bought when we finally had some money to get rid of the wobbly secondhand store one. I only put placemats on it when we had meals. For the rest of the time it had a gorgeous table runner.

When DH#2 and my dear stepson (6 at the time) came into my life, it wasn't long before my table was ruined. Scratches and gashes, stains from art and science projects, burns from hot bowls, you get the picture. I realized quickly that having loving relationships was more important than my table. Some day I may have the table refinished, but for now I use a variety of beautiful tablecloths that I've bought on my travels.

I want to add a factoid: Europeans have for centuries (since the 14th century) put Middle Eastern (Oriental) carpets on the table to signify status. You can see it in Renaissance paintings. :D


Senior Member

My dining room table does have a cloth tablecloth on it as well as a table pad. The white table pad has been stuck to my dining room table for years. I keep a tablecloth on it to cover the pad. We usually use our dining room for Thanksgiving or Christmas. We have a dining set in our kitchen that seats 4. If we have more people eating than that, we use the dining room. I do have a variety of tablecloths and cloth napkins, mostly solids and some Fall themed. I even have some napkin rings too. I inherited the dining room set and hutch from my MIL when she moved out of state. It was already pretty used. That's why I started using tablecloths in the first place.


Senior Member

Your post inspired me to work on my dining room table so I cleaned and polished and waxed it so I could keep the pads off. Why have a nice table if you hide it?

I bought a nice runner and now can enjoy the table every day. I’ll put out placemats for company and the pads and a tablecloth for parties since I use the table for all the food- buffet style- when we have a crowd.
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