There's nothing like a tablecloth to give your formal dining table setting that unmistakable sense of sophistication.

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The size of your tablecloth

As well as aesthetics, your tablecloth plays an important role in defining your dining event, so it's important you use the right one for the occasion, which extends to getting the right size.

Setting aside patterns and colour schemes, when it comes to dining table etiquette, the drop of your tablecloth - ie. the overhang or the amount of tablecloth that hangs over the side of your table - should meet certain requirements. For formal events like weddings and dinner parties, your tablecloth is best to have a 38-centimetre drop. For casual or informal dinners, aim for less of a drop, like 15 to 20-centimetres.

Making sure you have the right drop size for your table is easy. All you need to do is measure your table, make some simple calculations and then it's just a matter of finding the tablecloth that best suits your style and taste in the appropriate size.

Here are some formulas for calculating drop size:

For a round table, simply measure across the width of the table (the diameter). Multiply the drop length you want by two and add the figures together. This will give you the tablecloth size you need.

For example:

Table diameter = 180 centimetres

Tablecloth drop required = 20 centimetres x 2 = 40 centimetres

180 centimetres + 40 centimetres = 220 centimetres

The size tablecloth you need to look for is 220 centimetres or 2.2 metres.

For a rectangular or square table, measure its length and add the drop length required times two, then do the same with the width.

So, for a 20-centimetre table drop:

Length = 155 centimetres + 40 centimetres = 195 centimetres

Width = 95 centimetres + 40 centimetres = 135 centimetres

The size tablecloth you need to look for will be 195 centimetres (1.95 metres) x 135 centimetres (1.35 metres).

As well as tablecloths, runners and placemats are a fantastic alternative foundation or base for your table setting. Both come in a range of materials and styles, and they can make your table look just as elegant and stylish as a tablecloth if you have trouble finding a cloth to match.

Other table linen and accessories

Table coverings

Protect your table from heat damage, watermarks and scratches with a table cover.

Table runners

Simple and informal or ornate and elegant, a table runner creates effortless glamour or ties a theme together.

Table linen accessories

Discover a range of accessories, such as clips or table weights, for securing your table covering or tablecloth, so it doesn't move around.

Placemats and coasters

Like table covers, placemats and coasters are fantastic for preventing damage to table surfaces, while also functioning as an important decorative element.

Napkins and napkin rings

Cotton and linen napkins paired with rings offer a sophisticated touch to any dinner party and show your guests that you really care.

Find the right tablecloths and table covers at Spotlight

Ready to buy? Shop through our tablecloths and buy online. Also, don't forget to peruse our guide to setting an unforgettable dining table and take your table decorating skills up a notch.

Alternatively, head into a Spotlight store to see everything in person, check out the accessories we have available and speak with one of our friendly customer service team who'll be happy to answer your questions.



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