What is the ideal overhang for my tablecloth?

Long Tablelcoth Overhang

Well … the short answer is … it depends.  The best tablecloth overhang is whatever you think looks good and suits your lifestyle. However, a standard tablecloth drop would be between 15cm and 25cm. 

Of course, like every interesting question, there is a more involved long answer as well. 

How much overhang for my tablecloth?

Your tablecloth is the first layer of dressing your table, whether it is for a special occasion or everyday dining.  The length of your tablecloth drop or overhang will affect, not just the look of your dining setting, but also how it functions.  So, it’s important to get it right. Let’s dive in.

A Shorter Tablecloth Overhang 

There are many reasons why a shorter overhang of around 10 to 15cm may be better for you. 

  • If you have young children who may pull at the tablecloth, keep temptation to a minimum and go for a shorter drop.
  • Older folk or those with reduced mobility sometimes like a shorter cloth as they don’t want to get tangled up in the tablecloth when they sit down.
  • Do you have dining chairs with large arms? You don’t want the tablecloth to drape over the chairs and pile up on the arms. So, have a shorter drop that just skims the top of the arms.  This gives a nice even look all around your table.
  • You invested in a stylish table with an architecturally interesting design. Don’t cover the legs up with a long tablecloth.  When you’ve got it – flaunt it!  Shorten the drop and show the world those stunning legs.
  • Generally, a shorter cloth is a good choice for more casual dining.
Maidenhair Blush Linen Overhang

A Longer Tablecloth Overhang 

When is a longer overhang best?  Here are some reasons why a longer drop may be the right choice.

  • A longer drop works best for more formal dining. Think of a five star restaurant. You immediately imagine lush long tablecloths inviting you to immerse yourself in a luxury dining experience. Having a longer overhang will create the same luxury feel at home.
  • If you’re using the table for display, go crazy! Perhaps it’s a bedside table or where you intend to place food and drinks for a party.  A drop all the way to the floor is the way to go.  Such a stylish, elegant look.
  • For very long or extra wide tables, it’s best to be a little more generous with the overhang. It’s all about the proportions. Going too short will look like you bought a tablecloth that’s too small or has shrunk in the wash.  Eek!   
  • Has your table seen better days? You may want to cover up more of your table by going for a longer drop.  Put the focus on the tablecloth rather than the table.

Word of warning

As well as creating the right visual impression, the overhang also acts as an “anchor” to help keep the tablecloth in place. If you go too short and you have a slippery table surface, the tablecloth might slip around a little.  A longer overhang will work to keep the tablecloth happily sitting in place.

Your choice

To decide on the perfect tablecloth overhang for you, consider your functional requirements first.  Then make sure you’re happy with the look. Experiment with an existing tablecloth, a sheet or a piece of fabric. Drape it at different lengths over your table. You’ll soon discover what length you feel looks best and will suit your lifestyle.

No matter what length you choose, you’re sure to find a tablecloth you like in our huge selection. If the standard sizes are not exactly right, we also custom make so it is the perfect fit.

3 thoughts on “What is the ideal overhang for my tablecloth?

  1. Arish Riaz says:

    Your Table Linen are very good. Every time Linen needs to be washed to increase softness and absorbency. These are luxurious and well made.
    They move in a way only linen does and feels both rustic and expensive at the same time.

    • Sue McGary says:

      Thanks for your question, Janice. The linen tablecloths don’t have the stain resistant coating, however, they do wash nicely. A leaflet with a guide to stain removal is included with each linen order to help look after your lovely tablecloth. Sue 🙂

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