Archive for March, 2013

It is a few days into spring and we are still waiting for the warm weather to come our way. Instead we are awaiting a snow storm…yet again. Who would believe we would have cold weather and snow this time of year? Since some of us are choosing to stay indoors until the spring weather arrives, we decided to have some fun with a program called Wordle. Wordle.net is a program that pulls words from texts that you provide. It can be created with different fonts, colors and shapes. For spring sake we created one with spring colors from one of our blogs.

your tablecloth wordle

In the spring, butterflies begin to gather nectar from the first flowers of the season. Here is a Wordle created in honor of some of the spring flowers which are daffodils, tulips, irises, lilies, and hyacinths.

flower wordle

Dandelions first came from Asia, and now call the entire world home. Dandelions can be used both as a food and a medicine and the seeds provide an important food to many small birds.

Here is an interesting fact about spring. Baby Birds are born with the ability to sing but they must learn the specific songs of their species. They are thought to acquire the songs between ten to sixty days of birth and begin to sing them the next spring.

your tablecloth wordle art

Come up with your own artwork from any texts or words you choose. We would love to see some of the artwork you created with any spring themes or any ideas that come your way. Hopefully soon we will get to enjoy the warm weather we are anxiously waiting for.

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You’ve probably never really thought very much about it, but the tablecloth has an extremely long history and has been a popular and highly valued household item for nearly 2000 years, without ever falling from favor.

The earliest proof we have of the existence of tablecloths, is drawn from the work of a poet named Martial who died c.103 AD who mentioned them in his writing, so tablecloths are believed to have come into use in Europe in the first century AD. Prior to this high-ranking Roman households are thought to have possessed tables that were exquisitely carved and therefore too ornate and beautiful to be covered by cloth!  By looking at early artwork that still survives, it appears that the very first cloths appear to have been very plain and used simply for catching mess and wiping up spills.antique white tablecloth

The Roman Emperor Charlemagne (742 – 28 814), who, it is reported, used a tablecloth made of asbestos. His guests would sit with him to have dinner and then he would have the table cleared before throwing the cloth into the fire where it would amaze all observers by refusing to burn! He used this trick in order to convince his barbarian guests of his total supremacy and infallible powers.

old fashioned tableAfter this, tablecloths gradually became more popular, particularly among European nobility and aristocrats. However by the fifteenth century, every household apart from the very poorest would have used a tablecloth of some description, even if it was hessian sack. The middling folks (there was no middle class at the time) would have had plain, cheaper cloths while the poor would have used hemp cloth and the destitute would have had no table coverings at all.

During the Medieval period, it was de rigueur to use the finest linen tablecloths. The linen had to be as white as possible. The higher ranking you were, the whiter your tablecloths were expected to be. This is because conspicuous consumption was the order of the day. If you think about it, this was a time long before chemicals, washing machines, dryers and irons, so you had to employ lots of people to keep your household linens clean. By having the freshest, whitest tablecloth you possibly could laid out on your dining table, you were effectively saying, “Look at me. I have lots of money! I have lots of workers!”

Victorian Table Setting

At the time linen was a hugely valuable commodity that cost a great deal of money. It had to be harvested, handspun, bleached and then hand-woven into cloth by a Master Craftsman. It was then bleached and calendared. During its existence it had to be carefully looked after in terms of washing and pressing. Linen was so valuable in fact, that it is present in wills and probate inventories right up to the twentieth century, and was seen as a family heirloom.  Households often kept their linen on display, either in a linen press, or stacked somewhere where it could be seen by visitors. As ironing was not widespread until after the late Middle Ages, a smoothed tablecloth was also a sign of a well-run household.

These early tablecloths were sometimes decorated with borders, fringes and stripes. The richest households had tablecloths made to fit specific tables, however, tablecloths had to be of a fixed width based on the width of the loom that wove the cloth, so larger tables would have to be covered with several tablecloths at once.

Victorian Rose Table Runners

On the highest ranking table ‘surnapes’ were used to cover the main tablecloth, just like the table toppers we use today. ‘Sanaps’ were also used as an additional covering. These ran the length of the table and were the precursor of our table runners today. As grand houses competed against each other for the richest looking table settings for their amazing feasts, these sanaps became increasingly ornate, decorated with lace and embroidery. These extremely wealthy households would often have a servant whose job it was to ceremoniously cover and uncover the table.

Unfortunately we have much smaller households these days, and all the chores may well fall to you. But as you cover and uncover your table, setting it to look as attractive as possible, remember that you are part of an illustrious history of nobles and aristocrats, and show off your table with pride!


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Easter is a spring festival widely celebrated across the world. If you are planning a holiday party or dinner you’d like to amaze your guests by dressing your table with particular care to best reflect the coming of the bountiful season and the young spring growth.

Fruits, flowers, eggs and young animals are the general themes of the season, and Easter is best suited to pastel colors, but of course it’s entirely up to you what to choose. You may like to mix your ideas up or just go for something neat and elegant. If you’re inviting children, their needs need to be taken into consideration as you plan your themed dinner.

Victorian Rose Rectangle Tablecloth

Starting from the bottom up, choose your tablecloth with care. You can choose an elegant white or cream lace tablecloth. To have a stand out Easter decor why not use a fabulous Elegant Solid Color tablecloth available in square, rectangle and round, and in 31 different colors and a variety of sizes. Neon colored tablecloths such as pink; neon green and neon yellow are great seasonal colored tablecloths for your dinner. On top of that vibrant base however, keep a clean, fresh look by toning down the color. Consider covering the cloth with a table topper such as Rose Table Topper or beautiful Heirloom Table Topper. Alternatively make use of a table runner such as our Rose, Heirloom or Elizabeth table runners and complement them with matching placemats.

Heirloom Table Runner

A different approach would be to choose a flowered or gingham print tablecloth, especially if you’re trying for an Easter picnic theme. If that’s the case, don’t overload on the accessories as not to create a busy scene and take away from your setting.

In terms of decoration for your table, the world is your Easter egg really! Try to avoid covering the table in chocolate Easter eggs if you’re expecting your guests to eat a proper lunch or dinner. Choose non-edible decorations. If you do have children coming along, buy some balloons that match your theme colors and tie them to the back of their chairs.

Eggs are a great decoration. If you’re artistic or crafty you can blow your own eggs and then decorate them. A marbled egg in an egg cup with a name on it makes an effective place setting for example. Alternatively you can buy wooden eggs from craft shops which you can paint in bright colors and then add dots, stripes etc. and use to decorate a basket or a glass bowl or vase.

Use Elegant Cloth Napkins if you’re using the Solid Color Elegant Tablecloth to match and buy a set of wooden napkin rings, or make your own (see our post below!) and cover them with fabric, or paint them, or tie a silk daffodil, fluffy chick or bunny to them, and lay them gracefully at each place setting. Similarly you can leave favors at each setting too.

easter flowers

Your Easter centerpiece can be truly magnificent. Flowers are obvious but can be expensive, so if you want to do something a little different, try decorating a large glass bowl or vase with eggs or jelly beans. Alternatively decorate a basket with a mix of flowers such as tulips and daffodils, ribbon and plenty of foliage. You’ll be surprised at the greenery you can utilize from your garden to create an interesting and unusual bouquet, and of course daffodils and tulips are ubiquitous at this time of year and therefore cheaper than buying a readymade bouquet. Just one word of warning though, daffodil sap is poisonous and should not come into contact with food.

So that’s a few ideas from us here at Yourtablecloth.com. If you have any thoughts or ideas, why don’t you let us know and we’ll include them on the blog. Send us your photos too. We’d love to see your table decorations and we’ll share them with everyone.

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One of the positive effects of the current economic crisis is that it is becoming increasingly fashionable to dine at home once more. For a single person looking to mingle, dining in doesn’t seem to be the right way to go. Or is it? If you’re looking for an excuse to throw a dinner party and you want to get to know some new people, Yourtablecloth.com might have just the answer for you. How about a dating dinner?

If you’ve tried online dating, speed dating, and blind dating and you’re reaching the point where it all seems a bit much or you just want to try something different, this can be a really fun way to spend an evening. Rope a couple of friends in to help you out with the planning and cooking and, if necessary, to share the cost.

Decide on a theme. I’m going to suggest ‘chic and sophisticated’. Send out invitations to people who are also single, whom you may not know so well, friends of friends or online matches you would like to see in person. Make it a rule that everyone has to make the effort and dress up. This is a great and non-threatening way to meet people in person that you only otherwise know online.

dinner date setting

Decorate your table to match your theme. For my dating dinner I’m going to choose the elegant rectangle tablecloth that comes in a range of colors on the Yourtablecloth.com website. I like the idea of black. There’s something very cool about that. In terms of placemats I would choose the Parchment placemats, and I would compliment them with little name settings written in someone’s best copperplate handwriting, or if you’re really stuck, type them on your laptop and print them out. For napkins, choose a color from the elegant cloth napkin range (you have a fabulous range of 31 to choose from) that best matches your theme. For me, I’m going with red because this table is really going to make a bold statement!

Parchment Placemat

Use matching glasses, cutlery and crockery so that you can dress the table settings beautifully or borrow something from your friends. Make sure those glasses are shining! Decorate the table how you see fit. For a straightforward look you can opt for candles, but as this is a dating party I would suggest fairly lights. These will add sparkle to the ambience and that’s exactly what you’re after. Secondly, if you would like to use confetti, opt for the metallic variety. You could keep this all one color – silver to complement the place mats for example, or perhaps red to match the cloth napkins. Alternatively scatter crystal effect gems across the table. You will need to be careful about glasses over balancing however. Finally, place little dishes of heart shaped or love related sweets around the table.

assorted color cloth napkins

Get people in a receptive mood for the party as soon as they arrive. Purposefully choose music that is slow and has a steady beat, nothing too frantic. You want people to relax and chat to each other.  Offer non-alcoholic cocktails to the drivers in your group.

As the host or hostess your responsibility will be to break down some barriers and help people feel comfortable with each other so keep the chat going.  Make all the introductions and try to set people at ease. Then serve your delicious dinner and keep everyone chatting.

By the end of the evening your guests will know each other a great deal better and will have had a really fun evening out, thanks to your creative efforts. They’ll appreciate all the effort you went to and will remember your dinner table for a long time. Hopefully one or more of you will meet up again and the dating dinner will have proved to be a success.

Why not send us a photo of your dating themed dinner table and we’ll showcase it on the blog?

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