The Ultimate Linen and Table Size Guide

The Ultimate Linen and Table Size Guide

When it comes to table decor, choosing linens can be exciting and at the same time pretty exhausting, particularly when it comes to getting the right sizes. It is possible to decide on the colour scheme, the type of fabric (patterned or plain), the texture and the design, but get stuck on the size of linen fabric you should use to cover the table.

Different tables have different sizes of linen that suits them. The linen size usually depends on the type or size of the table to produce the perfect covering. Some creative designs you may want to employ can also alter the original linen size that you wanted to buy and cause you to go for a smaller or larger size. 

How do you decide on the right size for your linens then? There are usually size charts for linens in most decoration shops, but you can't rely on them too much since they could also vary. Also, it will be much more interesting for you to be able to know the right linen size by just looking at the table. 

This is why you should keep reading this article. It will educate you on how to calculate the right linen size for different table sizes. With our ultimate linen and table size guide, you'll know everything you need to know about linen sizes, from choosing your sizes to deciding between sequins, satins and shimmers.

Finding The Right Table Size 

In order for you to determine the right linen size for a table, you have to measure out the distance from one end of the table to the other. Then you measure the length of drop you desire to achieve and double it. A drop is a distance between the table's periphery and the linen's bottom. 

Drops are generally chosen to be the same height as the height of the table, except you don't intend for it to cover the legs completely. This is why you should also calculate it.  For round tables, drops can be full or puddled. The full drop is the one that completely covers the legs while puddled drops require a larger linen size because it folds up at the bottom. 

So once you have measured the length and width of the table in inches, you add it to the doubled measurement of the drop. This will provide you with the right linen size. 

Round Table

colorful table linen with runner

Linen size for round tables is usually very easy to calculate. You just have to measure out the diameter of the round tabletop and add it to the doubled length of the drop you want. The drop length is doubled so the linen would be enough to cover both sides of the table in full length.

For example, if you have a 60-inch round table that is 30-inch high and you want a full-length drop.  You can calculate the linen size like this:  Diameter+ 2 (drop length) = 60 + 2(30) = 180 Inches  That means you need to get 180" linen for your round table. 

Rectangular Table 

rectangle linen on rectangle table

Rectangular tables have four-cornered edges unlike round tables and are ideal for banquets or large occasions where you want to arrange the tables in a long parallel row close to each other. 

To get the right linen size for a rectangular table of any size, you should measure both the length and width, then double the drops for both the sides and ends of the table. For banquet style tables, the drop does not need to be full length on all sides and ends. The side drop could be shorter while the drop at the ends longer. 

For instance, if you have a table that is 4 inches long, 18 inches wide and 30 inches high, and you want a banquet-style drop that will be different lengths at the sides and ends- say 21 inches and 24 inches.  You can calculate your linen size thus:

(Length” + Drop” + Drop”) x (Width” + Drop” + Drop”) = (4+24+24) x (18 +21+21) = (52) x (60) = 52” by 60” linen size

Square Table

Square tables

For square tables, since all sides are equal, you do not need to measure the length and width separately. You simply add twice the drop to the side lengths.

For example, if you have a 48 Inches square table that is  36 Inches high and you desire a full-length drop. Your linen size will be calculated as follows:  Length + 2 (Drop) = 48 + 2 (36) = 48+ 72 = 120 Square

Serpentine Table 

Serpentine tables are very different and come in different curvy configurations. It could be a round table with a hole in the middle- doughnut style, or a wavy zig-zag form. Linens for Serpentine table coverings are majorly custom made. You can get them in stores already predesigned in different fabrics and colours for the different types and sizes of serpentine tables. 

However, if you can’t get an ideal custom made linen, you can go with linen sizes for a 120 inch round table or a 132 inch round table. Just by making a few adjustments, it would fit perfectly on both sides of the table.

Oval Table

oval table

These tables are ideal for small events that sit 2-6 persons per table depending on the size. To get the right linen size for it, treat it like a rectangular table. Measure the length and width, then add the drop twice for each side. You can also order custom made covers for the particular size of your oval table. 

The dimensions of an oval table, for example, might be 80 inches at its longest and 56 inches at its widest (10x56), and 30" high. If you would like a full drop, you would then need: (80 + 30 + 30) x (56 + 30 + 30) = 140 x 114 

For Tables With Special Features

Sometimes, you might wish to add extra features to your linen cover to make for a more decorative table. Elements like runners, sashes, overlays are great ways to accentuate your table decor. However, you also need to get the right measurements for these covers.

Sashed Cocktail Table

Cocktail table

Sashes are mostly used for high round tables and are ideal for cocktails, or fashion functions. If you wish to use a sash, then add about one or two inches to the size of linen you already calculated for your round table. This is because, once you tie the sash around the legs of the table, it will shorten the length of the linen and might prevent it from folding at the bottom as you intended. 

Tables With Overlays 

Round table with linen and overlay
White linen on rectangle table

While sashes are best for high round tables, overlays are ideal for both round, square or rectangular tables. Your overlays could be short or long depending on the creative style you want and it does not affect the size of the linen. Even so, you also need to know the right size of table overlays to use.

For round tables, you can use either a smaller round cloth or a square cloth as an overlay. Square overlays should be used with a corner-to-corner distance in mind. 

Rectangular tables mostly make use of square-shaped overlays that can be placed diagonally or in a parallel position. When using the diagonal overlay style, you should also pay attention to the corner-to-corner distance. 

Table With Runners

Purple table runner
silk table runner

A table runner, which is usually used on rectangular, square, or oval tables, is just a long piece of fabric laid on top of a naked or linen table to extend from one end to the other. Depending on your preference, it could be thin, wide, very long or moderate. Platters and centerpieces are usually placed on table runners during an event.  

When selecting your table runner size, be sure to put into consideration the length and width of the table, and the number of platters or centerpieces you wish to use. 

In the end, you can see that picking out linens for different table sizes isn't that difficult after all. Knowing these basic size guides and understanding how to calculate for each table design will simplify your linen selection. Planning on shopping for linen for your next event? Please let me know how you have found this guide to be useful.  

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