Your Ultimate Guide To Placemats And Setting The Table Using Them
Hosting your first dinner party? Or are you preparing for a special dinner? The style of your table plays a crucial role in establishing the ambience. Table setting can seem like an intimidating task, but it all comes down to knowing what’s required. Let’s discuss all you need to know for easy table setting and how to choose the best placemats for any occasion.
What Are The Different Options For Placemat Material?
1. Natural: Cotton or linen is the most popular choice for placemats in natural fabrics. They are heat resistant and easy to wash if stained. Organic cotton placemats are also eco-friendly, making them the best, most sustainable choice.
2. Plastics: Although plastic placemats are the cheapest options, synthetic mats don’t always complement your tabletop or decor design since they are usually patterned. The elaborate designs on vinyl placemats are not aesthetically pleasing. Also, they have to be replaced if they get torn and cannot be repaired.
What Are The Different Types Of Table Linen?
- Table Cloth: These protect the table from any major spills or stains. Your organic cotton tablecloth should comfortably cover the entire expanse of your table and hang below. Other than preserving the table’s surface, tablecloths can also add to the decor if you want your table to match the colour scheme of your dining area.
- Placemat: If you have a beautiful tabletop that you don’t want to cover up with a huge tablecloth, organic cotton placemats might be just the thing you need. They have the same function as tablecloths and specify the seats that the guests are expected to take during dinner.
- Table Napkins: Generally placed to protect your clothes from spills, napkins are also used to wipe mouths during meals. Out of all the fabrics, cotton and linen are the most popular choice for cotton table napkins since they are easy to clean and maintain.
- Table Runner: Usually used as a decorative piece, green table runners also protect the table from accessories like vases, candlesticks, etc. They are used with placemats and might have additional elements such as tassels and lace borders for aesthetic purposes. Generally, they are used vertically on the table, but you can also use them horizontally.
Why Is Organic Cotton The Best Material For Table Linen?
Organic cotton is great for interiors and is also very sustainable. You can easily throw them in the washing machine for cleaning, and they don’t require regular wipedowns. But since they are prone to stains over time, they might be best saved for special occasions. With the rising demand for eco-friendly table linens, organic cotton is widely available.
Easy Maintenance: Organic cotton table linens are easy to clean and machine washable. But cotton is susceptible to shrinking in hot water. It would be best if you referred to the instructions provided by the manufacturer for detailed information.
Durable: Cotton has high tensile strength, making it incredibly durable and unlikely to wear or tear as easily as vinyl counterparts. Its ability to control moisture and provide breathability makes it the preferred choice for table linens.
Eco-Friendly: The term organic, when used for cotton fabrics, means that no harmful pesticides, chemical or synthetic fertilisers were used to grow the crop. Organically grown cotton also requires less water than conventional cotton and doesn’t negatively impact your health or the environment.
Hypoallergenic: Because of the lack of chemicals in its production, organic cotton is less likely to affect people with chemical sensitivities. They also don’t contain metals that are present in fabric dyes.
How To Use Placemats & Tablecloths For Setting Your Table?
Although there are various techniques you can use to set your table, there are no rules against the use of placemats and tablecloths together. For casual dining, you can use plain cotton placemats, while for more formal occasions, choose something neutral like Karpasa’s cotton quilted natural linen placemats. You can use both tablecloths and placemats for a layered, luxurious look for special dinners. Here are the four things you should consider while buying tablecloths or placemats:
Size: You can measure your table and the plate you plan to serve to the guests to determine which size you should be looking for. The ideal length for a tablecloth is around 230 cm x 140 cm, while the best placemat dimensions are 48 cm x 33 cm.
Design: If you are using a plain tablecloth, opt for a patterned placemat and vice versa. Generally, the same style tablecloths and placemats can clash if used together simultaneously.
Colour: Instead of choosing bold colours, go for a neutral palette for formal occasions. If you are looking for placemats for everyday use, you can get coloured ones to enhance your daily dining experience.
Material: Plastic placemats can often seem distasteful, even if it’s not a formal event. They are usually patterned with designs that might not suit your home decor. Whether for formal dining or casual dinners, it’s hard to go wrong with crisp organic cotton.
Setting your table is not too different from designing your home interior. You can always try to mix and match for a unique, unforgettable look that goes well with your dining room decor. If you have a neutral colour palette for your dining room, it’s best to match colours for the table linens.
For example, if you have blue placemats, try a blue table runner or neutral tablecloth. You can opt for contrasting bold colours for festivities and choose monochrome shades for formal celebrations. Since presentation matters, try your hand at different napkin folding techniques or explore table setting designs.
How To Take Care Of Your Table Linens?
- Spot Cleaning: Leaving any spills unwashed, even small, will leave visible stains later. Before washing, it is best to pre-treat potential deep stains, especially wine- or oil-based ones.
- Regular Washing: Cotton can become softer after every wash, so you don’t need to worry if your placemat has a harsh texture. For Karpasa’s green, neutral and navy blue placemats , the instructions specify not to exceed 30°C during the wash.
- Proper Drying: Always check the product details to confirm whether you can machine dry your placemats. Generally, air drying is considered better since it helps to avoid wrinkles.
Placemats don’t just improve the aesthetic appearance of your dining table- they can help you provide a more pleasant dining experience. If you want to opt for a sustainable, durable and environment-friendly choice, you can explore the organic cotton placemats in Karpasa London’s collection.