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How to Choose a Tablecloth Size

How to Choose a Tablecloth Size

The main ingredient and back-drop to any table setting is the tablecloth, which is why it’s so important that it is sized to fit your table. Tablecloths bring color and personality to your table for any party, event, or celebration.

To choose the tablecloth size you’ll need to follow these guidelines to choosing the tablecloth that’s right for you.


Linen Tablecloth


First, what is it and how to measure for it:

The “drop” is simply the length or overhang from the edge of the table to the bottom of the tablecloth or table runner.

  • For casual events, tablecloths should have a 6 to 8-inch drop from the edge of the table to the bottom of the tablecloth.
  • A standard drop for a casual table setting is between 6 and 8-inches.
  • A drop should be long enough to keep the cloth from shifting around but short enough to rest above the laps of your guests.
  • Drops for formal settings are longer, usually between 8 and 15-inches. The length sets a tone to your event or party and dresses the table.

Think of this as the difference between the attire for a casual brunch and a formal dinner.



Once you’ve decided on the theme or colorway of your dinner, party, holiday, or special occasion, measure the length and width of your table.

The Rectangular Table Formula:

  • For a rectangular table, add twice the drop you would like to each side of your table and add the actual measurements of your table.
  • For example, if your table measures 74-inches long and 44-inches wide and you would like 8-inch drop (8” x 2), add 16 inches to each side, length, and width.
  • The results: 74” L + 16” = 90” L and 44” W + 16” = 60” W. You’ll need to purchase a tablecloth that is 60” W x 90” L.
  • Tip: If you’re unable to find a tablecloth that fits the exact size of your table, simply measure up to a larger size tablecloth.



For a round table, the formula changes slightly.

Measure the diameter of your table and add two times the desired drop.

For instance, if your round table is 50” in diameter and you want a 10-inch drop, you would calculate (10 x 2 = 20) + 50”, equaling 70”. For a 50” round with a 10” drop, you should purchase a 70” round tablecloth.

A 60-inch round table with a 15-inch drop (15” x 2 = 30 + 60” = 90”) would require a 90-inch round tablecloth.



Once you’ve determined the right tablecloth size, consider a few colors or patterns. Next, choose coordinating or contrasting napkins, a table runner or placemats to add to your linen assortment or fit the occasion.            



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