Tablecloths and runners set the tone of a meal. Whether they are show-stealing statement pieces or solid backdrops that let your dishes shine, table coverings are impactful and beautiful additions to your dining room. We also believe they make incredible gifts, especially when you venture outside the world of traditional table linens and get creative with your textile choices!
We start with one of our favorite, nontraditional tablecloths: the Tesfu Throw by Raven + Lily. Based in Austin Texas, Raven + Lily works with masterful Ethiopian artisans to create this magnificent textile, made using traditional weaving techniques and hand-dyed thread. Although this blanket is intended to keep you cozy, its striking dark tones and graphic stripes make it a stunning backdrop to your holiday meals. A dark table makes a meal feel luxurious and decadent and this throw, with its almost silken texture and spindly fringe, is the best expression of elegant darkness that we've found.
We favor longevity over fleeting trends. Each piece has a purpose and lasting appeal. We want you to feel comfortable, capable, and at ease with Raven + Lily (1)
We also adore this cross stitched table runner by Anchal. The simplicity of sparkling gold thread sewed in small irregular X's against the quieted tomato colour of the organic cotton fabric is pure magic. The table runner looks almost quilted, inspiring a feeling of homy nostalgia. Plus, it's wide enough to add gravitas to any table without becoming a distraction.
Made by an artisan in Ajmer, India, [the cross stitched table runner] is Fair Trade Verified and features a hand-stitched signature of the maker (2)
The Universal Blanket from Japanese brand Puebco makes a rustic and masculine table topper that is perfect for the holiday season. Too often we hear from men that tablecloths are 'feminine' and this blanket instantaneously challenges that misconception. Red and green stripes form a tradition plaid accent on a woven heather navy base made from 100% recycled fabric. The blanket is heavy and the conspicuous texture of the dark threads provides fantastic contrast to smooth glossy china plates and the cool fragility of glassware. It's an unexpected and warming tablecloth that will help transform your table into a welcoming homestyle stage.
Also from Puebco is the Navy Blue Tent Mat. We don't usually feature brands multiple times on a single list, but we are such huge fans of Puebco's products that we really couldn't decide which of their nontraditional table coverings we should share! Back to the Tent Mat, it's insanely epic. This bold saturated navy cloth is made of waxed cotton so, not only does it provide a burst of phenomenal color to your table, it also makes cleanup a breeze (even at the kids' table!). The industrialism of silver grommets at the corners, the seemingly permanent wrinkling, and the touchable waxed finish make this mat undeniably cool and one of our favorite tablecloths.
While the Tent Mat offers a magnificently solid backdrop, the Grey Peace Hands Woven Throw, by ELLE Decor International Design Award winning Safomasi, is a playful contemporary statement piece. This graphic throw is not for the faint of heart tablescape designer, but that's what makes it so exceptional. With hundreds of illustrative hands gesturing 'peace' scattered across the jacquard woven, 100% cotton throw, there is a demanding amount of visual texture. This presents an opportunity to use minimalistic dinnerware and let the throw turned tablecloth set a fun dramatic tone to your meal.
We love that it's double-sided so we have the option of a white or black base to the hands. As most winter holidays aim to spread love and peace, this throw feels only too appropriate!
Next we want to share this outstanding Autumn Jensen Blanket from the Serbian brand Niti by Ljubica Milutinović. Inspired by the autumn colors of Botunja, the blanket features a series of herringboned earth tone stripes that are strung on a pair of bands in inky navy and hunter green. The result is a contemporary interpretation of a plaid that's just fantastic. Two lines of plush knotted tassels on the ends of the blanket add a whisper of playfulness that complements the mature colour palette effortlessly.
Made from 100% locally sourced Serbian wool, the textile is addictively soft—so much so that you may have a hard time keeping your arms off the table! The warmth of the earthtoned colours and the visual texture of the herringbone makes this blanket an adventurous but sophisticated table covering that makes the perfect gift.
Weaving is not only a craft but a source of family income as well. Therefore, this project aims to encourage the employment of vulnerable groups (women, elderly, unemployed), preserve traditional craft and stimulate local economies, while also creating a contemporary Serbian brand. More than simply providing new business opportunities, NITI project offers a stronger regional identification and gives ordinary citizens a reason to take pride in the country from which they come (3)
In France we find arguably our favorite table linen brand, Le Jacquard Français. For over 130 years, Le Jacquard Français has designed and manufactured truly exceptional textiles in their Vosges factory. Subtle variations of colour and texture reveal breathtakingly sophisticated patterns. Ranging from silken silvers to saturated saffrons, the colours of the table linens are thoughtful and never garish so you can confidently purchase linens in bold shades knowing their elegance will never be compromised.
We first discovered Le Jacquard Français one summer after we took the Eurostar to Paris to pick up some skincare from Citypharma. Needless to say, we went back to London with a suitcase full of table linens and almost nothing for out skin!
We own several tablecloths from Le Jacquard Français and each one is an artistically composed masterpiece of design that immediately makes our meals feel regal. This season's Sommets Enneigés tablecloth in the colour 'Snow' features a glistening winter scene—complete with pine trees, falling snow, a small cityscape with a télécabine, and reindeer—and a celebratory gold border that's absolutely enchanting and the ideal gift for anyone this holiday season!
Warm and generous, our collections are rich in colour, joyful and shimmering. They are an invitation to travel, to tell a story, evoke a memory, express a desire, and they help create the soul and spirit of your home (4)
We now move south to Australia where we find Casa Loom's Acapulco Rug. Before you scoff at the idea of putting a rug on your table, we assure you this rug is much more in line with traditional soft woven blankets than it is an area rug. The rug is surprisingly one of our favorite tablecloths. The warm amber and terracotta colors accented by rich chocolate and vibrant white geometric design create a textile that is simply outstanding. We love how this rug transforms a dining table into a bohemian picnic and invites some much needed brightness into the wintriness of the holiday season.
Plus, you can rest a bit easier knowing the rugs are made of recycled polyester and cotton and shipped to you "using a 100% carbon-neutral courier in a biodegradable compostable grade satchel"(5).
If we didn't manage to convince you to cover your table in a rug, this Abstract Coastal Twig and Mudcloth Table Runner sold by Swahili African Modern may be up your alley. Made in Mali by "a collaboration of 195 artisans that [sell] products through a boutique in Bamako and through international exports", the table runner is "created by weaving dried twigs through through hand-dyed mudcloth fabric" (6). We love the juxtaposition of the fluid abstracted pattern of the canvas with the inflexible linearity of the twigs. Shades of blue and green are a stunning reflection of coastal scenes and offer dynamic energy to the center of our table. While the preceding table-coverings drape over the surface of the tables, this table runner is notably rigid and offers a strong backdrop to our meals that doesn't waver as plates are passed and wine is poured.
For another African table covering we travel to South Africa. Nkosikazi fabrics recently made this beautiful cotton textile available. While it's offered as a few unfinished yards of fabric, we think it would make a magnificent holiday tablecloth gift. The starburst pattern feels delightfully festive and the rich charcoal background color is a serene and grounding complement to the vibrant reds and whites of the design. A quick stitch to finish the edges and this fabric becomes a show-stopping tablecloth and DIY-ed gift that will be the envy of all dinner guests.
Years ago we attended a truly outstanding party where the brilliant host used sarees as tablecloths. Since discovering that, we have amassed a collection of dupattas and sarees just for our tables. Minchu Design House and Rehabar Handloom Maheshwar offer the gorgeous sarees shown below but there is no shortage of companies selling staggeringly beautiful sarees that would make perfect additions to any dining room. Available in every pattern, texture, and weight imaginable, there is no question you can find a saree that meets the aesthetic needs of those on your holiday list. Personally, we love to look for broad accenting borders and slightly metallic, silken textiles to add a more glamorous look to our tablescapes. But be mindful of bead and sequin embellishments as they compromise the levelness of your table which can lead to spilled wine glasses!