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Family at festive table SeventyFour

Festive days with a festive table: Tablecloth ideas

The right tablecloth is an essential part of any festively decorated table at Christmas and on other occasions. We have the best tips and nicest decorative ideas.

Functional and decorative – the right table linen for every occasion

From the classic white tablecloth to the strikingly patterned table runner – table laundry is as varied as people’s tastes. We show you which materials are right for which occasion and what you should bear in mind when buying them:


Scratches, crumbs, stains – a tablecloth protects the dining table and should ideally be easy to care for and hard-wearing. On a day-to-day basis, wipeable and stain-resistant tablecloths are highly practical. Outdated waxed tablecloths are a thing of the past – a simple seal or high-quality finish on today’s wipeable tablecloth is enough to prevent liquids from penetrating the fabric. Instead, they can just be dabbed or wiped away.

Equally practical are straightforward cotton or mixed-material table cloths, such as a cotton and polyester mix. They are not that expensive, but are long-lasting, crease-resistant and easy to care for.

In pure visual terms, however, they do not look as impressive as a damask or brocade tablecloth. These are woven from various materials and feature floral patterns and geometric designs. At the same time, they look nice with their light material and are generally even washable. However, you can only wash them at temperatures up to 60 degrees, which makes them not so easy to care for.

Linen tablecloths, meanwhile, need a lot of care. Even though they are strong and relatively durable, they are not scrub-resistant and they tend to crease easily. All the same, given the right care, they are a real eye-catcher with their natural sheen and high-quality looks. They are also heat-resistant and particularly lint-free.


The choice of colour for your tablecloths is mostly a matter of taste. Above all, they should match the rest of the furnishings and surrounding textiles, such as carpets and curtains.

While plain, single-colour materials best fit in with the general design concept in your rooms, exciting patterns and strong colours are really eye-catching and make the table the highlight of your room decor.

A mixture of both represents a nice compromise:

Shape and size

When it comes to table linen, you don’t need to limit yourself to a simple tablecloth. So-called table centres are generally square-shaped and are similar to table runners, which are long and rectangular. Both are placed in the centre of the table in order to visually offset the decorative part of the table from the place setting at the edge.

If you opt for a plain, single-colour tablecloth, a patterned table centre can be a special highlight. Or you could use an elegant white table runner to quite literally draw a straight line along your otherwise brightly patterned table decor.

You can adapt the size of the table centre and table runner to match your table and your decoration concept. When it comes to the actual tablecloth, however, you should be precise and measure the table that is to be decorated, because regardless of whether it is round, oval-shaped or rectangular, the tablecloth should overhang by 20 to 30 cm on all sides.

If it is too short, it can easily slip and it doesn’t drop nicely. If it is too long, it can prevent your guests from sitting comfortably at the table and restrict their movement.

Festively laid tablesvetikd

Festive decorative ideas

For a stylish table arrangement, accessories such as place mats, cloth napkins, candles and flowers also play a major role – the combination is key:

For a country style with rustic flair, opt for materials with floral patterns, rustic wood and rural crockery, perhaps also with patterns and ornaments. At Christmas, for example, lumberjack check is a good choice or materials with Christmas-themed embroidery. Candlelight, fir branches and cones and Christmas baubles round off the cosy look.

Give the table decoration a Scandinavian feel with rectilinear elements, light wood and delicate, pastel colours. You can combine table linen made from natural materials with understated patterns, but do not be afraid to make bold statements. When decorating the festive table, this can be achieved with fir branches or sprigs of mistletoe, reindeers in brightly coloured felt and a few apples.

Modern table decoration, meanwhile, is completely puristic and unfussy, featuring single colours. At the very most, highlights are created here by graphic patterns and designs on the table linen. Timelessly elegant Christmas decorations and candleholders in white and silver should discreetly fit into the overall picture and not be too distracting.

You can find more tips on creating the perfect table decor – from classically elegant to naturally beautiful – in our article Laying the table: How to make it festive.

Say farewell to pre-Christmas stress – with Persil Service

Wherever there is food, there are stains. But with Persil Service, your table linen (including place mats and cloth napkins) will always be perfectly clean – with no stress: Everything is professionally cleaned, pressed and returned to you within a matter of days. Find out more at www.persil-service.de

You can also find all the latest news and offers at a glance in the Persil Service app – both convenient and mobile. Now available to download from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.