“What size tablecloth do I need for that table?” Another frequent question we receive. We usually answer “It depends”. Most tables can properly take 2 sizes of tablecloth, some, even more. Our usual follow up question is “How formal is your event?” The more formal it is, the more you’re going to want to completely cover the legs of the table. Once we know how much of the table leg our client would like to cover, the rest of the answer is math. For round tables, it’s pretty easy. You take the diameter of the table in inches and add the double the number of inches of table leg you want to cover (I know it sounds complicated, but it’s really not). Let’s take an example of a 60″ round table. You’re having a casual party and you only want to cover the table half way down. Standard seating height for tables is 30″. So, half of that covered is 15″. We double that, which equals 30″ and add the diameter of the table (60″) and the sum is 90″. A 90″ round table will cover the 60″ round table half way to the floor. If you want it to the floor, you need 120″ round cloth.
Rectangular tables are computed in the same manner. You just need to compute 2 dimensions. For an 8′ x 30″ table, a tablecloth that comes half way down needs to be 60″ (30″ width + 2 *15″ down) by 126″ (96″ length + 2 *15″ down). But you can’t get a 60×126, only a 60×120. That’s okay, for a casual look, 12″ drape will be adequate for the ends of the table. If you want to cover the table to the floor (very common for all buffet tables, even in casual events), you need a cloth that is 90×156. Keep in mind that these cloths usually have rounded corners. That’s so that the extra fabric at the corner doesn’t drag on to the floor. A dressier look for the table would be to use skirting. Skirting covers the space from the edge of the table to the floor. This allows you to have a drape that’s a different color from the top. It also gives a nice, pleated finish rather than the smooth drape of a floor length cloth. Skirting attaches to the table edge with a velcro clip. So, if you’re not renting the tables from the rental company, you’ll want to know the thickness of the edge of the table so they can provide you with the proper size clip. You may also want to skirt only 3 sides of a table, because it’s going to butt against a wall. So, to figure the amount of skirting, simply measure the linear feet of all the sides of the tables you want to cover. For example, if you have a buffet made of 2 8′ tables and 1 6′ table all pushed together and pushed against a wall, you would need 27′ of skirting. That’s 2 x 8′ + 1x 6′ + 2 x 2 1/2′ (the sides of the table are 2 1/2′). Skirting usually comes in increments of 4′, 8′ and 13′. So for our example, you could rent 3 8′ sections & 1 4′ section for a total of 28′. To attach the skirting, simply clip the clips about every foot on to the table lip. Then, start at one end of the table and begin pressing the velcro on to the velcro clips. When you get to the end of a piece of skirting, place a clip at that point so half of the clip takes the end of the first section of skirting as well as the beginning of the next section of skirting. Work you way around the table until all the sides are covered. Any extra skirting can go around to the back or simply over lap the beginning of the skirt.