Linens: What Size Do I Need?

I think one of my favorite tasks in events is choosing rentals. (I use “think” because it’s really difficult to pick just one.) If you have any room in your decor budget, a pretty linen goes a long way. It takes up a significant amount of real estate and provides an unexpected pop in high traffic areas: where you serve food and where guests will eat it.  I don’t know about you, but I’m usually checking out the food at events (if I’m not already eating it).

Linens come in a few shapes but many different sizes, so it can become confusing what size you need. The dimensions of your linen depend on the table’s size and height. One of my pet peeves is linen that’s too short. If you are using your own linen on a rectangular table, it should hang no shorter than halfway down from the table to the floor. If you are renting, it should go ALL THE WAY to the floor. This is for a few reasons:

1) It gives the tables a neat, clean, uniform look.
2) It is SO MUCH EASIER to make sure the sides are even if they go all the way to the ground and you have room to “tuck and fluff.” No one will be able to tell if one side has slightly less fabric than the other because it’s all neatly tucked underneath.
3) Linens that hang just above the floor are harder to make look even AND they look sloppy. (Often if linens are too short, it’s because they’ve shrunk over time from being in the dryer.)

Below are some handy tables to use to determine what size linen you should use based on your table dimensions. These dimensions assume the standard 30 in. height of a banquet table; ergo, a 30-in. drop puts the linen at the floor. *BUT* I always like to go the next size up if I can so there’s room to “tuck and fluff.” And now, without further ado:

How to Know Linen Size Based on Table Dimensions

Round Table Linen Dimensions |

Recommended Tablecloth Sizes for Rounds:
48 in. (4 ft. round) = 70 in. cloth
60 in. (5 ft. round) = 120 in. cloth (minimum) but 132 in. cloth is better
72 in. (6 ft. round) = 132 in. cloth

Square Table Linen Dimensions |

Rectangular Table Linen Dimensions | preperie.wordpress.comRecommended Tablecloth Sizes for Rectangles:
72 in. (6 ft.) rectangle: 90×132 tablecloth (or 60×102 if halfway *shudder*)
96 in (8 ft.) rectangle: 90×156 tablecloth (or 60×126 if halfway *shudder*)

Now that you know what to order, let me know in the comments what other questions you have about linens.


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