Remedies for a slipping tablecloth

Updated April 17, 2017

A slipping tablecloth can cause a hazard, especially if cutlery and other items fall off and injure someone. Taking steps to secure the tablecloth as a safety precaution may help prevent small children and pets from pulling the cloth and any objects onto themselves. Clamping the tablecloth with clips or fasteners prevents flapping or shifting. Setting a table pad under the tablecloth helps keep the tablecloth from slipping and also protects your table's surface.

Decorative Weights

A tablecloth weighted down with an object such as a centrepiece is less likely to slip off the table. A bowl of seasonal fruit adds an at-home feel. An elegant nonbreakable vase filled with water and flowers also works like a paperweight. Attaching a washable, nonslippery fabric to the back of the tablecloth can add weight and stability.

Table Skirting Clips

A set of table skirting clips helps secure the tablecloth. These plastic clips work well for outdoor picnic and patio tables, as well as indoor tables. Skirting clips help prevent a breeze from lifting off the tablecloth.

Certain clip styles fit wooden banquet tables, while other styles fit thick plastic tables. Before purchasing a set, you should measure the profile of the table's edge for the right size clip. Some clips include a nylon fastening with grippers that can interlock with bunting. These clips usually show a clear tab on the topside of the tablecloth. These table skirting clips remove easily.

Table Pads

A table pad that cushions the tabletop can also prevent a tablecloth from slipping. A silence cloth often consists of thick cotton or double-sided flannel. This buffer helps reduce damage from burns and spills that would otherwise mar your table's surface.

For a more custom-sized pad, you can cut a large piece of felt to the dimensions of the tabletop. This felt piece adds some friction that prevents your linen from slipping.

Another type of pad includes the soft, rubberised material often used as washable shelf liners. This textured, knitted layer works well under a plastic tablecloth that easily wipes clean. This material cuts to fit just the ends of the table or to match the tablecloth dimensions for a draped effect.

Fitted Tablecloth

With some machine sewing, you can convert a loose tablecloth into a fitted style that allows a smooth top and an elasticated fit. A long length of elastic tape should measure shorter than the perimeter or circumference of the table top. If necessary, trim the tablecloth edges, but leave enough material for a hem or casing allowance. A long line of machine stitching on the tablecloth forms the casing for the elastic tape.

A safety pin attached to one end of the tape snakes through the casing opening. Secure the tape ends by overlapping and sewing them together before hiding them in the casing. The neatly gathered casing helps provide a snugger fit on the table. With no excess fabric, this tablecloth is easy to maintain, an advantage especially during outdoor use.

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