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Linen Math

LinensLinens can be a bit of a mystery. Why do some venues offer in-house linens, but then place square shapes on round tables? Why do rental companies offer more than five different shapes and sizes of tablecloths? And how come linens vary from sitting above the floor, to draping so much you can’t help but trip in them? Well I’ve got the answer for you. The goal is to have the linens kiss the floor, otherwise your table looks like a little old lady running down the road with her skirts lifted up above her knees to keep from tripping on them. Here’s how:

HEIGHT + DIAMETER or LENGTH or WIDTH + HEIGHT = Linen Size

A traditional table is 30” high, and a cruiser is 42” high. So, if it’s a 60” round table the math is as follows:

30” + 60” + 30” = 120” Round

Now, it’s time for the cheat sheet:

• 72” Round = 132” Linens

• 66” Round = 132” Linens

• 60” Round = 120” Linens

• 30” Cruiser = 120” Linens

• 24” Cruiser = 108”  Linens

• 8’ Banquet Table= 90” x 156” Linens

• 6’ Banquet Table = 90” x 132” Linens

• 60” Square = 120” Square Linens

• 8’ Dining Table = 96” x  156” Linens

• 6’ Dining Table = 96” x 132” Linens

So what happens when the inventory doesn’t quite match the room layout? Get a classic linen that is the size you need to hit the floor, and place them under your décor linens. It’s best to hide these within the room, so they are not on the exterior where guests will notice them. Oh – and make sure that your staff place the linens with the seams facing the same direction! It’s a minor note, but an important one for those of us who are slightly OCD.

As for that pooling? There is nothing you can really do about that with 66″ round tables.  Typically the chairs act as a buffer to protect guests who are walking by. Plus, guests will quickly discover the pooling and act delicately when getting in and out of their chairs. With cruisers, however, you can tie them up. Add ribbons, beads, a touch of sparkle, or knot them in on themselves. This is a good idea in reception spaces to ensure guests don’t trip when walking through a crowded room.

Check out this simple chart I created to reinforce that information. Good luck with your next linen order, I hope this makes things go more with your supplier!

Linen Chart

Elizabeth Nutting

Elizabeth Nutting

Elizabeth discovers inspiration in some of the most unusual places, and often feels an inexplicable compulsion to share that spark of an idea with the world. So go ahead and bring that idea to your next brainstorming meeting – that is what it’s there for, after all. Want to get in touch with Elizabeth? Contact her at Production Canada.
Elizabeth Nutting

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