THE TABLE RUNNER TALES: HISTORY, USES, AND TYPES

Table runners are one of the most useful and well sought-after home decor pieces. It became a must in everyone’s linen collection by the 15th century as it served both decorative and utility purposes.

This article attempts to trace the history and utility of the table runners and understand trends in the global linen market. The narrow creative pieces of cloth, which are widely known as table runners, have their origin in the medieval ages. It was an ingenious invention by the people responsible for housekeeping as they searched for a permanent solution to protect their tablecloths from the messy royal guests who often spoiled and drooled on their food. 

These lengthy and narrow linen pieces not only saved them from washing table cloths too often but, over time, they also became a necessary item to adorn the dining spaces. Even today, table runners are used for styling as well as protecting the tablecloth from unnecessary spilling. A wide variety of table runners like Macramé table runners that are now available in the market are unique and beautiful and help make an inimitable decorative statement.

Uses of Table Runners

Table runners can be called magical garment pieces, and they provide colour and texture to a table. They can act as a foundation for the table decor and change the room’s mood. One can use them to augment the tablescape according to one’s preferences. A long-drawn piece of fabric, one can use table runners in different ways.

The most popular method of using them is to use them lengthwise in the middle of the table to cover the full length of the table cloth. One can also use table runners to keep showpieces and decor items. Another meaningful way is to use a comparatively shorter portion of the table runner garment as a centrepiece. 

One or more table runners can also be used across the table’s width to give full coverage and as a replacement for the placemats.

Table runners are less expensive than table clothes and take less space to store as they are smaller and use less fabric. Different kinds of table runners like Macramé table runners can also be used as tabletop covers for side tables, end tables, and buffet tables. They are the best choice for the dining decor at parties since they go perfectly with both traditional and contemporary themes.

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Types of Table Runners

One can find different types of table runners in a wide variety of colours, fabrics, and designs. They are available for formal, casual, and in-between occasions. Table runners of different types of materials like cloth, vinyl, plastic, and paper with various embellishments like hems, cuts, and tassels can be found in the market. They can also be found in multiple prints and patterns such as monochromatic table runners, geometric shapes, checks, floral, modern and ethnic prints, etc.

As changing lifestyles propel people to spend more on home decor, the global table linen (including table runners) market worth 9.6 billion USD has flourished. A rise in the number of working-class professionals in countries like China, India, and Brazil also contributed to this growth.

They started to spend more on home decor items, thereby creating more job opportunities. Awareness about environment-friendly fibres and their easy availability is another significant factor contributing to the development of the market. As more and more manufacturers provide creative and original designs in an affordable price range, customers are increasing their buying frequency in multiple quantities.