There was a time in our no-so-distant past when a table wasn’t considered to be properly set unless it was first covered with a tablecloth. Nowadays, though, tablecloths are more likely to be seen at “good” restaurants or saved for special occasions at home. Speaking for myself, I can only think of a handful of occasions over the course of a year that one of my own tablecloths are called into service. It’s a shame, too, because I have quite a collection of hand-me-down and thrifted cloths relegated to a drawer in the pantry. I can’t bear to part with them, but they just don’t seem to fit into our busy, wipe-clean lifestyle.
According to the 1958 edition of Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Book of Etiquette, a Bride’s trousseau should include no fewer than six tablecloths, plus dozens of cloth napkins and “tray sets“. No wonder there are so many vintage linens to be found! Sally of Sally Rags has discovered a way to give new life to neglected linens like mine. [Be sure to also check out Leah’s interview with Sally Rags from a few months back.]