Table Linen Fabric Guide

There are so many things to consider when planning your big day: reception location, catering services, and the size of your wedding reception to name just a few major points. The last thing a couple thinks about are the wedding linen fabrics for their tablecloths and other tabletop linens. However, the fabric of your wedding linens will greatly alter the look of your wedding tablescapes which will greatly alter the overall look of your reception. There are a wide variety of fabric choices available–from organic to synthetic and from plain to satin weaves, the quality of a table linen fabric is governed by both the material fibers used and weave structure.


Tablecloths marketed as polyester tablecloths are just one of many table linen products made from polyester fibers. In fact, a large portion of the linens in the LinenTablecloth catalog are made from polyester. Poly is a synthetic fiber that’s known for incredible durability and resistance to stain and wrinkles. These properties make poly an excellent choice for table linens used at high-volume banquet events like weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, Quinceaneras, and corporate events. If you’re planning an outdoor event and/or expecting accidents and spills, polyester tablecloths are your best bet. Plain weave polyester is used to make not only standard polyester tablecloths but also stretch tablecloths andfitted tablecloths. These linens are designed to take on a spandex-like quality that conforms to the shape of a table. Spun polyester is also a great option, as the poly fibers are refined to be soft like cotton while also maintaining a high level of durability. Our cotton-feel tablecloths are made from spun poly, and they’re called “cotton-feel” because they feel as soft as cotton! Upscale dining establishments tend to use spun poly to present their guests with the maximum of comfort while also considering the durability–and therefore reusability–of the material.


Plain weave polyester fabrics are durable and without the luster quality of satin or damask.


Satin is both a weave and a fabric that’s made by “floating” the warp (longitudinal yarns) over the weft (latitudinal yarns) to produce a high luster quality on one side of the fabric. Satin tablecloths can be made from either silk or synthetic materials like polyester, but most widely available satin fabrics are made with polyester as natural silk is quite costly. Satin made from polyester fibers is still durable, but we recommend that satin table linens are washed on a delicate cycle. Perfect for indoor banquet events, the glossy fabric beautifully radiates and reflects indoor lighting and creates a romantic and elegant vibe at any event.


Satin really sparkles, shimmers, and shines–it might just make you feel like royalty at your event!


Look at that shine! Satin beautifully reflects light and photographs very well.


Our damask tablecloths are also made with polyester fibers, but traditionally damask is made with 100% silk. Does the pattern below look familiar?


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This photo features “flocking damask” linens, and this pattern is often confused with genuine damask. While very pretty in appearance, the famed “flocking damask” is actually just a pattern that could be printed on any fabric type. True damask is made by using a satin weave, and damask is considered an upscale linen because the pattern is embossed into the fabric. A “flocking damask” pattern can be embossed into a tablecloth with a satin weave, but the pattern is not what actually makes the fabric damask. Hope this info is clear! The satin weave also gives damask fabric a similar glossy appearance to satin fabric.


It doesn’t matter the color or pattern, true damask has an embossed pattern!


Known for its nearly semi-transparent appearance, organza linens are most commonly used as table runners and overlays because the linens underneath remain mostly visible. These sheer linens are very elegant, complimenting most tablescapes while not overwhelming wedding tables design with color. Organza is a plain weave fabric, typically made from polyester, and can be machine washed on a delicate cycle. We recommend that customers hand wash and air dry organza to maintain the fabric integrity.


Sheer fabrics look great on solid colored polyester or satin tablecloths because the linens underneath remain visible!


Traditionally made from silk, taffeta is a fabric known for it’s stiffness, and the fabric can be found everywhere from wedding gowns to the lining in windbreakers. Taffeta tablecloths are made with a plain weave that features a faint weft (less latitudinal threads than longitudinal), and have a similar glossy appearance to satin. In today’s world, most taffeta is made using polyester fibers.


Practically Indistinguishable from satin to the naked eye, taffeta table linens are durable and stylish. The picture above features LinenTablecloth’s pintuck taffeta runners.


Cotton has become a trendy table linen fabric for weddings, probably because cotton tablecloths are made from natural cotton fibers. The unparalleled softness of genuine cotton makes cotton table linens an enticing buy for wedding planners and brides; however, despite being natural and soft, cotton is generally not recommended for high-volume banquet events. Why? Cotton is prone to wrinkling and may even wrinkle during an event. Also, cotton is very absorbent and is sure to soak up any type of spill. It’s a great fabric for kitchen and dining room tables, and it can even be a great option for events, depending on the the guest count and event duration.



Like cotton, burlap linens are made with an all natural material that bodes well with the eco-conscious, as the material 100% bio-degradable. Whereas cotton is made from cotton fibers, burlap is made from the skin of the jute plant. Jute is a vegetable found primarily in India and Bangladesh that is used to make a wide variety of consumer goods including twine, rope, and burlap sacks. Originally called “Hessian cloth,” the fabric was once used to make uniforms for soldiers in the central region of Germany known as Hesse. The material is coarse, environmentally friendly, and generally regarded as the poster child of the “rustic chic” trend across the wedding community.


Burlap linens are often dyed so brides and wedding planners have plenty of color options for their rustic tablescapes!


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