Are you looking for the best way to store tablecloths? Like ~ how to store them so they don’t get creased, or how to store them so they stay nice for years? Or maybe where to store them?
I understand. BOY do I understand!
Confession ~ I’m addicted to tablecloths. And I mean ADDICTED!
I LOVE ‘EM!!
Old, new, colorful, plain, modern, girly, farmhouse ~ I’m not particular. It’s impossible for me to walk past tablecloths without looking at them.
Which translates to ~ I have A LOT of ’em!
Like over 50 (and that’s on the low end)!
So, I had to learn how to store them. I needed to know the best way to store tablecloths.
Now, I bet you don’t have my love affair with tablecloths.
But, you wanna know your options. You need to know how to store them. Especially if you don’t have a lot of space.
Well, I’m here to share with you want I’ve learned…
The Best Way to Store Tablecloths
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Before I get into the best methods for storing tablecloths, you MUST clean them before putting them away. They need to be clean and dry before you can store them. If not, stains will set.
Also, don’t starch your linens before storing them. The starch might attract buggies and attack them. EWW!!
Where to store your tablecloths
Tablecloths are fabric and thus need to be treated the way you treat your clothes.
They should be stored in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area. If they’re kept in a damp area they might get mildewed.
You should also store tablecloths in a place away from direct sunlight. If they’re stored in direct sunlight, the threads will break down and become brittle. In addition, the tablecloth will eventually fade where the sunlight hits it.
Keeping this in mind, tablecloths should not be stored in cardboard boxes (unless they are acid-free archival boxes), as the acid in the cardboard can damage the fabric.
Similarly, tablecloths shouldn’t be stored in plastic. Like the plastic bags from the dry cleaners or plastic tubs. Fabrics need to breathe and moisture can get trapped inside the plastic, enabling mildew to grow.
This is why tablecloths should be stored in drawers or cabinets that are lined, or hung in closets.
How to store your tablecloths
There are three primary ways to store your tablecloths. You can hang them, fold them, or roll them.
If you have space, hanging them in a closet is a great way to keep your tablecloths. This is a great option if you want easy access to your tablecloth. It also minimizes the amount of folding, which means fewer creases.
To hang your tablecloths, use a sturdy padded hanger. Not a skinny wire hanger. Try to fold them as few times as possible, making sure they hang as long as your space allows. Then space the hangers out to allow air to circulate between them.
If you won’t be using your hung tablecloths very often, consider purchasing fabric garment covers. The covers will prevent dust from settling on the tablecloths. Another option is to use a pillow case with an opening cut at the top for the hanger to go thru.
Don’t use the plastic bag covers from the dry cleaners. They don’t allow the fabric to breathe.
Once your tablecloth is clean and dry, you can fold it for storage.
The best way to fold a tablecloth is to start in the center and fold it in half, then fold it in half again. After that, you can fold the ends in and then fold it up one more time. This method will help keep wrinkles to a minimum. However, your space will dictate how many times you will need to fold your tablecloths.
*As you see in the above image ~ I have A LOT of tablecloths. This is just one shelf in an armoire. Folding them in thirds works best for the space I have, but your cupboard or shelves might allow for fewer folds in your tablecloths. Also, you can’t see in the image, but I have acid-free paper between the bottom tablecloth and the shelf itself. This will prevent any potential damage from the wood stain to the fabric.
Sometimes you’ll find cardboard pieces inside new tablecloths. This is purely for selling the tablecloths. Do not keep or reuse cardboard when folding your tablecloth.
If you want to put something between the folds of your tablecloth to minimize creases, use acid-free paper to soften the folds. Or if you have enough space, you could place washed muslin inside the tablecloth.
Just know that when you’re storing tablecloths folded, it’s impossible for them not to create fold marks. Especially if you need to stack them on top of each other. The weight of the fabric will cause creasing. So it’s best to store your tablecloths with the heaviest on the bottom and the lightest on top.
If space isn’t an issue, rolling your tablecloths is a great way to store them.
Rolling them will prevent fold marks and creases, or at least minimize them if you need to fold them once widthwise.
You’ll need to use acid-free cardboard tubes. Don’t use tubes from wrapping paper or large paper rolls. That cardboard might discolor your tablecloths.
*I understand some fabric stores will give away the cardboard tubes their fabric rolls come on, but I don’t know if those tubes are safe to use long-term. I also understand that using PVC pipe is an option as long as you remove any printed markings on the outside. However, I can’t verify if there will be any long-term effects on the fabric.
Tips for Storing Your Tablecloths
For long-term storage, consider wrapping your tablecloths in acid-free tissue paper to prevent discoloration and fabric breakdown. Don’t use regular tissue paper, as the acids in them can turn white linens yellow.
Then take your wrapped tablecloth and store it in an acid-free box. I do this with my most meaningful table linens.
You should also shake out your tablecloths and refold them a few times each year. Try to fold them in a different direction, not using the previous fold lines, to minimize breaking down the fabric threads.
Make sure to clean and dry your tablecloth before storing it. Then fold, roll, or hang it for easy access. Storing tablecloths can be a challenge, but by following the above-mentioned advice, it’s easy to keep your tablecloths in great condition for years to come.
Tablecloth Storing Supplies
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