Table Throw Vs Tablecloth: What Should You Choose?

Plans for dressing tables for events often leads to the question of a table runner vs a tablecloth. Each option has its one aesthetic appeal and offers slightly different benefits, so we will explore the comparison in this post. Whether you are organizing a corporate event, a wedding or any other gathering, it can be helpful to understand the features of each to help you create the ideal table settings.

Table Throw Vs Tablecloth: What Should You Choose?

Key Takeaways

  • Table throws, or runners, and tablecloths are made from similar materials, but differ in their aesthetics and usage scenarios.
  • The choice between table runner vs tablecloth comes down to your specific needs and preferences.
  • You can combine both to create a unique aesthetic.
  • Throw fabric is versatile and can be used for more than just table covers.
  • A tablecloth is arguably more useful overall than a table runner, but both have their uses.

Differences Between Table Throw and Tablecloth

There are various ways in which we can draw comparisons between a tablecloth or a table runner. For the purposes of this post, we will consider a table throw to be the same thing as a table runner - we supply both.

We can examine the fabrics and materials they are made from, compare usage scenarios, and evaluate how their aesthetic appeal measures up. Let’s take a closer look at these features.

Table setting for table throw vs tablecloth

Material And Texture

When considering table runner vs tablecloth, it’s important to note that both are available in a wide range of materials with different textures. These are important considerations regardless of which option you choose, but it is worth noting that the material options are very similar for both.

Some materials are more robust and durable than others, while some have a more pristine and luxurious appearance. Some offer a texture that enhances their grip, while others are smooth and have a shine. You must consider both aesthetic and practical benefits when exploring materials and determine how they align with your needs to achieve the best results from a table throw or a tablecloth.

Our tablecloths are available in:

  • Different types of polyester
  • Spandex
  • Flannelette

Our table runners, on the other hand, are exclusively available in polyester fabrics. While our options cover a broad range of needs, there are other fabrics available for both table runners and tablecloths if you need something different.

Usage Scenarios

When to use a tablecloth vs table runner largely comes down to the occasion and what type of table setting you are applying.

If you are planning a formal event, a tablecloth is often the preferred option. This is because it provides maximum protection for tabletops while creating a cohesive, elegant look for tables with full coverage plus an overhang on all sides.

Table runners, on the other hand, are a great option for injecting a little sophistication into more informal gatherings or daily dining. They can help to showcase the inherent beauty of your table while also providing a degree of protection.

Both can be adorned with customized designs if you choose a custom table cover from us, enabling branding or deep personalization for a range of needs.

Aesthetic Appeal

The differences in aesthetics between tablecloths vs table runners are rooted in the amount of coverage they provide.

With tablecloths, you get:

  • Full coverage of the entire tabletop
  • An overhang that drapes over the sides of the table
  • A full, unified look

Tablecloths provide a crisp and elegant backdrop for any table setting. This is why they are so often the go-to for formal occasions.

Table runners are more decorative and minimalist. They often operate as focal points, providing a pop of color or texture for a table. With runners, you get:

  • Partial coverage of the table
  • Versatility in the positioning you choose
  • An opportunity to add color whilst still displaying the beauty of the table itself

Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on your desired look. The formality of the event is definitely a factor, but it comes down to which look you prefer. Here is a guide on table covers for events to help your consideration.

Are Table Throw And Tablecloth Used For The Same Purpose?

As we have mentioned, we are using ‘table throw’ interchangeably with ‘table runner’ in this article. In reality, table throws and tablecloths are used for the same purpose in so much as they are placed on a tabletop to add a decorative element and provide additional protection for the table. But the specific details of their roles are not exactly the same - there are some nuances that make them distinct from one another:

  • Tablecloths cover the entire table, table throws do not
  • Tablecloths offer comprehensive table protection, unlike
  • Table throws are more decorative, though both can be used to elevate a table setting

Keep reading for more detailed analysis of the similarities and differences.

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Table Runner Vs Tablecloth: Which Should You Choose?

The choice between a table runner vs a tablecloth involves considering several factors. The ultimate choice depends on your preferences, but you need to consider both aesthetic and practical implications. You could even consider combining the two to create a slightly different look.

Design And Aesthetic Differences

The main differences lie in the amount of coverage you get and the overhang. Whether you choose a robust, cost-effective material like polyester or something more delicate and premium like silk, you can achieve an aesthetic that suits various occasions. However, a tablecloth covers the entire tabletop and overhangs at the edges, while a runner only covers a portion of the tabletop and may not have any overhang, depending on your preferences. This is the key difference in the designs when you consider a tablecloth or table runner.

When you order either from us, you can customize the look with logos and other bespoke graphic elements, as well as choosing your desired material, size and colors. This enables you to make your chosen option match your branding or fit a theme better. With this in mind, remember that tablecloths are commonly used for more formal events, while table runners are often used at more casual gatherings.

Having said that, tablecloths can work well at informal occasions, and table runners can be useful at formal ones. It all depends on whether you prefer the grandiose, elegant backdrop of a tablecloth or the minimalist, tidy look of a table runner.

Practical Uses

In practical terms, the choice between a tablecloth or a table runner depends on the specific nature of the occasion. Consider the practical purpose your table cover serves, whether it's to protect the table underneath or to display logos and other brand assets.

The practical advantages of tablecloths include:

  • Comprehensive protection against stains, spills and scratches
  • An opportunity to print a large, highly-visible custom graphic elements

Tablecloths are the perfect choice for larger occasions with numerous dishes and glasses, providing all-round protection for your table's surface.

Table runners are more in their element when you need to add a decorative element to a table. They offer:

  • Partial coverage of the table to protect some areas against stains and spills
  • An elegant addition to tables that stand out to display accent colors or custom graphics

They work well for informal gatherings or when applied to tables not used for dining, allowing them to showcase custom graphics or add a burst of color to the overall aesthetic.

Ultimately, the choice is yours. You need to consider the practical needs of your event and choose between the two. We offer high-quality custom printing on both so you can get the look you need as well as the practical benefits.

Combining Both For A Unique Look

Table runners and tablecloths can be combined on your table setting to create a different kind of aesthetic. Doing so can add depth and visual interest to your decor.

The tablecloth should be placed as a base layer in this arrangement. It covers the entire table, and then you place the table runner on top of it, either across the center or the full length.

With this setup, you can enjoy the benefits of both elements:

  • Full protection of your tabletop
  • A complete backdrop for your table setting
  • The pop and added depth from the table runner

This is a versatile approach that can make the most of your custom designs for both tablecloths and runners if you order from us. However, you should be careful with your arrangement as it can look overcrowded with poor color coordination. You also need to think about practical considerations like the extra cost and maintenance requirements of having both together.

Table runner on a table throw for table throw vs tablecloth

Can You Use A Throw As A Table Cover?

A table throw, or runner, is a smaller alternative to a tablecloth. Both are forms of table cover, and both offer a certain amount of protection for your tabletops against spills, stains and scratches.

If you want to use a table runner as a table cover, you need to be aware of its pros and cons. The main benefits of them are that they look decorative and they will protect a portion of the table’s surface against spills and stains.

The cons of throws are as follows:

  • They don’t protect your entire table
  • It can be harder to secure them in place in outdoor environments

Whether a runner is an adequate table cover for you depends on your specific needs. Weigh up the benefits of a tablecloth or runner for your needs to make the decision about which is the better option.

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Ready to make a lasting impression at your next event?

Order now and showcase your brand with our eye-catching, personalized table covers.

Make Your Custom Table Covers

What Is Throw Fabric Used For?

Throw fabric is versatile and can be used for many purposes. Often employed for various decorative applications, throw fabric can also be treated to be water-resistant or fireproof for specific needs. Common uses for throw fabric like polyester, cotton or linen include:

  • Tablecloths or table runners
  • Blankets or throws
  • Drapes or curtains
  • Decorative pillows
  • Photography backdrops

With great versatility and aesthetic appeal, throw fabric is a popular choice for venues and events of many kinds. So, in the debate about tablecloths vs table runners, throw fabric can be a major factor in both.

Are Table Runner And Table Cover Used For Same Purpose?

Fundamentally, table runners are a type of table cover. The alternative is a tablecloth, which offers more coverage than a table runner. The purposes of these different types of table covers are not entirely the same, as tablecloths place greater emphasis on protecting the table while table runners are more decorative.

One important consideration with both is to measure your tables. Whether you are primarily focused on safeguarding your tables or making them look aesthetically pleasing, getting the correct size runner or table cover is essential. This starts with accurate measurements, so get that stage right.

Attract attention and make a statement at your next event with our high-quality, personalized table covers.

Showcase your brand with our custom table covers!

Which Is More Useful Between A Tablecloth And A Throw?

The answer to this question really depends on what you need from your table cover. However, from an objective standpoint, a tablecloth is arguably more useful. It offers superior protection for your tables whilst still offering outstanding aesthetics for your table setting.

A table runner or throw is a decorative element that is distinct from a tablecloth, but it does not offer as much protection. You can combine the two for a unique aesthetic. We supply both tablecloths and table runners, so you can use our service to get the best of both worlds or to make your choice between the two. You get to design your table cover from scratch, with your choice of:

  • Material
  • Size
  • Style
  • Colors
  • Custom design

If you want high-quality coverage for your table, tweaked to match your aesthetic needs perfectly, look no further.

Elegant outdoor table with tablecloth for table throw vs tablecloth

Frequently Asked Questions About Table Throw Vs Tablecloth

Differences Between Table Throw and Tablecloth

A table throw, or table runner, is a type of table cover that only covers part of the table. A tablecloth, on the other hand, covers the entire tabletop with overhang on all sides.

Can You Use A Throw As A Table Cover?

A throw is a type of table cover and can be ideal for casual gatherings where you need a decorative element. You can also use one in combination with a tablecloth.

Are Table Runner And Table Cover Used For Same Purpose?

Yes, though a table runner is more focused on the decorative side while the table cover option is more effective at protecting the tablecloth.

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