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Tablecloths of Provence - Buying Guide

French tablecloths


French tablecloths

Design Styles 

Allover Pattern – A small pattern repeated across the tablecloth. This can be the tiny “cigale” or cicada that is traditionally used decoratively on pottery and glassware in Provence. Or it can be olives, lemons or a simple geometric design. This tablecloth can be cut from the roll to any size without affecting the design. 

Linear – A slightly striped effect. Different patterns in contrasting colours run side by side along the length of the tablecloth. The effect is very striking and can transform a room, instantly bringing the warm colours of Provence into the home.  This tablecloth can be cut off the roll of fabric at any length as the pattern will not be affected.

Placed Pattern – Pattern created exactly for that size of tablecloth. An outer border in the shape of a circle (for a square or round tablecloth) or an oval (for a rectangle tablecloth) and often a special graphic centre. The design is particularly well balanced and helps to create a lovely “frame” for the table when it is used. 

Jacquard - Rather than the design being printed, this tablecloth has the intricate pattern woven into the fabric. The designs are often more muted with softer colours and create an elegant and stylish tablecloth.

Fabric Treatments 

100% Cotton – Quality natural fabric. Easy to care for and will last for years.  

Care:  Machine washable in cold or warm water. Tumble dried on low temperature setting or you can hang dry for best results. Some ironing is required. 

100% Cotton Acrylic Coated. What a fabulous invention!  Easy care. Just wipe down with a wet cloth. The cotton fabric is treated with an acrylic coating which makes the tablecloth stain repellent. It’s like magic – any spills simply bead on the cloth ready to be wiped off. Ideal for high traffic areas such as the kitchen. The great thing about this coating is that although there’s a light sheen to the tablecloth, because the tablecloth itself is made of cotton (and not plastic or oilcloth) the tablecloth drapes nicely at the corners and it doesn’t stick out at awkward angles. This water-repellent cotton can be washed in the washing machine although it doesn’t need washing nearly as often as a standard cotton tablecloth.  Ideal for everyday use.

Care: Just use a wet sponge or cloth to clean and wipe off the spills. Can be machine washed in cold or warm water without loosing the coating. Water repellent tablecloths may wrinkle after washing like any garments. Just hang them to dry. If you really must get every last wrinkle out, the tablecloths may be ironed on reverse side at low temperature.  Do not dry clean. 

DuPont Teflon treatment - While an acrylic coating gives to the table's fabric a general water-repellent property, DuPont's Teflon coated fibre fabrics are protected one by one by an invisible molecular barrier which protects from liquids, dirt, and helps to prevent stains.  Characterized by a light touch, it is infinitely close to the cotton. There is no hard / solid feeling. Ventilation and texture remain without any loss of the fabric's texture.  It is a unique water-repellent coating.

Care: Machine washable in cold or warm water separate from other laundry and especially any products with metal parts.

Tumble dried on low temperature setting or hang dry. Iron on normal setting on the reverse side only the preserve the Teflon coating. Can be dry-cleaned.


The perfect tablecloth for you depends on the length you like your cloth to hang over on each side.  Simply measure your table and then allow your idea of the perfect overhang length on each side .. et voila .. the ideal tablecloth size. As a general guide:

160cm square – suits a 4 seater square table

180cm round – suits a 4 to 6 seater round table

200 x 150 cm - suits a 6 seater table

250 x 150cm – suits a larger 6 seater to a normal 8 seater table

300 x 150cm – suits a larger 8 seater to a normal 10 seater table

Warning:  Beware of imitations.

Some companies have copied the traditional Provencale designs and have them printed onto lower quality fabrics in Asian factories. Watch out for the words “French inspired” or "designs from Provence" or the claim that the product is simply “imported” as it's most likely imported from China - not from France!  Not what you were hoping for!

If you’re shopping for authentic French tablecloths and the prices seem really cheap, it’s probably because they are made in Asia and the fabric is a low quality copy.

The tablecloths in our online shop are produced by a family owned business in Nice, Provence.  Opening their doors in 1933, for the last three generations, the company has been making authentic quality Provençal tablecloths and fabrics to delight locals and tourists alike. 

Click here for the History of Provencale Tablcloths