The runner is a valid and interesting alternative to set the table…
Generally, you opt for a runner instead of a tablecloth, when you want to set a table for two people, in fact in French the runner is called vis-à-vis, which means face to face because the two diners face each other. It is therefore particularly suitable for a couple’s dinner, perhaps paired with some candles, but it is also perfect for setting a small table. However, the runner is also perfect for setting a portion of a long table or counter in the kitchen. In this case, using a tablecloth would not give an ideal result, making the rest of the table look empty. In those cases, the runner is positioned directly on the table and it is therefore essential that the visible part of the table is beautiful! For the said reason, the runner is more suitable for a beautiful table with a wooden or glass top, with the dual function of enhancing the beauty of the table and protecting it from scratches and marks that could be created with plates and cutlery.
I find that the runner can also be a beautiful decorative element to enrich a table set with a tablecloth. The runners, positioned transversely, will serve in this case to embellish and emphasize each table setting by creating a sequence of interesting geometries, which will interrupt the monotony of a very long or perhaps a little unadorned tablecloth. I also really like to mix solid colors and patterns, or stripes and floral fabrics, linked by a common thread like color or in elegant chromatic contrast.
As for the measures, the ideal size of a runner, I can tell you that it is good to know that if the width must be that of a placé (table place), thus allowing us to place cutlery and napkins next to the plate, the length will be valid more or less the same rules valid for choosing the most correct size for your tablecloth,
That is, the runner must have a fall of about 30 cm on both sides. Our runners vary from 140 to 180 cm in length depending on whether they have edges to embellish them or not.
Another option can be to place only one runner longitudinally on the table, in which case you will need a longer runner and in all probability tailor-made to adapt to the measurements of your table, always considering 30/40 cm of fall side in addition to the length of the table itself. In these cases, generally, the runner is superimposed on a tablecloth, and place cards or placemats are added for each table place.
Which fabrics are best suited for runners?
In principle, there is no rule, and a lot depends on the style you want to give to your table. For example, they could be more elaborate and heavy fabrics for a Christmas table or light and natural fabrics for a summer setting; needless to say that in this case too I love linen in all its heaviness and with different types of finishes, but in our latest collections we have used many patterned fabrics, played in combination with stripes and plain colors to create scenographic and eclectic tables. Also for runners, we offer a very wide range of stain-resistant linens and fabrics that allow very easy and practical maintenance without detracting from the elegance of the table, on the contrary, the great value of our special stain-resistant treatment is that it preserves the softness of the fabrics, allowing you also to choose patterns and finishes that, if left untreated, would be quite difficult to wash and remove stains frequently!
Finally, do not forget to neglect even in the case of a table set with runners, the choice of napkins, strictly in fabric and coordinated with the runners themselves or with the tablecloth below. As in the case of the tablecloth, the choice of the most suitable napkin can be a decisive detail to make your table truly unique and elegant.