​Everything You Need to Know About Table Linen Hire

​Everything You Need to Know About Table Linen Hire

As event hire specialists, we know the power of the perfect table setting first-hand! But with endless options available, we understand that choosing the right table linen for your event can prove a challenge. We've curated this comprehensive guide to help you navigate the world of linen hire, and we’ll equip you with the knowledge to choose the perfect table linen for your next event.

What is Table Linen?

Table linen is any textile used to set a table for a meal. Table linen is available in a wide variety of materials, colours and styles.

When it comes to table linen, there are two main options to consider: commercial laundry services and event hire services. The key difference is the frequency of use. Commercial laundry services are ideal for hospitality businesses like restaurants and hotels that require a steadier supply of clean tablecloths, napkins, and other linens. These services typically provide weekly or monthly deliveries so that fresh stock is available on demand.

Event hire service caters to one-off events or those with less frequent needs. They offer a wider variety of table linen options, allowing you to choose your desired colours, textures and patterns for your needs.

And the good news is, we offer both options here at!

Types of Table Linen

Here's a breakdown of the different types of linen typically used in restaurants, hotels and for events. Further in this guide, you’ll also find charts for table linen sizing and how to calculate the ideal size for your table.


This is one of the most common table linen types. A tablecloth covers the table surface entirely. It’s most commonly available in materials such as cotton, linen and polyester.

Table Runner

These are usually made in the same materials as tablecloths, however, a table runner does not cover the table’s surface entirely. Instead, it is a long and narrow piece of fabric that runs down the centre of the table. Runners can be used alone or they can be layered over a tablecloth for added texture and aesthetic appeal depending on personal taste.


Napkins are individual cloths used to wipe the hands and face during the meal. These are usually available in cotton or linen and are made in various sizes.

How to Choose the Right Table Linen for Your Event?

When choosing your table linen, there are a few factors you may want to take into consideration.


Material also plays a key role when choosing linen. If you want a classic option that requires little care and doesn’t wrinkle easily, cotton is a great choice. Linen is the ideal option if you want something durable. It’s also perfect for draping. Polyester is an affordable choice and won’t wrinkle as easily as linen.


From plain linen to options withpatterns or even a simple satin band, design will impact the overall aesthetic of the table setting. The options are endless, from jewel-toned hues to classic white and so many more!


Sizing is key when choosing linen, as this will affect how your linen will drape.

How to Choose a Table Linen Company

Planning a flawless table setting for your event will require the perfect partner; a reliable table linen hire company. How do you pick the one that's a perfect fit? Here are some key considerations:


The company should boast a diverse range of linens to suit your aesthetic preferences and size requirements. A wide selection of colours, textures, patterns and sizes will offer you more flexibility of choice. Here at, our Table Linen selection boasts a wide variety of options to suit all types of events.


Take your budget into account. Compare pricing from multiple companies to get a feel for the best option. Ensure to ask if washing up is included in the hire price or if this will incur extra costs.


Research the company's commitment our planet and if they have eco-friendly practices. Here at, our Sustainability Mission is important to us and is a key factor in our operations as an event hire company.


Choose a company with a reliable delivery and pick-up service within your area. Do they deliver to your area? What is the process for pickup? These are some key questions to ask.

What Size Tablecloth Do I Need?

Tablecloth sizing will be determined by the size of your table, and you’ll find some helpful charts below. Another key factor is your preferred drop length.

Drop Length

The primary factor in choosing the appropriate tablecloth size is determining the desired drop length from the table's top edge. Given that most tables are 30 inches high, drop measurements are taken from the table's edge downward.

Here are the various achievable drop lengths:

  • Standard Drop: 8 inches from the table edge (22 inches from the floor)
  • Banquet Table Drop: 15 inches from the table edge (15 inches from the floor)
  • Full-Length Drop: 29-30 inches from the table edge (reaches the floor)

Guest List

Begin with your guest list. Note that each guest requires their own chair and place setting at the table.


Measure the layout of the space. Keep in mind that if your venue layout is an unconventional shape, round tables may be an ideal option for fitting into awkward spaces.

Table Selection and Table Linen Sizing

How many units of table linen do you need? This will be determined by the number of tables you hire. Consider how many tables will comfortably fit into the space available before deciding on a table linen quantity.

Round Tables Guide

Seating Capacity Table Size Recommended Linen Size
4 people 3ft 54”x54””
6-8 people 4ft 70”x70”
8-10 people 5ft 90”x90” or 118" Round for full drop to ground
9-11 people 5ft 6in 90”x90” or 118" Round or 130” for full drop to ground
10-12 people 6ft 90”x90” or 130" Round for full drop to ground
2-3 people Half Round 4ft (often used for top table/oval table for weddings) 70”x70”
3-5 people Half Round 5ft (often used for top table/oval table for weddings) 90”x90”

Rectangular Tables Guide

Seating Capacity Table Size Recommended Linen Size
Seats 2 people 2ft x30” 54”x54” (for dining height)
Seats 2 each side & 1 each end 4ft x 24in 70”x70”
Seats 2 each side & 1 each end 4ft x 30in 70”x70”
Seats 3 each side & 1 each end 6ft x 24in 70”x108”
Seats 3 each side & 1 each end 6ft x 30in 70”x108”
Seats 3 each side & 1 each end 6ft x 36in 70”x108”
Seats 3 each side & 1 each end 8ft x 24in 70”x144”
Seats 4 each side & 1 each end 8ft x 30in 70”x144”

Bistro Tables & Cocktail Tables

A bistro table typically the same height as a rectangular tables/dining tables, eg. 29”/30”. It’s lower than a cocktail table. Cocktail tables stand at approx. bar height/42” high.

Seating Capacity Table Size Recommended Linen Size
Round Bistro Table size medium – Seats 2-4. 30” in diameter x 29” high 90x90” to partially cover. 118/120” round to cover.
Round Bistro Table large – Seats 2-4 33” in diameter x 29” high 132” to cover.
Square Bistro Table: Seats 3-4. 2ft x 24” x 29” high 54”x54”
Round Cocktail Table size medium - Seats 2-4 stools 30” in diameter x 42” high 130” to cover.
Round Cocktail Table large – Seats 2-4 stools. 33” in diameter x 42” high 132” to cover.
Square Cocktail Table – Seats 2-4. 2ft x 24” x 42” high Linen is not required for this table.
Flow Medium Network Table – Seats 8-10. 6ft x 28” x 43” high Linen is not required for this table.
Flow Large Network Table – Seats Sits 4 either side & 1 at each end. 8ft x 32” x 43” high Linen is not required for this table.

At, we supply a wide range of linens for event hire, including corporate events, weddings and private functions. We own and operate our laundry, giving us control over quality and service. Additionally, we offer commercial laundry services to restaurants, hotels, catering companies, and sports and leisure clubs. We can provide a single or a complete linen service and supply linen regularly (weekly/monthly)

Please contact us at 01 294 3111 or to receive a quote for your specific linen rental and laundry.

21st Jun 2024

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