Textile design and the modern tablecloth
They always say that everything comes back into fashion eventually and it appears that textile design is no different. I was at the Victoria and Albert museum recently and was struck by how much one of the designs on display from the early 18th century was like one of our new designs. Looking round the displays I could see how influences from the previous centuries cropped up in many of the modern tablecloths we stock.
The displays in the V&A mainly reference the textile design changes and the development in materials used through the centuries. I could find no references specifically about tablecloths but of course things have changed. The main improvements are in the coating on the fabric. The oldest form of wipe clean tablecloth being oilcloth (coated with linseed oil) has been developed over the years and has now been replaced with PVC tablecloths. Better still are the Acrylic coatings which allow the fabric to maintain the look and feel of an uncoated fabric tablecloth whilst still wiping clean. Trade name products such as Teflon now provide an incredible hard wearing wipe clean surface.
Have a look for yourself at the influence of early 18th century design from India on today's latest trend in wipe clean tablecloths - Pink Fleur.