Table runners: types, materials, colors …
Table runners: types, materials, colors …

Today, we tell you a little more about the different types, materials and colors of table runners generally offered in decoration stores, and in particular in decoration accessories shops (and in particular table decoration).

The table runner can be placed directly on the table or on a tablecloth, as you wish.

Table runner

the table runner, a crucial element in a decoration

What is a table runner?

Originally, the table runner is described as a strip of fabric or embroidery placed on the table to receive the dessert service (source: Wikitioner).

We can probably trace the origin of the table runner back to the Middle Ages, when " table mat Were deployed to decorate and protect them.

Striped table runner

the important thing is to harmonize your table decoration

The "table rugs" were then embroidered and richly decorated. Of our time, tablecloths and table runners have taken over these functions: protect and decorate.

From the use of the table runner

Indispensable ally of your table decoration (or even room), it easily matches the other elements you have set up: chair covers, drapes, tablecloths, various decorations on the table or in the room.

It is good to clarify that the table runner is so called when it is arranged in the direction of the length of the table : it symbolically separates the guests or serves as a “visual support” for the cutlery.

Path in support of plates

used as a "visual aid" for cutlery

This arrangement gives an impression of length or to enhance the visual uniformity and harmony of a table.

Princess table runner

used as a "table runner", occupying the central space

This "strip of fabric or embroidery" is called tête-à-tête. (here's a romantic name!) when arranged perpendicularly at the table and connect the guests. Particularly recommended for a romantic meal!

Head to head table runner

used in a "tête-à-tête" arrangement to connect two guests

Please note: the “one-to-one” use requires twice the amount of travel. TO see what effect you want to give to your decor, but also according to your means.

A third way is to install the table runner diagonally to give a touch of originality to your table decoration. You can also cut them to give them the desired shape. Let your imagination run wild!

A table runner can also advantageously replace a classic centerpiece (see photo below) when you lack the time or ideas to compose it. Most of them are translucent like the one below.

Central table runner

it replaces a centerpiece

Unrolled along a staircase, a table runner deliciously accompanies the climb of the stairs (since you are told it is the ultimate romantic accessory!).

Staircase path decoration

in staircase decoration

Another misuse of the table runner consists of using it as a wall hanging, hanging on a wall or a wall, or even as a wall frieze. Their length (rolls of several meters in general) allows it, and they remain more discreet and above all more original than a “classic” wall hanging.

An improvised room curtain

improvised wall hanging

Suspended above your guests (from beams for example), it dresses up the space and gives it volume.

The best of the best: use it in the central aisle of a church !

Table runner used as a church entrance

he leads you to the altar in style

Here is the continuation of our file in several parts about the types, materials, colors and uses of table runners. click here to return to summary of practical files.

The different materials of paths

Tarlatan, abaca, non-woven, so many barbaric names for the beginner in decoration, but as many refinements as possible on your table. Here is an overview of the different table runner materials.

A wide choice of materials for table runnersThe abaca

THE'Abaca comes from a banana tree found in the Philippines. The plant can grow up to 6 meters in height. It produces a fiber commonly known as Manila Hemp, extracted from the stems and leaves. It is this fiber which is then used to make the elements in abaca, including our famous table runners.

Detail of the abaca

close-up abaca

Abaca is rather stiff and strong, which is why it was once used for making ropes.


Tarlatan is a textile originating in Asia and particularly in India. It is a very loosely woven and very finished cotton fabric. Used for making evening dresses, headdresses and lingerie accessories, it is also present in our table runners.

Tarlatan detail

tarlatan close-up

She is as pretty as tulle, but stronger and cheaper. It is a fabric that has a certain hold, a rigidity.

Today, tarlatan is used for making the bases of hats, in etching to wipe the metal plate after inking, in binding for the hinges of hardcover books, in reinforcement in certain adhesive tapes.

Finally, it is used in lighting: placed in front of a projector like a filter, it reduces its intensity.. By playing on its thickness, and thanks to its rigidity, we can thus shape the light beam (Source Wikipedia). Think about it for your room decoration!


We offer you today 6 beautiful models of organza table runners:organza-table-runner 7674

Thanks to their arabesques and their glitter, they will illuminate, very elegantly, your table decoration !

Composed from organdy, they offer a nice game of transparency, thus allowing your tablecloth to show through.


THE'organdy is a light, dressed cotton muslin imported from India. In France, it is produced in the same factories as muslin.

Its shiny appearance is superb and is particularly highlighted in good lighting.

Organdy table runner

Close to muslin, organdy is distinguished by its more rigid appearance. The organdy is used in the furnishings for the curtains, in the clothing for the trimmings of bodices, the evening dresses.

Organza table runner with crystals

organdy table runner with crystals

Very light and transparent, this material will bring elegance to your table or room decoration.

For usage ideas, see our section Use of table runners in decoration.


Also from banana fibers, sinamay is a light material, a sheer that is used like tulle.

Natural, it has a certain rigidity which allows it to be shaped and worked easily.

It will therefore adapt with good will to all your decorations. Practical for creating a home decoration yourself, it is slightly transparent (see photo below).

Sinamay table runner

bluish atmosphere thanks to a sinamay table runner

The non-woven

As indicated by his name, non-woven is a kind of lightweight fabric that is not woven. It is composed of fibers (textiles) of polyester and cellulose which are compressed to create this material.

The advantage of non-woven is that it also exists in a printed model with drawings or texts ; see below.

Table runner I love younon-woven table runner with print


Under the barbaric name of polypropylene hides in fact a plastic material whose applications are numerous, due to its great resistance.

In addition to this strength, polypropylene table runners have the advantage of bright colors, which hold up well over time. In addition, the proposed patterns are numerous: see the example below.

Striped table runner

The maintenance of these over-tablecloths (other name of the table runner) is easy.

Creative hobbies around the table runner

If you are fan of creative hobbies, why not compose your own table runner?

Are you skilled with your hands and have an imagination? Why not create your own table runner?

You can sew it, knit it, create it with various collages or assemblies. This creation will remain the most original of all and you will be sure not to find the same decoration at a friend's house!

In any case, think about calculate the length of your table runners correctly during the creation.

The patterns and colors of table runners

Current table runners are generally offered in a wide variety of colors and patterns.. A brief overview of the table runners that you can find on

Various patterns

Here are the names evoking the patterns on our table runners : Arabesque, Baroque, Renaissance, Eclat, Pailleté… This slideshow presents the patterns of tablecloths up close.

Amazing colors

The colors of the table runners vary with their material.

So remember to match them according to the color of your tablecloth or your table decoration in general.

Also think about play with the transparency of your table runners, to show the tablecloth below.

The colors are very varied and allow you tomatch each decoration element with his neighbor. So take advantage of it!

If something on your table is really a problem for you, so use a feather or the contents of a decoration box to re-harmonize everything (see the next page of this dossier on Decorative elements to disperse).

Table runner in harmony

Above, for example, we have added a decorative feather to allow a folded napkin to better match the table runner : everything is a matter of balance between your colors.

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