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How To Fold a Rectangular Tablecloth

Whether it's a free-for-all picnic buffet or a formal 12-course dinner, your table should be notable for its abundance — not for the tablecloth's abundance of wrinkles.


  • Step 1: Hold by two corners Hold up the tablecloth by two corners of one of the shorter sides so it hangs lengthwise in front of you, with the top side facing you.
  • Step 2: Fold in half lengthwise Fold the tablecloth in half lengthwise, bringing one corner to the other so that the top side of the tablecloth is facing out.
  • TIP: This vertical center fold is the only fold that can be crisp — in general, tablecloths should be folded loosely to avoid deep creases when unfolded.
  • Step 3: Fold in half again Fold the tablecloth in half again so that you've created a long narrow rectangle composed of four layers of fabric.
  • Step 4: Fold in half crosswise Now fold the tablecloth in half crosswise, allowing the top edge of the long narrow rectangle to drop down to the bottom edge.
  • TIP: If you like to store your tablecloths on hangers, stop here and hang it at the crosswise fold.
  • Step 5: Fold crosswise again If you stack your tablecloths for storage, fold it crosswise one more time to make it easier to fit, then congratulate yourself on your abundant folding skills.
  • FACT: During World Wars I and II, soldiers often sent tablecloths, pillow cases, and other items printed with the word "sweetheart" back to their special ladies waiting at home.

You Will Need

  • A rectangular tablecloth in need of folding

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