When we set out to blog about table runners, we decided to look into the history of these unique decorative items.
There doesn’t seem to be a definitive origin story for table runners, but most writers we found seem to agree they came about in the Middle Ages.
As blogger Amy Isaman put it:
“Apparently, back in medieval times, people would wipe their faces on the table cloth. Eventually, thank God, this became unacceptable and somebody invented napkins, but people still ate like pigs and spilled their food and drinks all over the tablecloths which then had to be laundered, so some wise woman invented the table runner to protect the table cloth.”
The idea was that the table runner would catch all the spills and dropped food, and then be gathered up for cleaning at the end of the night, leaving the pristine tablecloth behind. Tablecloths and table runners became standard dining fixtures by the 1600s.
Hopefully, you’ll be using your table runners for decorative, and not simply practical, reasons. Here are 10 ways you can put one into play in your home:
The Professional Association of Innkeepers’ 2016 conference is just a few months away. The PAII sent us a questionnaire to fill out, and as we did, we realized they’d given us a great opportunity to share our story with the world. Here’s what we had to say.
1. In 500 words or less, please tell us about your business:
We have been in business since 1952. We began with a store called County Linen Center in Doylestown, Pa. (Bucks County), selling linens for bed, bath and dining for the home. Since we had many local hotels purchasing from us, we recognized that innkeepers could not purchase luxury linens in small quantities at wholesale pricing.
So we went nationwide in 1988, calling ourselves InnStyle. At that time, most hospitality industry suppliers only offered products by the dozens and did not offer fashion products.