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To start, let's get semantics out of the way: the phrase "table linens" is a bit of a misnomer. While linen tends to be the most popular fabric for tablecloths, napkins, and runners alike, it's also become a catch-all term for any textile that elevates your dining room. So in surveying the field – especially as we head into Big Dinner Season – I'm looking at the full spectrum, from those luxe namesake linens to their wool, jute, and patterned alternatives.
There's something for everyone, and with a few weeks' worth of lead time left on holiday entertaining, you've still got time to make those upgrades. Let these selects give you brand new reasons to gather 'round the table.
Bed Threads | French flax linen
Why not start with the OG? If linen reigns supreme in the table setting world, then French flax linen is its platonic ideal. Grown at the ideal temperature and moisture, French linen is hypoallergenic, sturdy yet soft, and has a beautiful tactile feel on your skin that only gets better with time. Pair that with Bed Threads’ peerless eye for color – choices range from lilac to rust to limoncello – and you've got yourself a showstopper. Its product line spans napkin sets ($50), tablecloths (from $100), and even funky scalloped placemats ($80). Mix and match to your heart's content.
Hawkins New York | cotton
Cotton v. linen: a matchup as old as the textile industry itself. Though it might not be as synonymous with stylishness as its competitor, cotton has a lot of advantages – namely, the fact that it doesn't wrinkle the moment it leaves the closet. Hawkins' New York's use of subtly fringed, heavyweight cotton gives a gorgeous handmade quality to its placemats ($48 for 4), which are available in six sensual colors. When high functionality looks this good, that's a win-win any way you look at it.
Chan Luu | cotton and linen
And then there's the question I'm prone to ask at any crossroads: why not both? Chan Luu embraces bold colors and patterns across cotton and linen offerings alike, from its Mod Tile Print Napkin Sets ($55) to these tablecloths with wavy borders (from $170). Started as a jewelry project by Vietnamese-born designer Chan Luu, the brand has a POV that's excitingly left-of-center and noticeably eclectic.
Blue Loom | jute
Now we turn to the table runner, a decor option often overshadowed by the full-size tablecloth. Runners logistically just make a lot of sense: they accent your table while leaving the dining space free, meaning they are rarely plagued by errant food stains. Blue Loom's Georgia Basketweave Jute Runner ($32) is rustic and thickly woven, for a natural look with grounding earth tones. It practically screams fall/winter, with understated coziness that will let your dishes be the star.
Graf Lantz | wool felt
Oh y'all wanted a twist? Graf Lantz leaves behind traditional textiles altogether, passionate instead about merino wool's flexibility, sustainability and resistance to stains and odors alike. While they might not have the look you'd expect at your dining table, these oval placemats ($39) are striking and playful. They make a fantastic contrast with lighter woods especially, and hold their own with or without a matching felt trivet ($24).
Coyuchi | cotton
We've already sung the praises of Coyuchi's bed sheets, even the brand’s bathrobes, and folks? Its tableware gets yet another rave. The Sonoma Organic Textured Tablecloth ($168) and its matching napkin sets ($58 for 4) are newer additions to the line, along with the gorgeously earthy Fringe Stripe Organic Napkins ($48 for 4). All have that slightly crinkled texture that feels chicly lived-in, with the softness that's become a reliable brand signature.
Morrow | heirloom linen
Available in endlessly mixable tones like sage and terracotta, Morrow's tabletop line is cohesive and focused. The brand’s tablecloths ($110), placemat sets (from $50) and napkin sets (from $55) are made from heirloom French linen of the highest quality, bringing lightness and warmth to your next autumnal meal. Even the gingham options – a pattern I usually stay far away from thanks to its picnic-y connotations – look elegant and elevated.
Pomegranate | cotton, rice paper, bamboo
Throwing all this minimalism out the window in favor of doing the absolute most, Pomegranate is heaven for pattern junkies. With textiles inspired by Indian hand block prints, the brand’s products are bespoke and never less than eye-catching. There's the Maple & Acorn Tablecloth (from $76), the Gaya Teal and Marigold Napkins ($56 for 4) and even the translucent Green Baldwin Rice Paper Placemats ($76 for 4). Pomegranate’s materials are as wide-ranging as its decorations, meaning you've got totally free reign.
Revival | cotton
As its name suggests, Revival Rugs specializes in artisanal rug-making, but recently started bringing that craftsmanship to tabletop decor as well. This Changki Tabletop Runner ($55) is gorgeously flatwoven, while the Striped Placemats ($79 for 5) show off classic Moroccan techniques. If texture is your priority, you can't do better than these painstakingly crafted pieces.
Serena & Lily | Belgian linen
Last but not least, potentially my favorite table covering of the bunch: Serena & Lily's Salento tablecloth (from $148). Its bold color blocking feels both modern and timeless, like the Puglian coast from which it takes its name. The matching Salento napkins (on sale for $29.99) are just as vivid, with a delicate tassel tie that makes them great for gift-giving. But we won't tell anyone if you keep them for yourself.