Anyone d’un certain âge recalls, and not too fondly, the original so-called “easy care” jacquard coated tablecloths that carried the label “oilcloth.” Inexpensive and not of great quality, they marginally “did the job” catching the occasional spill. Not especially durable, they worked well for a while, but then they stained after several uses, and you generally tossed them away, having no attachment to the cloth whatsoever. And let’s not forget the smell of the oilcloth – frankly, they smelled and felt like plastic because they were. Our advice to any customer who mentioned an oil cloth tablecloth was to simply say “don’t waste your money. You will be disappointed.”
But now, we have the wonderful “invention” of the acrylic-coated cotton tablecloths! These are something quite different and reside in a completely different league so much so that we and our customers smile with delight when we feel them, use them, and see the new patterns and colors introduced every season from the high end French manufacturers such as Beauvillé or Garnier-Thiebaut.
The Great Invention of the Acrylic-Coated Cotton Tablecloth
What makes the acrylic-coated COTTON tablecloth so unique? Why are they different? These French-coated cotton tablecloths have all the elegance and beauty of the traditional cotton tablecloths; however, they have a light, matte acrylic coating that is not shiny, which is applied to the cotton or jacquard cotton, allowing them to be wiped clean with only a damp cloth. Not plastic at all, these are pure cotton or jacquard tablecloths with a stain-resistant acrylic coating on one side, designed for frequent use. The matte acrylic coating is impermeable and will last a long time with proper use and care. To add to their appearance, these tablecloths have a soft drape with none of the stiffness of traditional oilcloth or vinyl. Customers use them everywhere, from formal dining rooms to buffet tables, to busy kitchens or homes with children, and on outdoor patios.
Even our restaurants and cafés purchase them for use in their establishments due to their appearance and ease of care.
Coated tablecloths have become the 2nd largest choice for fine tablecloths due to their versatility and quality. After witnessing the popularity of the coated tablecloths, all the French manufacturers are now making coated cotton placemats and coated cotton aprons for kitchen and daily use, as well as in their more elegant and formal patterns.
Acrylic-Coated Cotton versus Teflon or Green Sweet Treatments
One question that customers frequently ask us here at Au Bon Goût Boutique is “what is the difference between a Teflon-coated tablecloth and a cotton-coated tablecloth?”
Simply put, the Teflon or, in Garnier-Thiebaut’s case, the eco-friendly “Green Sweet” treatment protects your linens against spills without altering the look and feel of linens. So you can enjoy both the look and soft feel of cotton linens without worrying about stains. So, in a nutshell, the main difference between these two treatments is how they feel. Teflon or Green Sweet has the soft feel of cotton, while the “coated cotton” is a little stiffer due to the acrylic coating. In general, many customers prefer coated cotton for everyday or outdoor use, which can easily be wiped clean. They opt for Green Sweet or a Teflon coating for special occasions or in the dining room.
Care for the two is slightly different as well. While the coated cotton cloth can be machine washed in very special circumstances with low temps for water, (generally it is not recommended), no bleach is ever recommended. They will also require a bit of pressing or steaming on the reverse side to make them entirely smooth again. Usually, just a damp cloth or even a little dish detergent applied to the stain will remove it successfully. Teflon or green sweet treated tablecloths can be machine washed more frequently, keeping in mind multiple machine washes will break down the spill/stain resistance a bit.