Are Placemats Out of Style

Are Placemats Out of Style?

You’ve probably used a placemat at least once in your life. So, you might be asking yourself: Are placemats out of style? I took it upon myself to research and see if this was true.

Placemats are easy to decorate your table and add a splash of color to your home decor. I’ve always considered them one of the best types of tableware for covering up a sometimes messy surface.

They have been popular, but you may wonder if they’re still fashionable today. I think the answer is no, but let’s look at both sides of the argument to see why that might be the case or not.

Well, this article will answer that and much more. First, I’ll briefly introduce what you should know about placemats. Next, the article will examine the history of placemats and some advantages of using placemats at home.

Lastly, I will give some alternatives to placemats that you might consider. So let’s look at where it all started.

When Did Placemats Become Popular?

Placemats have been around in some form for centuries but have only become popular in the last century.

In the 19th century, placemats protected dining tables from food stains and scratches. However, they weren’t used daily on every table, and the designs were simple.

Early in the 20th century, setting a formal table with matching tablecloths, napkins, and placemats was fashionable. The mats were fine linen or lace with intricate patterns stitched by hand.

In the United States, placemat production ceased during World War II, as many women worked outside the home for the first time. As a result, families covered their tables with old newspapers or magazines to protect them from food spills and scratches.

The fast-food industry was also booming during this period, which meant that restaurants needed cheap disposable placemats on a large scale to serve their customers.

Disposable paper placemats with children’s names printed on them became popular in restaurants in the 1960s and 1970s. They are still common in diners, fast-food restaurants, and cafes and bars that serve barbecued food.

Purpose of Placemats?

Placemats are pieces of fabric placed under your plates and bowls. They serve a couple of purposes.

First, it prevents spills and stains from condiments and other messy foods from getting onto the table. Secondly, it makes the table more attractive.

Placemats can be made of cotton, plastic, burlap, jute, leather, and linen. Cotton is a popular material for placemats because it is easy to clean.

Various placemats are available in the market, ranging from simple cotton ones to fancy ones made of satin.

When to Use Placemats?

You can use placemats for many different occasions, and they can really make your dinner party a success. In addition, formal occasions such as weddings and anniversaries can also be used for more informal events such as family dinners and get-togethers with friends.

It would be best always to use placemats when guests come over for dinner, no matter the occasion. It will help your table remain stain-free and clean at all times.

What are the Benefits of Having a Placemat?

There are many benefits of using a placemat. Here are a few of them.

1. Protects Your Table

The placemat is a protective barrier between your table and the food or other items you place on it. It helps prevent your table’s surface from scratching or damaging by hot plates or other objects. Additionally, it keeps food splatters and stains off the table.

2. Adds Color and Style

You can find placemats in various colors and patterns to complement any decor in your home. They are also more attractive than plastic ones and give your table a more pleasing appearance. Many people collect decorative placemats for their dining room tables to add variety.

You can easily change your placemats before each meal or when the occasion calls for it, even if you don’t collect them

3. Wipeable

It is easy to wipe the placemats clean after every meal. It is beneficial when you have children since they will make a mess as they eat. Paper placemats will often need to be replaced, so you must spend more money on them.

4. Heat Insulation

Placemats provide insulation from the heat generated by hot dishes on the table. It prevents heat damage to the table, so you should always place a placemat under plates when serving recently cooked or reheated food.

5. Versatility

You can choose various styles and colors to match any décor and design style. Placemats are available in various materials, such as cotton, linen, vinyl, or woven fibers.

Even bamboo placemats are available, a sustainable material perfect for those looking to go green at home.

How to Get the Most Out of Placemat?

Over the years, restaurants have discovered that placemats keep their tables clean and their customers entertained. You can use a placemat in your restaurant in many ways.

Here are some tips on how to make the most of your placemats.

Coordinate with Your Branding

Your placemats should be part of your branding, just as with all aspects of your restaurant, such as the decor and uniforms worn by your staff.

Consider Size and Shape

Placemats come in many shapes and sizes but generally fall into three categories: rectangular, circular, and irregular.

Most placemats are small, but some restaurants have begun using oversized placemats for table-wide promotions like a new menu or event. Larger versions can be used for more elaborate designs or encourage interaction with a game or puzzle.

Select Long-Lasting Materials

Choose long-lasting and durable materials, so you don’t have to replace your placemats too often due to staining or tearing.

Many restaurants choose laminate mats because they are waterproof, but others select fabric mats that can be washed and dried in a commercial washer and dryer.

Choose Colors Carefully

The color choices you make for your placemats should reflect the mood you want to convey. Dark colors have a more formal feel than pastels or bright colors, so choose them carefully.

Are Placemats Out of Style?

Placemats are a great way to add color and style to your table settings. They also help protect your table. It’s an excellent solution for a lovely table that doesn’t need a tablecloth when having a casual dinner. But are placemats out of style?

No, not necessarily. While placemats aren’t as common as they used to be, there are plenty of situations where a placemat can add just the right touch to your table setting. There’s nothing wrong with keeping things from the past around for sentimental reasons or special occasions.

On the other hand, some people believe placemats are out of style. If you look at any interior design magazine or the trendier restaurants in town, you’ll see that placemats have gone out of style.

They’ve been out of style for years. Several restaurants have stopped using them because they believe that their customers are smart enough not to spill things on the table without the help of a protective barrier.

There have even been reports of some hotel chains removing them from dining rooms because they think they make guests look like children who should be supervised while eating.

Some designers still think there is something special about having placemats on the table during meals or special occasions. They say it makes people feel more comfortable when sitting down.

What to Use Instead of Placemats?

There are many good reasons to use placemats. Placemats can enhance your table setting, protect your table, and add color. That doesn’t mean you need to use them.

Plenty of alternatives to placemats can accomplish the same goals, from the purely functional to the decorative.

1. Charger Plates

A charger plate will be a good choice if you want an elegant solution to prevent spills and stains (instead of just making them easier to clean up).

They’re perfect if you’re planning on doing more formal entertaining. These plates add a touch of old-fashioned charm to any meal.

2. Table Runners

Essentially, a table runner is a long placemat covering the table’s middle, like a runner on top of a dresser. It protects the table’s surface and can be used in place of regular placemats.

You can also use them with regular placemats if you want to add extra color or texture to your table setting.

3. Woven Chargers

Woven chargers are an excellent option for updating their tablescape without spending too much money.

Depending on their style, they add texture and color to the table and can be dressed up or down. Add interest to your table with this wooden plate without committing to another color.

4. Be Creative with Coasters

Using coasters is an excellent alternative to placemats. From cloth and paper doilies to cork and wood, you can find them in all shapes and sizes, allowing you to create any aesthetic you want for your table.

Also, I enjoy using coasters as place cards at family dinners and parties. You can often find a set of six coasters for around $15 at Amazon or on clearance at other stores.

5. Tablecloth

It’s not a good replacement for placemats, but tablecloths may be an option. A nice-looking tablecloth can be used the same way as placemats (it is the same concept) but with a few differences:

It is more expensive than purchasing a set of placemats. You can’t easily change the color scheme, which might be good if you have a consistent dining room (one tablecloth can work in any context).

Since tablecloths are usually very durable, they can last longer than placemats. Overall, they look better.

6. A Couple of Extra Napkins

Napkins are not just a great alternative to placemats; they can also perform many other functions. The placemat sits beneath the plate, while the napkin is beside or at the bottom of the plate.

Napkins can protect your table surface from stains and spills, but they can also be used to hold all sorts of things.

You can use them to hold cutlery, glasses, or condiments. They can also be used to hide dirty plates or used cutlery. You can even use them as coasters for mugs or hot drinks.

7. Lace Doilies

Lace doilies are an inexpensive and versatile substitute for traditional placemats. They are available in various sizes and can be used on dining room or kitchen tables. Most doilies are circular, but other shapes can also be found.

Lace doilies are delicate; if they become soiled, they should be spot-cleaned with a damp cloth. Lace doilies can be used alone or layered together for a unique appearance.

8. Using a Decorative Tray

You can use a tray to protect your table from spilled food and drinks. Additionally, it can be used to serve food and beverages and organize your belongings.

One of the great things about a decorative tray is that you can use it in formal and informal settings. Use different decor pieces on the tray according to the environment.

When using a decorative tray as a placemat, you need to keep the following things in mind.

  • A tray should be large enough to hold your plate and other items.
  • In most cases, rectangular trays look better. In contrast, if your dining table is round or oval, you can use a round-shaped tray.
  • Various styles are available on the market. You should pick the one that matches your room’s style.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

I mostly keep placemats on my table and only put them away when I am having a formal event. Why?

Because they are a nice addition to the table, especially if you do not use your “good” dishes or have a centerpiece; also, you can use them to cover up ring marks and stains on your table.

Both cloth and paper placemats are in my collection. I use paper ones if there is a chance of people spilling food on their laps (young children) or eating something that might stain their clothes.

Paper ones are more like an under-plate. In addition to protecting clothing, they keep the table’s surface clean (and dry).

I don’t know many people who use placemats. Some people do, and others have reasons other than crumbs to use them.

Some people have formal dining rooms that are only used on special occasions, and they have placemats that match their table decorations.

Some people have children, and avoiding spilling drinks or having crumbs on the table is almost impossible. Some people might protect an antique or a lovely table from normal wear and tear.

Certainly, there are other reasons, but placemats are not always necessary for most people.

The best choice for square tables is square placemats, but round placemats can easily be used for rectangular or oval tables.

Round placemats are more traditional and can be used in various design styles. Generally, square placemats have a more modern look and may be more suitable for contemporary designs.

Whatever the size or shape of your table, there is a placemat style that will fit your needs.

You can do so many things with old placemats.

You don’t have to be intimidated by sewing projects. Use placemats as the foundation for sewing other items, such as coasters and pillows. Make unique pet items like hand-sewn dog collars and cat beds.

There are countless possibilities when it comes to creating artwork from old placemats. From picture frames to wall art, you’ll never look at placemats the same way again.

Some people don’t like having a placemat on their table. According to them, the mats are hard to maintain, especially if they are not easy to clean and make the table look less attractive.

The look of a placemat on a table may even be offensive to some people.

However, some people believe that using a placemat is a good idea. A mat on their table adds some color and design, so they feel it helps make their tables look nicer. They also appreciate the ease with which they can clean up after eating.

You should try using a placemat at least once if you haven’t done so before. It may work well for you and your family, and you might even decide to use them on your dining room table and kitchen table.

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