I need help to find knitting (?) design of cover on the table (like used on the beginning of XIX century in England or The US)

Last week I was in the business trip - to the branch of my Museum (outside Cracow where I usually work) in the Castle of Pieskowa Skala (in English means - "castle on rock of little dog"). This Castle is very old (in Renaissance style) and it is in Ojcow National Park with Jurassic rocks - 20 miles on the north-west from City. In June was opened new exhibition of English paintings from XVIII and XIX century (mainly portraits from Wawel Collection, 20-25 pictures). Apart from, in three rooms are a few old furnitures and two square tables (actually without coverings, table-cloths).
Please help me to find (advise) some original historic patterns for square table (it is question for guys from England, but I am not quite sure). I don`t know anything about technique - knitting, by crochet, embroidered [design(s) from original objects from XVIII or XIX century]. Are there some books about this kind of historical table-cloths!?!?

thanks from your suggestions (ideas), forgive me for mistakes in English (I write it without dictionary)!!!

jerzy pl (from very sunny, Old Cracow)

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QueerJoe's picture

Your pictures are stunning. Would you want to use some kind of knitted lace table runner like this:


[img_assist|nid=5917|title=Ichida Lace 2|desc=A lace table runner design attributed to Herbert Niebling, but re-published by a man name Ichida.|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=153]

TomH's picture

What a beautiful work of lace, Joe. Where did you find the pattern?

QueerJoe's picture

The pattern is from a book of Herbert Niebling inspired designs by a man named Naoko Ichida. The books are available through Lacis at this site:


You'll probably want to do a text "Find" on the page, since their site sucks for navigation.

I belong to an organisation in England called 'The National Trust' which restores and cares for historic houses and their contents. I have visited a great many of these houses and I do not remember seeing a covering on any of the tables. They have beautifully embroidered wall hangings, curtains, bed hangings but no tablecloths. All the wooden furniture is simply highly polished and left to speak for itself. I think tablecloths became popular in the Victorian era, when just about everything was covered up in case the sight of table legs or piano legs inflamed some young man's senses. I kid you not - I well remember my great grandmother's house. It is better to leave a fine piece of wooden furniture to stand alone.

Kerry's picture

For a beautiful embroidered table cloth/rug called Acanthus, look at a book called Victorian Needlepoint by Beth Russell.


RickeScott's picture

I seem to recall seeing in paintings from the period, oriental carpets draped on tables, I think mostly as a display of wealth, but for display it might work.

JohnK's picture

I'm with knitmaniac.
Mostly tables were left uncovered until the Victorian era in England and the US. I think on ocassion a game table may have been covered with a cloth sewn from available fabric -and in the most wealthy households these may have been embroidered.

I'd try looking at paintings from the period.

MMario's picture

In the US I find references to embroidered tablecloths, but they seem to be mostly from the Victorian era; Crocheted tablecloths definately not until the 1840's or later.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation