Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Photographing Vintage Tablecloths For Your Online Antique Store Or Selling Venue

Ideas For Selling Vintage Tablecloths 

Tablecloths Ready For Photographing  

Be excited are you when you see a vintage tablecloth advertised for sale online and it looks like a crumpled mess ? Let's be real ..who wants to buy a tablecloth that looks like you used it as a security blanket?

I can't believe I'm giving advice on this topic...because I'm not one to fuss over linens.  In my shop, I rarely wash or press most of the vintage tablecloths I sell. (I buy them in tip top shape LOL).

The Little Round TableBut I do worry about how a photograph looks to a prospective buyer. And when I am showing linens online or writing an article, I do pay attention to wrinkles and creases and just how pleasing and exciting the vintage tablecloth looks. Once in awhile you just have to pick up an iron!

Say Good Bye To Wrinkled Vintage Tablecloths

I get queasy when I see the way some sellers present their linens for sale on their websites.
Photographing linens is not that easy, so I can sympathize with many sellers. I struggled with this topic when I was adding a few tablecloth images in my books. The images looked decent on the thumbnails I reviewed for  my book, but not as fab when the book pages were done. It is not easy.

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Display Vintage Tablecloths    

Should I keep the tablecloths open and flat? Should I fold them in a square or rectangle?  How about on a table? Should I hang them on a clothes line  or ladder rungs? There is no one right answer.  The   important advise is to photograph your vintage tablecloths so that they will invite buyers.  Here are  some tips about photographing tablecloths and linens when you are featuring them on a website, blog or online selling site. Readers please feel free to add your suggestions and experiences.

 How To Photograph Vintage Tablecloths

1. Be sure you have good light.
2. Keep your background simple.
3. Fold your cloth the same way in each photograph. Keep your images consistent.
Just for fun.4. Avoid showing wrinkled, creased tablecloths.
5. Try shooting from a ladder with the cloth laying open flat on the ground  on a white surface.
6. Photograph close up.
7. Outdoor photos are OK, but watch what else is in picture.
8. Add a close up of a particular pattern if you like.
9. If you hate ironing, at least fold the tablecloth nicely and smooth out wrinkles and creases.
10. A nice close image of a piece of the cloth is better  than a distant shot of the whole cloth.

Tablecloth collage from

Pink and Lime green tablecloth from

Red and black tablecloth from

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of I Antique Online an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro café. To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at Visit my website, Dianne is a member of: The American Society of Journalists and Authors The Society of Professional Journalists


  1. Thanks, Dianne! I've been trying to figure out how to photograph my beautiful vintage linens for my blog - didn't have a clue. You solved that problem for me. Keep sharing all of that knowledge that's stored inside you - there's a wealth of it.


  2. Great article, Dianne! I particularly like the bird's eye angle with the cup and saucer...eye-catching. Thanks for tackling a tough subject for me - you made it look easy!

  3. Thanks Diane, I better get busy ironing!