Are you using your “old” custom printed tablecloth. We get it. It is hard to feel confident that these returning Trade Shows will bring in the traffic of past events. Why spend the money on a new one if there is no return. But, perhaps you have taken it out of your dusty damp storage bin, and noticed it has many wrinkles and looks a bit dingy.

It’s time to wash it, and you are not sure what settings to use or what the best method is, to preserve the fabric. You might even have a stain that needs special care. Fear not, KatArt Visuals has broken down the washing process. The most standard tablecloth material for trade shows and events are spandex, knit polyester, and poly poplin. Here are the tips for each and overall suggestions for every tablecloth.



Spandex is the stretch material and an upscale look that’s becoming increasingly popular.

  • Hand or machine-wash in lukewarm water.
  • Do not use chlorine bleach on any fabric containing spandex. Use color-safe bleach only.
  • Rinse thoroughly.
  • Drip dry. If machine drying, use low temperature setting.
  • If ironing is required, iron rapidly and don’t leave the iron in one place too long. Use a low temperature setting on the iron.

Knit Polyester

Knit polyester is an excellent choice for custom table covers. It’s durable, takes printing well, and drapes nicely over tables.

  • Machine Wash: 160 degrees F. Use synthetic detergents.
  • Avoid Bleach or softeners – they might adversely affect the flame retardancy of the fabric or the colorfastness of the printing
  • Tumble Dry: 120 degrees F. Remove immediately.
  • Do not use excessive heat; Too long in the dryer will detract from permanent press characteristics of all polyester fabrics.
  • It should not need to be ironed if above instructions are followed. If necessary, light touch up with a hand iron at 250 degrees F. and steaming them to get out wrinkles works quite well.

Poly Poplin

Poly poplin is made from a plain weave with crosswise ribs that creates a corded surface producing a very strong fabric.

  • Washing it is easy. Simply wash it in cold water with a mild detergent.
  • Machine dry it at a low temperature. To prevent wrinkles, remove as soon as the drying cycle is complete and store as you normally would. If you have problems with wrinkles or creases, either iron on low temperature or steam the fabric to allow it to drape properly.

For all Tablecloth Fabrics

Storage and proper care are an important part to prolong lasting life. It is critical that you do not wad up the table covers and stuff them somewhere when not in use, as this will cause wrinkles that may be difficult to remove, and can damage the overall material. For best care, fold the table cover up and store in a plastic bag. Avoid placing heavy items on top, as that could lead to creases.

Steaming Out Wrinkles at Trade Shows & Events

All of our fabric backdrops and table covers are wrinkle-resistant, but a small amount of wrinkling may occur with washing and storing your product. Importantly, Bringing a lightweight portable steamer at your trade show is recommended for a smooth and optimal look.


  • Be very careful with treating stains as they can lift the printed ink out and could make the area worse.
  • Water Repellent tablecloths are best for preventing stains. If you are going to be using your tablecloth with open food products, these tablecloths are best suited for the task.
  • If you find a fabric stain remover product, take care in reading the directions for the types of fabrics it works on.
  • Test a small area to check how a solution will react to the fabric.
  • Treat the stain from the back side when possible.
  • I like the Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute site for stain removal.
  • Have a textile professional treat it.

In conclusion, by washing and taking care of your tablecloth properly, not only will you prolong its life but you will make a long lasting positive impression on you audience. If you need any additional help on your custom printed tablecloths, feel free to give KatArt Visuals a call Toll-Free at: 800.410.0553. We will be happy to assist you.

Article written by Michael Gugliotto

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