Acrylic Coated (not Oilcloth) Tablecloths from Provence
In the late 19th century (1874 to be exact), a Frenchman named Eugène Maréchal invented a process for making cotton and linen fabrics waterproof by repeatedly soaking them in linseed oil and then drying them. The resulting fabrics (called toile cirée in French, "oilcloth" in English) were very popular on kitchen tables because they were bright and colorful and cheerful and - most importantly - resistant to spills and stains and "wipeable" (easy to wipe clean).
Oilcloth tablecloths virtually disappeared during World War II due to shortages and rationing of linseed oil. But in the late 1950s - as part of the "plastics revolution" - the original (real) oilcloth tablecloths were reincarnated as vinyl (aka polyvinyl chloride or PVC) tablecloths. As a result, at this point the term "oilcloth" has become synonymous with "vinyl," and if you look for an "oilcloth tablecloth" today what you will find are vinyl tablecloths. Vinyl tablecloths have an unnatural plasticky or rubbery feel and, because they are made of PVC, are associated with certain health and environmental risks.
Acrylic coated tablecloths are a more healthy and environmentally friendly alternative to oilcloth (vinyl) tablecloths. Acrylic coated tablecloths are made of 100% cotton with a non-toxic acrylic coating on their surface that makes them highly resistant to stains and easily wipeable, but gives them a much more natural look and feel than vinyl tablecloths. Our coated cotton tablecloths are incredibly practical for everyday use. You should never have to put them in the washing machine - just wipe them clean with a damp cloth. They come in a wide variety of bright, beautiful designs and are perfect for kitchen tables. They're also great for outdoor tables on decks, patios and balconies (the acrylic coating makes them UV-resistant).
Note: Our printed tablecloths come in both coated and uncoated cotton. To purchase the coated model of one of these tablecloths, click on one of the product images below and then select "Coated Cotton" in the Material pull-down menu on the product detail page.