Alexis HullAlexis Hull
18:15 28 Nov 23
Coast Linen Services is fantastic! Customer service is friendly and helpful and the... delivery staff is great! Highly recommend. - Stage House Tavern Scotch Plainsread more
22:39 16 Nov 23
From Basking Ridge Country Club. Good Service. Great attentiveness. Great drivers. Good... more
christopher cerretochristopher cerreto
20:25 13 Nov 23
Tommy's Tavern and Tap Edison uses Coast Laundry services and they do a great job for us.... Always deliver on time and adjust our pars based on our volume. I would recommend them for more
Matt BeyerMatt Beyer
18:58 13 Nov 23
Amazing service as always. I’m a General Manager of a Tio Taco & Tequila Bar and I cannot... explain what a comfort it is to have a reliable Linen company taking care of our business. Gabriel is THE BEST driver and we’re always well taken care of!!read more
Christian MercadoChristian Mercado
19:49 16 Oct 23
Coast Linen Services is an awesome company and it makes sense because of there 5 star... customer service. I’ve been managing Esquína Latina for 3 years now and I’ve never had an issue. The driver Gabrielle as well is phenomenal, he will go above and beyond to ensure your order is correct. If your missing anything he will make sure you get it the next day. The restaurant has used them since they’ve been open (8 years) and will continue because loyalty is key and their entire company from top to bottom starting with Bobby who regularly checks in with me, are as loyal as they come .read more
Alexandra BongioviAlexandra Bongiovi
21:38 29 Sep 23
I've been a loyal customer of this linen company for some time now, and I can't say... enough about their excellent service. Tony, one of their top professionals, has consistently gone above and beyond to meet our needs. We have multiple accounts with them, and I can confidently say that we've never encountered any issues. If you're in search of a reliable linen supplier, look no further. This company truly delivers outstanding more
19:45 29 Sep 23
As an employee of Sol Mar Restaurant, I couldn't be happier with our partnership with... Coast Linen. Their top-notch linens and Tony exceptional service have been a game-changer for our events. Luis's responsiveness and expertise make all the difference when we're in a pinch. Highly recommended!read more
Mike RodriguezMike Rodriguez
14:47 27 Sep 23
I've done business with these guys for 8 years at all my restaurants. Service is second... to none! Tony has been outstanding. At my newest restaurant I tried out a competitor of theirs, but shortly after opening I realized how inferior their service was compared to Coast. Only few months I reached out to Tony to make the switch. I recommend Coast Linen Svc. for all your linen needs and more.-Michaelread more
Jesus PerezJesus Perez
02:38 21 Sep 23
I have been doing business with Coast Linen at Spain Inn Restaurant (Piscataway, NJ) and... at Manolo Tapas (NYC) for almost 15 years and their service is incomparable. From their sales representatives (Bobby and Martin), office staff and delivery team. I could not ask for a more attentive, professional and personalized service. They carry an extensive product list and go out of their way to always have everything in stock. It makes our job so much easier knowing that they are always more

The History of Restaurant Linen

history of tablecloths and history of napkins

Whether you are a restaurant diner who has a discerning taste for fancy tablecloths and napkins, or you dine without noticing anything on your table other than the food, you probably haven’t thought much about the history of napkins or the history of tablecloths.

It’s actually pretty interesting!

History of Tablecloths

history of tablecloths

The earliest accounts of tablecloths in history were attributed to a poet named Martial in 103 AD, and they were believed to have been used to sop up spills and keep the tables generally clean.

In the Medieval Ages, when people were all about looking as wealthy as possible, the simple tablecloths of earlier periods were replaced by ornately designed ones to match the ornateness of the furniture they were covering. During this period, when everything is a status symbol, the preferred tablecloths of the wealthy were white as this was supposedly an indication that a homeowner could afford a ton of servants to keep their white linens white.

The Victorian era has a longstanding myth to correct with tablecloths. While popular opinion attributes the creation and popular use of tablecloths to Victorian prudishness – that the uptight people of the era used tablecloths to cover the ‘bare’ legs of their tables because they were scandalous – this has been refuted by many historians. Just like in earlier times, Victorian tablecloths were used to provide a layer of protection for expensive furniture.

Interestingly, the industrial boom of the Victorian era greatly influenced the use and production of tablecloths as well as other table linens. The American cotton industry and garment manufacturing as well as the birth of the synthetic dyes revolutionized the appearance of tablecloths.  

As the decades progressed, the styles and makes of the modern tablecloth changed as well. From the Art Noveau style of the early 1900s during the height of the World Exposition Fairs to the creation of synthetic fibers to augment the originally 100% cotton ones, the humble tablecloth has come a long way to where it is today but its main purpose remains the same: to keep dining tables clean while giving their appearance an upgrade.

History of Napkins

history of napkins

The history of napkins overlaps much with that of tablecloths. In certain periods of history, especially during the time of the ancient Roman Empire, many diners used fabrics slightly smaller than the tablecloth – aptly called ‘mappae’ to mean ‘kin’ to the tablecloth – as a means of cleaning themselves up during and after meals.

But the earliest records of napkins are attributed to the Spartans, who used pieces of dough called an apogmadalie to wipe off food from their hands and faces. This eventually led to the use of sliced bread as a way to clean off diners’ hands and faces during meal times.

Napkin use disappeared after the fall of the Roman Empire and people used whatever was available to clean up their dining mess.

Between the 15th and 16th centuries, the elite brought back napkins and used them as a status symbol. Napkins came in different sizes, had different names and different purposes, and had become part of dining rituals.

In the 17th century, forks became a staple at almost every dining setup. This meant that people ate less sloppily, which drastically reduced napkin size. While the ancient napkins were about the size of the tablecloths, the standard napkin after the popular use of the fork was brought down to about 35 x 45 inches.

19th century aristocracies in Italy and France introduced more elitist etiquette rules on napkin use and more elaborate ways of displaying their napkins.

Over the years that followed, the table napkin established itself as an indispensable part of a formal table setup. Proper table manners always include proper use of napkins before, during, and after meals. Certain rules have come and gone and the popular use of napkins in restaurants and homes has fluctuated but one thing has remained consistent: the table napkin is part of our dining history.

Table Linens Have Always Communicated Class

table linens have always communicated class

If there is one unmistakable lesson that the history of tablecloths and the history of napkins can teach every restaurant manager and owner, it has to be that restaurant tablecloths and napkins are a symbol of classy and elegant dining.

For clean, durable, and presentable table linens for your restaurant, get linen services from Coast Linen! We have a wide range of items to choose from, all in a quality that you know your diners will definitely appreciate. To learn more about our restaurant table linens or our other restaurant services, contact us today at 732-775-2000 or fill out our online contact form!

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