I’ve just been looking at HGTV’s ideas for sewing a table runner, thinking of seting a special table for all those holiday dinner guests.

If you’re going to do the festive holiday table runner, why not make it much more than just a simple strip of cloth down the middle of the table?

Especially with an opulent fabric like a tapestry or brocade, pointed ends that are weighted with thick silky tassels add flare to a classic, and classy, dining room decor!

What about food spills?

Here’s the best tip for laundering your fancy table linen that I’ve come across in some time, courtesy of Mary Wilkins:

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Machine washing can turn your tassels into a tangled mess. Instead of sewing them to the runner, sew a small shirt button on the wrong side near the point. Slip the loop of the tassel over the button and no one will be the wiser. Next time it goes in the washing machine, slip the tassels off and wash as usual. Your tassels will be just like new when you put them back on.

I’m reminded of the button-on collars that were standard wear for men in earlier times, and of the fancy beaded pieces that Victorian and Edwardian ladies fastened on to perk up a plain dress.

This handy tip could apply to any delicate trim or embellishment on an item that’s otherwise machine-washable — not only table linens and bedding, but everything else from blouses to handbags.

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