Know your placemat
Roula Khalaf, Editor of the FT, selects her favourite stories in this weekly newsletter.
The art of tablescaping lies in carefully considered layers of decor, and the first port of call is the once-humble placemat: they set the tone and create texture, colour and personality. For something crisp, white and classic, look to Gohar World’s crochet-trimmed mats, handmade by a women’s cooperative in Cairo. Launched this year by artist Laila Gohar and her sister Nadia, the label’s philosophy is to give as much attention “to dressing the table as to oneself”. Meanwhile, Amy Burstyn Fritz and Sarah Pecaut, sisters and co-founders of dinnerware brand Misette, add accents of colour to their artful designs with pretty, wavy borders.
Bolder still, Balu London’s gloss-finished offerings feature fun geometric motifs in summer hues, while The Campbell Collection’s block-printed, quilted placemats in rich green or salmon are inspired by the architecture of Jaipur’s distinctly pink old city. Folkloore and Cabana playfully frame dishes with sun-like shapes and wicker spirals in an assortment of shades, while The Colombia Collective’s curvy mats capture colours of the Caribbean Coast with hand-dyed Iraca palm woven by Usiacurí artisans.
In the mood for florals? Try Coco & Wolf’s frilly, reversible placemats made with Liberty fabric with a maximalist edge, or Plümo’s delicate mimosa-wreathed organic jute mats. For a tête-à-tête, opt for Œuvres Sensibles’ minimalist double placemats designed by artist Sarah Espeute, who collects antique linen and cotton sheets from across France and hand-embroiders them “to recall scenes of shared meals”.