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Runners Guide

Runners are the pieces of art that bring an encouraging amount of extravagance to any formal dinner table. They are excellent for special occasions such as Jewish holidays or even Shabbat dinner. Besides this, table runners also represent the perfect way to decorate your dining room table throughout the week.

What are Runners?

Runners complete a table’s ensemble in the same way you might choose just the right scarf to match your shirt and jacket. Runners are made to complement a table’s outfit including the tablecloth and dining accessories.

However, table runners were not always considered additions for formality and decoration. Originally, runners were aids of medieval diners who were in the habit of wiping their hands and mouths on any table covering be it a tablecloth or runner, though tablecloths were considered rich and reserved for the wealthy. Runners provided a cheaper alternative that was also great for cleaning up mead spills and barbaric drools.

How to Use

Since modern runners are pieces of decoration and attractiveness, they must be chosen carefully to properly complement your table. The width of the runner should ideally measure 1/3 that of your table while it’s length is meant to be 12 inches greater than your table’s leaving 6 inches of runner to hang off both ends. The runner is placed in the middle of the dining table over the table cloth if one is present. Be sure to also choose a runner that matches your utensils for the ultimate artistic effect.


Runners can be made of nearly any kind of cloth from fine silk or satin to common cotton. But pay close attention to what material you’re getting! The materials of a runner often add unique visual qualities that can change the overall effect of how the runner might look on your tablecloth and with your dishes. A shiny silk may not be the best complement for your tablecloth and utensils so think over your choices of runners carefully to have maximum effect of enjoyment upon your guests.

Runners as Judaica

So how have runners come to be considered fine additions to the judaica market? This has been accomplished mostly through the efforts of judaica artists who have skillfully taken their breathtaking designs of Jewish tradition and culture and applied them to table runners. Israeli artist Yair Emanuel is one excellent example of such an artist.

Yair Emanuel is well known for his unique visuals displayed on all forms of judaica and he’s done a wonderful job of including runners in his designs. Yair Emanuel’s colorful runners famously include patterns commonly using images of pomegranates and with their stunning colors, they are sure to find a way to complement any dinner table arrangement.

For More Information

For more information about the Jewish home, kitchen items or any other Judaica, feel free to contact our Judaica experts with any questions or concerns.

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