The table runner is a narrow length of cloth laid on top of tablecloths or on a bare table. Table runners are used in a variety of ways:
Laid down the center of the table for decoration,
Laid across the table to define seating, or
Used to carry out a theme. To accommodate the average place setting, the table runner is approximately 14 to 17 inches wide, and the drop at the ends is about 15 inches deep.
Table runners are easier to care for than a tablecloth and a little more decorative than a placema.