Beaded placemats are placemats that rely heavily on beading to make up its decoration. There are a number of ways in which a beaded placement can be designed, ranging from simple woven or wired designs to a piece of fabric which is heavily beaded with sewn on beads. These placemats are designed to be both decorative and functional, protecting the table from damage, while adding to the ambiance at the table. Many home supply stores sell beaded placements, and many skilled crafters make their own.
The primary purpose of a placemat is to protect the table. Putting a placemat down ensures that liquids do not seep down from spilled food and scar the table. Placemats also prevent gouges from silverware, scars from hot plates, and other forms of damage to the table. Beaded placemats are especially well-suited to this purpose, since many of the materials used to make beads, like wood and glass, have excellent insulating properties.
Beaded patterns come in an array of styles and colors, from complex Navajo designs to sleek modernist patterns made with a single bead color. It is also possible to find beaded napkin rings and trivets to coordinate with beaded placemats, along with tablecloths in complementary colors to create a unified look at the kitchen table.
This style of placemat is often especially suitable for formal dinners and events. Beading adds a layer of richness, texture, and sophistication to a scene, especially when paired with coordinating items and things like flowers and table centerpieces in colors which complement or elegantly contrast with the beaded placemats. In the case of glass beads, the jewel-like colors will also reflect ambient light beautifully, adding sparkle to the table settings.
When selecting beaded placemats, it is a good idea to check on the quality of the construction of the placemats. If beading becomes unraveled, it can make an unsightly mess. Discreetly tugging at a few random beads to ensure that they are firmly attached is a good idea, as is rolling the mat up and unrolling it again to confirm that it can be safely rolled for storage. Finally, it is strongly advisable to purchase beaded placemats which are attached to a backing, so that the beads will not scratch the table. The best placemats consist of beading, a layer of felt, and a plain cotton or linen backing, which will fully protect the table from damage.