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  • Cork backed placemats and Pimpernel placemats

    Traditional style tablemats

    Complete range of traditional cork backed placemats from the leading place mat brands including Pimpernel, Plymouth Pottery and Jason. These cork backed tablemats have a hardboard centre and the heat-treated surface is either a melamine or hard lacquer. The base of the place mats has a soft cork backing which will protect your dining table. The cork backed range includes a vast array of different designs to cater for every dining room or kitchen. Choose from a range which includes floral themes, animal designs, slate tablemats or contemporary modern placemats patterns.

    Melamine Placemats

    Durable, made in the UK

    British made melamine placemats have a very high heat resistance of greater than 140C and are suitable for restaurant or catering environments where a harder wearing surface is needed. Also ideal for domestic settings where these melamine tablemats will last for many years. Usually the base is cork backed, but some mats are available with a soft felt backing. A wide range of melamine placemat designs including the William Morris Daffodil tablemats are available from Castle Melamine and a traditional single colour range from Plymouth Pottery, the Pro range which is designed for the catering industry.

    Traditional cork backed Pimpernel placemats

    Pimpernel, from Stoke on Trent, has been making cork backed placemats and coasters for over 80 years and is a brand leader in both placemat design and product quality. Pimpernel placemats are heat, stain and scuff resistant and are a perfect choice for everyday use. They are also ideal for adding a touch of style to a formal dinner party. Pimpernel have a wide range of designs to select from, both traditional floral and landscape themes to contemporary modern placemats. From the regular, standard size tablemats as sets of six, to the larger Continental size mats packed as sets of four, with cork backed coasters in sets of six, all with a selection of patterns from classic to funky placemats designs.

    Cork backed placemats with animal designs

    Animal themes are a popular feature of placemat design and we carry a wide range of animal designs from Plymouth Pottery, Lady Clare, Jason and Pimpernel, including the Wrendale tablemats range. The bestselling Plymouth Pottery Hungry Cats tablemats are also available to order as a cork backed placemat, along with matching cork backed coasters. Many bird placemats also appear frequently in the range, such as the Lady Clare Gould Ducks design. Animal placemats are typically found as part of the melamine or hard lacquer tablemats produced by the leading manufacturers.

    Large size Jason and Pimpernel placemats

    Continental style large placemats, cork backed table mats from Pimpernel and Jason. These tablemats measure around the 40 x 30 cm size and are usually packed as sets of four. This is the size found in dining rooms in Europe and the USA. The large placemats designs are generally also available in the regular UK size of cork backed tablemats by either Jason or Pimpernel. The large size can also be used as table centres. A typical example of these large mats is the popular Pimpernel Dans le Jardin set of four tablemats.

    Heat resistant placemats

    Protecting your dining table from damage caused by hot dinner plates is the principal reason for buying heat resistant placemats, UK sized versions are available in various designs and colours. Typically heat proof cork placemats available on our site will manage temperatures from 100°C to 140°C, depending on if the top surface of the mat is a standard lacquer or made of the stronger melamine. This protects against most scenarios, although it is generally not advisable to place pans taken directly from the oven as these will likely be initially over 200°C. The cork or felt backed base prevents any damage from scuffing or scratches.

    William Morris UK size place mats

    UK sized place mats

    Not every country uses the same size place mats. For traditional or cultural reasons, the UK and other English speaking countries such as Australia and New Zealand have always favoured the 30cm x 23cm size classic placemats and coasters. These are more often than not accompanied by square drinks coasters with the idea being that the placemat nicely holds only the dinner plate, with the wine or water glass being placed separately on the coaster and cutlery laid directly on the tablecloth or tabletop. The tradition of cutlery kept separate from place mats has its roots in the formal dining rooms of an earlier era when the number of knives and forks for each dinner service would often be three of each. The practicalities of maintaining that amount of cutlery on a single placemat, in addition to a large dinner plate were too great. The logical compromise was to just focus on preventing the hot plates from damaging the dining table and at the same time comfortably spread out the various utensils alongside the main place setting. This is the primary reason why UK place mats are the size they are.

    The future trend of place mats

    The place mats traditionally used in Europe and the USA are considerably larger than the UK at around 40cm x 30cm and may become the size of place mats in the future. This extra size allows for the, usually single fork and knife, to be placed alongside the dinner plate and also leaves enough space for the diner’s glass to be included on the tablemat. To many people putting all the utensils on one place mat will sound like a very cramped situation, something that will not allow enough space to be comfortable and which is bound to lead to glasses etc being knocked over. However using this large size of place mats is becoming a trend, suggesting that the kitchens and dining rooms around the UK are seeing fewer courses at mealtimes.