Table padding, or a silence cloth, should first be placed on the table, then the table-cloth should be laid straight and smooth.
Napkins should be folded simply and laid at the left of the plate. A dinner napkin is folded four times, a luncheon napkin is folded twice to form a square, or three times to form either a triangle or an oblong.
If desired, the table-cloth may be omitted for breakfast or luncheon. Doilies with pads underneath them, lunch or breakfast cloths, or table runners may be used instead of the table-cloth. The two latter coverings are especially practical, since they are more quickly laundered than table-cloths. Their initial cost is also usually less than that of a table-cloth.
Doilies may be placed on the serving tray. They are also often used on plates containing crackers, bread, and cakes. Baked potatoes, corn, and hot breads may be served in a folded napkin.