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A 400-year story of the traditional blue tablecloth

In the 17 and 18th centuries Tbilisi, Tatris Moedani traders sold imported satin and brocade from the Far East, along with white flax and cotton fabrics. The main buyers of these products were the Lalikhana (dyers) shop owners, and they became the very same materials used by Lalikhana dyers to produce the infamous blue tablecloths that would become a feature of every table in a Tbilisi home — and eventually the homes of all Georgians.

The art of textile woodblock printing was well-known at that time in both Asia and Europe. Unlike other countries in those regions, Georgians specifically selected the colour blue and the enriched woodblock printed textile adorned with national ornaments. In addition to its inherent beauty, the colour was also chosen to disguise stains caused by the spills of dark Georgian red wines.

After 400 years, the familiar sight of the same gorgeous blue tablecloth lovingly covers tables of all shapes and sizes, and is the first glimpse of the warm Georgian hospitality that exists to this day.