Classic cork backed placemats. UK designed

Corkbacked Place Mats

Original cork backed placemats with a hardboard centre and either melamine or hard lacquer surface. Wide range of classic, modern and stylish corkbacked tablemats to protect your dining or kitchen table. Designed in the UK by a traditional British company.

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Corkbacked range of high quality placemats

Cork backed Plymouth Pottery placemats with a hard, rigid surface which has been heat sealed for extra durability, this protects the artwork from daily wear and tear. With a wooden hardboard centre, the Plymouth cork backed placemats are thicker than usual with a generous 5mm thickness.

Designed to not only prevent scratches and scuffing of your dining table, but also “fogging”, when hot plates leave a white mark on your varnished table.

These traditional, standard UK sized cork-backed place mats such as these cats tablemats are an easy to maintain solution to stylishly protect your table and can be wiped clean after use.

Over the years various tablemat styles have come and gone, but the one constant format that has been around since the 1930’s are the traditional cork backed placemats. Perhaps the main reason for their longevity is that they look great and actually do the job of protecting your dining table from getting damaged.

Colourful designs for kitchen or dining room

The variety of tablemat designs available allows you to select the pattern that perfectly matches your occasion, from formal dinners to casual kitchen dining.

A range of colour palettes makes it easy to choose the appropriate tablemats for the location or styling of your dining or kitchen table. Including timeless countryside scenes tablemats.

The artwork we use at Plymouth Pottery is sealed into the top surface and the glazing keeps the print looking fresh until the day you decide it’s time for a new pattern.

The combination of cork backed placemats and coasters are designed to match and complement each other, but can be used separately. The layer of cork applied to the base of the UK size placemat is sourced from environmentally responsible sources and fully complies with EU and US directives on production and manufacturing.

Cork base to protect your table

The central component of the Plymouth Pottery cork backed placemats consists of processed wood, mdf, which is pulped and heated. This forms a very hard place mat measuring around 5mm in depth, the cork base is then glued and heated to the raw wooden centre.

The design on the top surface is printed onto special paper which is then soaked in a type of lacquer and heated onto the wood and cork mat.

The final result is an attractive and durable corkbacked tablemat which brings both style and protection to your dining table. The Plymouth Pottery placemats, like the stylish Sunset design, arrive safely, sealed and packed as a set of six, within an attractive gift type box with a see-through cellophane lid.

The simple technique of adding a thin layer of cork onto the base of the tablemat is the final piece in the puzzle of keeping your table scratch free. The softness of the cork means it is gentle on your furniture and also has a certain amount of grip to stop the tablemats from sliding around.

The production process

The production process is more complicated than at first glance you might think it would be. One of the issues faced with the manufacture of cork backed placemats is controlling the immense heat required to bond the various components together. Heating the wooden hardboard centre together with the hard lacquer surface and the special paper used for the artwork print needs to be applied uniformly to prevent distortion or shrinkage. A certain degree of shrinkage is calculated for and the various materials involved will shrink at the same rate when they cool down.

If the process is carried out successfully then any stretching of the materials will only result in a slight concave warping effect. This means the centre of the tablemat will rise slightly, but importantly will not swivel or spin on the dining-table. The objective is to prevent the placemat from lifting at the edges as that will cause the mat to spin due to the centre being the only area in contact with the surface of your table.

The rigid hardboard wood centre used in the construction of cork backed placemats prevents heat from penetrating through the placemat and onto the table. The glazed hard top surface stops any moisture from being absorbed into the mats and this keeps moisture away from your tabletop.

The cork backing is applied at the last stage of the production process to the underneath of the placemat. The soft cork is evenly laid right to the edge of each mat and this protection is the key to stopping any scratches from damaging your furniture. After moisture from glasses, the main cause of tabletop damage is the effect caused by excess heat causing the varnish of the polished surface to turn white. To protect from the rings left by glasses the best method is to deploy cork backed drinks coasters around the house, particularly wherever someone is likely to leave a glass or cup.

The cork is the final barrier to prevent heat from destroying anything. An alternative material to cork is to have a felt backing, although both materials are equally effective at protecting your tabletop, but at Plymouth Pottery we find that cork tends to be slightly more hardwearing over time.