Napery (from Old French naperie) is linen used for household purposes, such as table linen. Historically it was the office in a medieval household responsible for the washing and storage of these items. It was headed by a naperer. This office worked closely together with the offices of the laundry (washing and storage of clothing) and the ewery (water and the vessels for drinking or washing of the person), and the three could be concurrent in smaller households.
A tablecloth is a cloth used to cover a table. Some are mainly ornamental coverings, which may also help protect the table from scratches and stains. Other tablecloths are designed to be spread on a dining table before laying out tableware and food.