How can I tell the thickness of clear plastic?

by Paula

I want a very thick clear table cover to go over a linen cloth that my Dad embroidered in the early 60's. I never use it for fear of staining it. But when I look up clear cloths, I can't tell if they're thick enough.

  13 answers
  • At my local JoAnn Craft store, they sell this kind of vinyl/ plastic covering on the floor. It comes in several different gauges and you can feel them. I bet they sell it at other fabric shops, too, if you don't have a JoAnn's near you. You can also look online since they show the weights...or maybe you could call a JoAnn's store and ask about it. Hope that helps.

  • Deb K Deb K on Jan 04, 2020

    Hi Paula, Clear vinyl is a durable material that comes in many thicknesses. With clear vinyl, the higher the gauge, the thicker it is. 60 gauge is thick at 0.06 inches and 4 gauge is only 0.004 inches. You'll also see vinyl thickness referred to in mms. This is similar to but NOT the same as the gauge measurement, mm's are just the metric version, and the higher the mm the thicker is it.

  • Gk Gk on Jan 04, 2020

    You could also check out some clear vinyl shower curtain liners. Some are clear and fairly thick and some are clear and thinner. You can at least feel the difference because normally the packages are only sealed with a plastic snap or there is a hanging display. Make sure you are looking at the CLEAR ones--some are not clear. Depending on the size you need you may be able to cut to fit.

    • Paula Paula on Jan 07, 2020

      Thank for answering my question, it's appreciated.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Jan 04, 2020

    Visit a Joann'e fabric store and you can the get the feel of the thickness of their clear vinyl, be sure to take your tablecloth measurements with you. They quite often run sales if you are a subscriber to their email.

    • Paula Paula on Jan 07, 2020

      Thank you for your help. I indeed went to Joann's and bought a sheet of plastic. I haven't put it to the test yet, but I think it'll work!!!

  • Mogie Mogie on Jan 04, 2020

    Go to and check out their shower curtains and shower curtain liners.

  • Emily Emily on Jan 05, 2020

    I would not recommend doing this. You never see a tablecloth in a decorating magazine with plastic over it. I have a large collection of tablecloths, some embroidered and some just exquisite linen lace. Pictured here is a tablecloth we used for an anniversary party where there were about 60 guests. We had two tables with beautiful cloths on them. It is not a problem to get a thick piece of plastic. It is a problem to use it. If you are so concerned, fold the cloth carefully and hang it somewhere out of harms way so it can be seen but not touched. I always use a tablecloth on my table and while we usually don't have little kids around, I would still use one if there were. Here is a tablecloth for thanksgiving for 13 people inc. 3 children. White lace.

    • Paula Paula on Jan 06, 2020

      Thank you so much for reply to my question. Your tablecloths are lovely.

  • Fiddledd224 Fiddledd224 on Jan 05, 2020

    Take this embroidered piece to a fabric store and place all of the samples over it to find the best thickness. Once it's cut to order you will have problems returning it. You also want to test for color...some plastics are not really clear.

  • Cindy Cindy on Jan 06, 2020

    Hi Paula. I recommend taking your Dad's tablecloth with you to a local fabric store. They will be able to explain everything to you as far as using, and not using, a vinyl covering. Also, Paula, be careful putting a vinyl covering on your tablecloth if it gets a lot of sunlight. Sun can damage a tablecloth too.

    • Paula Paula on Jan 07, 2020

      Thank you for your answer to my question and your good advice. I did go to Joann's.

  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Jan 06, 2020

    You can purchase these plastic sheets from stores like Joann's where you can actually feel the thickness before you purchase it.

  • Paula Paula on Jan 07, 2020

    Thank you for your kind reply and I indeed bought a plastic sheet at Joann's but haven't had time to put it on the table yet... Thanks again.

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Dec 17, 2020

    Get something that’s heavy viral or go to Home Depot they sell vinyl by the yard and use that it’s realy thick and clear

  • Go to your local craft store or Walmart. They sell clear plastic on a roll.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Oct 21, 2023

    Why not use a clear plexiglass over it when in use.