A very fine felted fabric, always used for covering pool and card tables; it’s also good for pin boards, and for fixing under table mats or the undersides of leather, stone, pottery, and glass–e.g. bowls, candle stands, pots and lamp bases, to stop them slipping on or marking the polished surfaces beneath.

I have squares that slip between plates–not the everyday ones but any that are used for occasions that need care due to size, shape or materials. I feel this signals to anyone helping me to lay the table (as I’m always running late!) that if I have made an effort to protect the crockery, it might be vulnerable and easy to chip.

In historic houses, baize was used to upholster the backs of any reception doors that led to attic or housekeeping areas. This was for two reasons: firstly, baize is relatively inexpensive compared to the cost of a panelled door side; and secondly, it absorbs sound, which is especially useful for kitchens doors.

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