Mats have been used throughout human history in every phase of food preparation, from growing, gathering, sieving, storage, preparation, cooking, serving, and cleanup.
There are specialized mats for each phase; very few if any are interchangeable.
Types of mats used for food
Baking mats are non-stick floppy sheets that you put on top of a baking tray before baking. They prevent the food item being baked from sticking to the pan.
A pastry cloth is a cloth on which you roll out dough for pastry. Its purpose is to minimize sticking, and allow you to therefore roll the dough thinner.
A pastry cloth pad is used to hold a pastry cloth in place on a worksurface to stop it from sliding as pressure is being applied to the dough on it.
A sudare is a small, flexible mat made from strips of bamboo to help you assemble and roll up maki sushi.