Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pool table felt or cloth?

The fabric that covers the pool table bed is often referred to as felt or cloth. Most people don't care which one you say, but there are those out there that are passionate about it much like a grammar snob. In the latter case, they always prefer cloth. Let's take a look at why.

Felt, in textile terms, is generally defined as fabric that is made from pressing fibers together. What this means is the fibers aren't interwoven and, with enough work, you can pick and tear individual fibers out. Also, if you try to stretch felt, such as needed when covering a pool table, it should fray and separate.

Cloth, on the other hand, is a woven fabric, meaning all of the fibers are intertwined and run from one end to the other. It is difficult to pull individual fibers apart from the weave and you can stretch cloth without tearing since you're pulling on the entire length of a fiber.

One of the more reputable brands of cloth out there is Simonis. You can certainly go cheaper, such as with Mercury Ultra, if you're not that much of an enthusiast. As far as what to call it though, cloth is technically correct. However, you'll see felt used all over the place since it's used more often, especially by people who don't know or don't care about the technical differences.

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