Choose Pool Table Felt Style
This buyers guide to pool table felt covers factors such as color, speed and durability.
Take a few minutes and learn about the different pool table felt styles we offer and which may be best for you.
What's in a Name?
Many pool table owners are recovering or installing their own pool table and the selection of the type of pool table felt to use is usually the most important decision to make. The most frequent question our customers have is "which style of pool table felt to buy?"
The first thing to know is that billiard fabric is called by many different names such as pool table felt, pool table cloth, billiard felt, pool felt, billiard cloth, a green, a cover, etc. These names all refer to the same type of product much the same as whether you call your table a pool table or billiard table. The sport itself is properly called billiards but call it whatever you want.
Which Is Best?
Rather then stating X is the best we feel the choice depends on your needs. If you have an inexpensive table that gets limited or casual use then you might not want to spend a lot of money for a tournament grade fabric. If spills or stains are a concern then one of the Teflon fabrics is a good choice. If you are a pro and want to duplicate professional tournament conditions then a worsted fabric by Simonis is the way to go. Some times it comes down to a color need and your choice will be limited to the style that offers the color you want so if you want Purple your choices are limited. If you are absolutely tired of the little fuzzies on your table (called pilling) you can eliminate that problem by using one of the worsted fabrics (Simonis 860, 760, 300, ProForm or Tour Edition).
Generally speaking, the wool in the cloth is a main factor that determines durability. There is no way to predict how long any style of fabric will hold up because of the differences in the quality of installation and amount of play on the table. A table in your home does not get the amount of play as a table in a commercial pool room so any style of fabric should last much longer before it needs to be replaced in a home environment. The tightness of the fabric weave is also a factor. A looser weave will wear down faster because there is less material used in the weave. One indicator of durability is the ounce weight per yard of fabric such as 21oz, 19oz, etc. Better quality fabric will be a minimum of 19oz. The best measure to compare durability among cloths is threads per inch (TPI) however this information is not usually released by the manufacturers.
We note here that there is a difference between cloth, wear, and cloth durability. While a worsted cloth may "look" to have wear the inherent durability of the tight weave generally assures that the precision and playability of the cloth is not compromised. On the other hand, napped cloth may not look worn however it will develop ridges and tracks as it ages which affects precision and playability. Better to have a cloth that plays true longer. Proper cloth maintenance will help all cloths look better during the life of the cloth.
There is a definite difference in the roll and speed of the ball between worsted and napped woolen billiard cloths. Worsted cloth is completely smooth while woolen cloth has a noticeable "nap". The finishing process and quality/percentage of wool in the blend are the main factors that determine cloth speed. In "worsted" products such as Simonis, ProForm and Tour Edition additional manufacturing processes are used to ensure all fibers are of equal size. As a result you do not get the "pilling" or "fuzzies" and there is no nap to the fabric. The finishing process produces a smoother and more precise fabric which allows for faster ball speed and increased accuracy.
About Each Brand
This is THE premier worsted billiard cloth asked for by name and used in more professional tournaments then any other brand of cloth. Top of the line for quality, speed and accuracy. Simonis cloth is made in Belgium and the mill has been making only billiard cloth for well over 200 years. The newest addition to the Simonis cloth style family is 860HR which was designed for commercial use and enhanced durability.
A tournament quality worsted cloth with faster speed, excellent precision and durability for a few dollars more..
Makes several styles to fit a range of budgets. The Ultra, Ultra Teflon, Invitational and Invitational Teflon styles are woolen blends that are good for the casual home table without denting your wallet. The Tour Edition style is a higher priced worsted tournament grade cloth.
So What Should I Buy?
For casual play on 7' or 8' home tables we suggest Championship Invitational or ProLine 303. If you want a little more speed then Championship Ultra is a good choice. If speed and precision are the most important then go with ProForm or Simonis 860. If spills and stains are a concern try ProLine 303T, Invitational Teflon or Ultra Teflon
For more serious play on 8', 8' Oversize or 9' tables we recommend Simonis 860, Tour Edition 3030, ProForm which are all very durable, have a good selection of color choices and provide high speed and accuracy.
For 10' and 12' pool tables we recommend Simonis 760 for the faster speed and precision.
For Carom tables we suggest Simonis 300 - the ultimate in high speed cloth used in Pro Carom tourneys.
Although limited in color choices this style is the fastest billiard cloth available.
By game preference for serious players we recommend:
Straight Pool (14.1), 8 Ball and 1 Pocket - Simonis 760 or Championship Tour Edition
9 Ball - Simonis 860
On a budget but want good quality? ProLine 303 or Championship Invitational
Have little tykes playing and worried about spills and stains? ProLine 303T Teflon, Invitational Teflon or Ultra Teflon
Want better then a woolen without the high price for tournament grade cloth? ProForm
Looking for the same cloth used in the pro tournaments? Simonis 860 or 760
Want the ultimate in fast speed? Simonis 300
For non-teflon styles you can order Fabricoate from our billiard supplies page for fabric protection.
Note that the tight weave of worsted styles naturally repels spills so a teflon additive is not recommended.
Have more questions? Call us at 612-470-FELT