Cloth Fitting & Care
If you are replacing your pool or snooker table cloth then please only use a reputable fitter. A professional fitter will know firstly, which direction the cloth should lie and secondly, the fact that pulling the cloth too much stretches the weave unevenly and this will affect play as well as the life of the cloth! Please contact us for reputable cloth fitters in your area.
The bedcloth should be fitted tightly to the end of the table. If the cloth can be picked up easily then it is too slack causing loss of speed, premature wear and possible damage to the cloth.
It is important to fit the cloth with even tension over the bed to prevent uneven wear and consequently deviation of the ball.
The cushion cloth should be fitted tightly, but with even tension over the cushion rubber.
Too tight and the nose of the cushion rubber will be pulled down. Too uneven and puckering will occur underneath the cushion where the cloth meets the bed.
The cushions should be bolted tightly and evenly to the table to ensure the bedcloth stays tense and the correct ball response is achieved from the rubbers.
Fitting the cloth properly on both the bed and cushions is essential to ensure optimum playing conditions and longer term wear performance.
Cloth Care and Maintenance
Regular brushing is essential and is a mjor factor in maintaining a good table performance and appearance as well as making the cloth last significantly longer. Brushing removes dust/chalk particles in the cloth and re-establishes the nap direction.
Always brush in straight lines in the direction of the nap (from baulk line to spot), never against or across, otherwise the direction of the nap will be lost and the wool fibres will eventually bunch together, an effect known as pilling. It is particularly important not to brush too heavy or use a brush with stiff bristles as this may damage the fibres.
Occasionally dry ironing in the direction of the nap only after brushing is desirable as it makes the cloth play faster. How often it is done depends on the table usage and temperature within the room but should be done more frequently in humid conditions.
Ironing should only be done after first making sure that the cloth is clean and has been well brushed so that the fibres are laid in the direction of the nap. Otherwise any marks that are not removed during brushing will be set in when the cloth is ironed.
The iron must be clean and should be tested for heat on a sheet of newspaper. If there is the slightest scorch on the paper, allow the iron to cool before use. Never iron the cushions. Regular brushing is all that is required.
Colour fading will occur as the cloth ages due to ultra violet light. Therefore it is advisable to avoid sitting near natural daylight, especially direct sunlight. Ideally use a table cover to protect the cloth when not in use and help preserve the brightness of the cloth colour. Hainsworth cloths have a special anti fade dye which has proven to keep it’s colour longer than other cloths on the market.
White marks appearing on the cloth
Wool is a natural fibre that has unique characteristics, one being ‘fibrillation’, caused by the breakdown of the outer protective scales, exposing the inner fibre structure called the fibrils, which reflect white light, causing the white marks.
This is basically an optical illusion and if you dampen the white marks they temporarily turn back to their original colour. Chalk dust exaggerates these white marks so brushing and damp blocking will remove most of them.
Fibrillation should not be attributed to a fault in the cloth.
Over a period of time the wool fibres become more damaged in areas of heavy ball contact and will show white marks. This is all part of the natural wear and tear process and has no significant effect on playing performance.
Common signs of fibrillation are:
- White tracking marks appearing under cushion rails and pocket openings. These are caused by spinning balls crushing the wool fibres between the cushion and the slate, especially when the cushion angle forces the ball hard against the slate.
- White spots found mainly in the racking area and ‘D’ end. These are a result of balls being regularly dropped on the table and bruising the wool fibres.
Cue Marks and Table Discipline
These are small spots which appear when the players cue tip literally ‘shaves off’ the nap surface after striking the cue ball below mid centre, often to achieve a back spin shot. Further still, a careless player could actually rip the cloth with their cue tip when making this kind of shot.
These marks are most noticeable on a new cloth but gradually become less prominent as the cloth wears. Always check your cue tips as this type of damage appears more frequently if the cue tips have become damaged or are badly fitted, also if the the edges of the ferrule are rough or sharp.
Encouraging and enforcing proper discipline amongst table users will also considerably extend the performance of the cloth and help maintain its appearance.
Keep your eyes on the table:
In particular, players should NOT…
- Spin coins, drop balls or put any heavy object on the table.
- Use cues with sharp edges on ferrules.
- Smoke or drink over the table.
- Chalk cues over the table, as dust builds up and acts as an abrasive.