Types of pool table clothAll pool table cloth can be placed in one of two categories; woollen cloth and worsted cloth. These cloths are also also known as ‘English’ and ‘American’ cloth, with worsted cloth more commonly found on American pool tables.
Woollen Pool ClothWoollen pool cloth is the traditional cloth that is used in cue game sports. The fibers of this cloth are napped in a single direction. This gives the cloth a subtle velvet-like quality, the direction of the nap can be felt and seen under close inspection. The nap of the cloth means that balls will move at different speeds depending on the direction, so it’s essential to mark the top and bottom of the table correctly. The nap of the woollen adds an additional element of strategy to the game, allowing skilled players to curve balls.
Worsted Pool ClothUnlike the napped woollen cloth, this cloth is manufactured by weaving it in a worsted style. The woven structure of worsted cloth makes it a smother, finer and harder fabric. The reduced friction of this cloth allows balls to move at greater speeds and maintain momentum for longer. Worsted cloth is most commonly found on American Pool tables, although in recent years it has been gaining popularity in pubs across the UK.
Performance and durabilityWhen selecting a new pool table cloth, two of the main factors to consider are performance and durability. While real world durability is hard to measure, a heavier and thicker cloth will generally be a more durable. This comes at the cost of performance, as a thicker cloth will create more friction and cause balls to loose momentum sooner. You can estimate the kind of durability you can expect from a cloth by its gsm (grams per square meter). For example, pool and snooker tournaments often use a weight of around 390gsm, which allows balls to maintain a lot of momentum, but requires greater maintenance and more frequent replacement. Pool tables in pubs and bars are more likely to use pool cloth with a weight of around 440gsm. This will won’t offer tournament-level performance, but will last for longer with heavy daily use.
Pool table size
Before buying cloth for your pool table, it’s important to know the size of the cloth you need. American pool tables differ in size and how the cloth is measured. An English table that is sized at 9 feet will require a smaller cloth than an American table that is also sized at 9 feet.
English pool table and American pool table
As seen above, English pool tables are measured by the entire length of the table. American pool tables are measured by the playing area of the table. This is why is it essential to know the sizing method of both your pool table and the pool cloth you are buying. At E-Service, we sell all woollen cloth in English sizes, with our worsted cloth clearly marked with ‘USA’ for the American table sizes. Check out our pool table size guide for more detailed information on pool table sizes.