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Speed and Wool cloth, which ​is better?

What are the different types of cloth

Speed and Wool cloth are the two main types used on Pool tables. They are both created in different ways and the type used will impact how your balls play on the surface. The tables cloth is made of a mixture of either wool and nylon or wool and polyester. Depending on how it’s made will affect its thicknesses and the amount thread. Each cloth will have a distinct look, feel and play. All very noticeable and can make a big difference to your game.

The two processes used are Worsted and Woollen. Woollen cloth can be referred to as Wool or “Nap” cloth and Worsted as Nappless or Speed. Most of the cloth used in this country is still produced in England by companies like Strachan and Hainsworth. Strachan has over 120 years of experience in producing their fabrics and Hainsworth has been around since 1783. They are currently the two of the biggest and have been around for quite some time.

Woollen Cloth

This type of cloth is a far more popular option for English Pool and Snooker tables and you will find it on a lot more tables in the UK. It comes with a “nap” or pile, similar to what you would find in a carpet. You can see this from the image below. This is what helps provides the perfect playing surface. This carpet texture will need a lot more maintenance than Speed cloth though. This is why you will see people brushing their tables or even ironing them after playing. This cloth is a better option if you prefer standard English Pool. The only downside is that it can be damaged a lot more easily. This is because of the carpet style fabric. If any liquid is spilt it can ruin the playing surface. That’s why it’s not the best idea to use Woollen fabric in a bar.

Speed and Wool cloth example 1

Worsted Cloth

In the UK Speed or Nappless cloth is becoming a lot more popular. It plays significantly faster than standard woollen cloth because it does not have a nap. Again you can see this from the image below. This is not the type of cloth that you would find on most English Pool tables. It is, however, becoming more a lot more popular as people are starting to enjoy the faster-paced game. Nappless cloth is suitable for any type of table but it is mostly found on outdoor tables. Its a popular option for pool halls and pubs as well. This is because it is very hard wearing and can take a lot more damage. It will not be affected much by any drinks that get spilt, so its a great choice for anywhere that alcohol is involved. And it is weather resistant so great for outside as well.

Speed and Wool cloth example 2

Speed and Wool cloth, which is cheaper

You will eventually have to replace your cloth, no matter if its Speed or Wool. They will all degrade over time and won’t play as well as when you first got your table. The two example of cloth I will be showing you are DPT Nappless / Speed and Strachan Premier 777 cloth.

The Nappless DPT cloth costs £40 for the bed and all of the cushions and has been specifically designed for pubs and outdoor tables. It is a lot more resilient than standard Woollen cloth. It can deal with the elements better and spilt drinks are not as much as a problem for Speed cloth. This is the cheaper option and you can use it on any Pool table, it’s not just for pubs. So as long as you don’t mind a quicker game this is a great option.

The Strachan Premier 777 cloth costs £55 for the bed and all of the cushions. This premier cloth is 100% wool and a tournament style quality which is made by Strachan, the company that we talked about earlier. They are one of the most popular cloth manufacturers in the UK.

This cloth provides a very smooth ball roll, consistent cloth colouring and excellent durability above all else. It is very long lasting and will protect against any wear and tear such as cue damage. It is so good that it has been used in the World Eightball Championship tournament for several years now. The cloth features a SpillGuard technology. This allows you to easily clean up any mess, such as spilt drinks and will protect against swelling, odour or stains. Making it ideal for any indoor tables including pubs, bars and pool halls.

Decide for yourself

So now you know about both types of cloth you can decide for yourself which one is better for you. If you are interested in either the DPT or Strachan cloth, then click on the links to find out some more information about them.

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