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Pool Table Fabrics: A UK Guide to the Heart of the Game

In the world of pool, the table fabric is more than just a vibrant canvas upon which the game unfolds. It is, in many ways, the heart of the game, influencing the speed, spin, and overall performance of the pool balls. In the UK, a country with a rich history of pool and snooker, the choice of pool table fabric is a subject of much discussion and expertise. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the intricacies of pool table fabrics, exploring the various types available in the UK market and offering insights into how to choose the perfect fabric for your table.

The Heritage of Woolen Cloth

In the annals of UK pool history, woolen cloth holds a special place. Traditionally used in snooker and English pool tables, this type of fabric is known for its napped surface, which gives it a slightly fuzzy texture. This characteristic texture influences the way the balls move on the table, providing a level of resistance that slows down the balls and demands a higher degree of skill and precision from players.

Woolen cloth, often made from a blend of wool and nylon, is revered for its durability and resistance to wear and tear. Its rich texture and deep colours add a touch of elegance and heritage to the pool table, making it a popular choice for establishments and homes that favour a classic and traditional ambiance.

The Rise of Worsted Cloth

In contrast to the traditional woolen cloth, worsted cloth, commonly known as speed cloth, has been gaining popularity, especially in American pool games. This type of fabric is woven from combed wool, resulting in a smooth and flat surface without the nap found in woolen cloth. This smoothness allows the balls to travel at a faster speed, offering a game that is dynamic and fluid.

Worsted cloth is favoured for its accuracy, as it allows for a more predictable ball trajectory, making it a preferred choice for professional and competitive play. Its sleek appearance and modern appeal have made it a popular choice for contemporary pool rooms and clubs in the UK, where the game is enjoyed with a touch of modernity and speed.

The Nuances of Colour Choices

When it comes to pool table fabrics, the choice of colour is more than just an aesthetic decision. Traditionally, green has been the preferred choice, a nod to the game's outdoor origins, mimicking the lush lawns where it was initially played. This classic colour continues to be popular, especially in establishments that favour a traditional and heritage-rich ambiance.

However, in recent years, there has been a surge in the popularity of alternative colours, ranging from the elegant blue and burgundy to the vibrant red and electric blue. These colours not only add a visual appeal to the table but also influence the perception of the game, offering a fresh and modern perspective to the traditional game. Moreover, the choice of colour can be a reflection of the personality and style of the owner, adding a personal touch to the pool table.

The Importance of Durability and Maintenance

Choosing a pool table fabric that stands the test of time is a critical consideration. The fabric should be able to withstand the rigours of the game, offering a playing surface that remains smooth and consistent over time. In this regard, both woolen and worsted cloths offer excellent durability, with their unique weave patterns providing resistance to wear and tear.

Maintenance is another important aspect to consider. A well-maintained pool table fabric can enhance the longevity of the table and provide a superior playing experience. Regular brushing to remove chalk residue, prompt cleaning of spills, and professional stretching and refitting at regular intervals are essential practices to maintain the fabric in pristine condition.

The Role of Fabric in Enhancing Gameplay

The choice of pool table fabric plays a pivotal role in influencing the gameplay. The fabric's texture and quality can affect the speed, spin, and trajectory of the balls, offering a playing experience that can be either fast-paced and dynamic or slow and strategic.

For enthusiasts looking to hone their skills and develop a nuanced understanding of the game, experimenting with different types of fabrics can be an enlightening experience. It allows players to adapt their strategies and techniques to the unique characteristics of the fabric, fostering a deeper connection with the game and enhancing their skills and expertise.

The Art of Selection: A Comprehensive Approach

As we delve deeper into the realm of pool table fabrics, it becomes apparent that selecting the right fabric is indeed an art, one that requires a comprehensive approach. In the UK, where the pool scene is vibrant and diverse, enthusiasts often find themselves spoilt for choice. However, making an informed decision involves considering various factors including the type of gameplay you prefer, the aesthetic appeal of your space, and the longevity of the material.


As we navigate through the fascinating world of pool table fabrics in the UK, it becomes evident that the choice of fabric is a critical aspect that influences the game's dynamics and enjoyment. From the heritage-rich woolen cloth to the modern and sleek worsted cloth, the UK market offers a rich variety of fabrics to cater to the diverse preferences and styles of pool enthusiasts.

Moreover, the choice of colour adds a dimension of personalisation and visual appeal to the pool table, allowing owners to create a space that reflects their personality and style. The importance of durability and maintenance cannot be overstressed, as a well-maintained fabric can enhance the longevity of the table and provide a superior playing experience.

In conclusion, the pool table fabric is indeed the heart of the game, influencing the gameplay and offering a canvas upon which the drama of the game unfolds. As you venture into the world of pool in the UK, paying attention to the choice of fabric can enhance your playing experience, offering a game that is as nuanced as it is exciting.

So, whether you are a seasoned player looking to upgrade your table or a budding enthusiast setting up your first pool room, choosing the right fabric can set the stage for many enjoyable games to come. Here's to a game that is as vibrant and diverse as the fabrics that grace the pool tables of the UK. Happy playing!

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