How Do You Get Wrinkles Out of Pool Table Felt? (Explained)

How to get wrinkles out of pool table felt

For billiards aficionados, keeping pool table felt in prime condition is crucial. A frequent challenge encountered is the presence of wrinkles in the pool table felt.

Such wrinkles do more than just mar the table’s appearance; they can also influence the quality of play. 

If your table’s felt has wrinkles, it will need to be re-stretched back on to the bed, however there is slightly more you need to know than just re-stretching. 

In this article, I will delve into everything that goes into smoothing out wrinkles in your pool table felt, but also how to avoid them in the future.

Key Takeaways

  • Re-stretching the Felt: The primary method to remove wrinkles is by re-stretching the felt tightly over the table.
  • Light Misting: A light mist of water can help in tightening the fibers during installation.
  • Understanding the Causes: Knowing the reasons behind the wrinkles can help in choosing the right method for removal.

Quick Tips and Tricks When Dealing with Wrinkles

  • Gentle Cleaning: Use specialized cleaners and pool table brushes designed for felt. Harsh chemicals or rough cleaning methods can damage the fabric.
  • Avoid Over-Brushing: Excessive brushing can damage the material. Use a soft brush and gentle strokes.
  • Climate Control: Use a dehumidifier in humid conditions to protect the felt.
  • Regular Inspection: Regularly inspect your pool table for early signs of wear and tear.

How to Get Wrinkles Out of Pool Table Felt?

Manual Re-Stretching

This involves loosening the felt around the edges of the table and then pulling it taut to remove wrinkles.

This method requires patience and a careful, even hand to avoid over-stretching or tearing the felt.

Using a Pool Table Iron

A specialized pool table iron can be used to gently heat and smooth the felt fibers, removing any wrinkles and creases.

You can also use your own iron if it has a wool setting, as it’s important to iron the cloth on the lowest temperature setting to avoid damaging the felt.

Re-felting the Playing Surface

For persistent or severe wrinkles, the quickest and often the easiest way to remove wrinkles is to refelt the surface.

This should only be an option if the cloth is old and already worn, because wrinkles can usually be removed from conditioned cloth, it’s just a matter of how long it takes.

Why Do You Get Wrinkles in Pool Table Felt?

When you see pool table felt that has wrinkled, and has creases, there are generally three reasons causes;

  1. Folds from packaging
  2. Improper installation
  3. Too much excess humidity in the air

Understanding the various causes of wrinkles, can help prevent creases in the playing felt.

Understanding the Causes of Creases in Pool Table Felt

FactorImpact on Pool Table Felt
HumidityCan cause loosening and wrinkling
Temperature FluctuationsAffects tension and can lead to wrinkles
Improper InstallationDirect cause of wrinkles and uneven play surface
Age of FeltOlder felt is more prone to wrinkling and damage

Folds from Packaging

When new, pool table felt is folded for packaging and shipping, it creates creases and wrinkles in the material.

Although many of these wrinkles diminish after proper installation and stretching, some may persist for longer, depending on the length of time it is left folded.

  • Once it’s stretched tight onto the table, the wrinkles should be mostly gone. 
  • You may still notice feint packaging lines, but these usually disappear after a few months of playing on it.
  • Gentle wiping with a damp microfiber cloth can help speed things along, as can some light brushing.

Improper Installation

One of the most significant factors leading to wrinkles is incorrect installation, by the felt not being stretched properly and left too loose. 

  • Ensuring that the cloth is properly aligned and uniformly taut by getting a strong pull on the fabric during the installation usually removes most of the creases.
  • Lightly misting with water during installation will also help to bring the fibers together and get rid of wrinkles.

You don’t need to saturate the cloth, only light mist it, and allow it to dry, as this will help the tightening process.

If you are re-felting the playing surface yourself, you may be concerned with tearing or ripping it.

You needn’t worry, as pool table cloth has plenty of give, and can stretch over 3″ without being torn. 

Humidity and Temperature

The felt’s reaction to environmental conditions, particularly humidity and temperature, plays a significant role in its conditioning and wrinkling.

  • High humidity can cause the felt to absorb moisture, leading to expansion and subsequent wrinkling.
  • Conversely, low humidity might cause it to contract and tighten, potentially creating tension wrinkles.
  • Controlling the climate around your pool table is essential to guard against a multitude of problems as well as preventing wrinkling.

A humidifier is a great idea, but some people assume it will re-tighten a cloth that has relaxed. This won’t always work and if it is too far gone it will need to be re-stretched back on.

If you live in a humid location, a humidifier, like this cool mist humidifier, allows you to set the optimal humidity levels for your table.

Perfect for any size room, budget friendly, easy to set up and leave working in the background to protect your pool table long term.

Age and Quality of the Felt

The impact of balls and cues during regular play can stretch and stress the felt, especially in high-impact areas like the break spot and along the rails.

Over time, this can lead to the formation of wrinkles. 

Using inappropriate cleaning methods, such as harsh brushing or the use of unsuitable cleaning products, will expediate the wear and tear in the felt fibers, leading to wrinkling.

  • Pool table cloth, especially the more it’s used, degrades over time as it ages.
  • With age and usage, it loses its elasticity and tautness, which can result in wrinkling.

Higher-quality felts tend to be more resilient and less prone to wrinkling, while lower-quality options might not withstand the rigors of play and environmental factors as effectively.

Simonis 860 premium pool table felt

Final Thoughts on How Do You Get Wrinkles Out of Pool Table Felt?

To understand how to get wrinkles out of pool table felt, you need to understand why they happened in the first place. The main reason for wrinkles is too much slack in the cloth.

This can happen as it ages, but also if the environmental conditions around the table are not appropriate. Poor installation can also be a reason for too much relaxation in the material.

During installation, it needs to be stretched tight and if it hasn’t been thoroughly pulled then it will leave wrinkles. Don’t confuse the package folds to wrinkles. Sometimes feint lines can still be seen for months after, but will usually fall out as the table gets used.


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