Ironing Pool Table Felt? Everything You Need to Know

iron pool table felt

Maintaining pool table felt in top condition is essential for ensuring a smooth and enjoyable game.

One crucial aspect of this maintenance is the proper care of the pool table felt, which includes regular cleaning, brushing, and importantly, ironing.

This comprehensive guide will delve into the intricacies of ironing pool table felt, ensuring your table remains in pristine condition for the best playing experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Ironing pool table felt is crucial for maintaining a flat and smooth playing surface.
  • Temperature and technique are key factors in effective ironing.
  • Regular maintenance extends the life of the felt and improves game quality.

Ironing Pool Table Felt – Quick Facts

PurposeEnsures smooth gameplay, prevents pilling, extends cloth life
Iron TypePool table specific or household iron on wool setting
TemperatureAround 148°C (300°F)
FrequencyEvery 3–6 months for home tables, monthly for commercial
TechniqueIron in the direction of the nap, gentle and even pressure
Ironing Pool Table Felt

Understanding the Importance of Ironing Pool Table Felt

Ironing pool table felt is not just a cosmetic practice; it’s a necessary maintenance step that significantly impacts the table’s performance and longevity. 

Ironing should be a part of your regular pool table maintenance routine.

Depending on usage, ironing every few months is typically more than enough. 

However, for tables that see heavy traffic, such as in clubs or public spaces, more frequent ironing may be necessary.

Typical Ironing Frequency

  • Home Tables: Iron every 3–6 months, depending on usage.
  • Commercial Tables: Consider ironing monthly or as needed.

Why You Should Iron Pool Table Felt

The primary purpose of ironing pool table felt is to ensure that the playing surface is as flat and consistent as possible. This flatness is a key ingredient for accurate and predictable ball movement. Regular ironing also plays a significant role in maintaining the quality, integrity and helps increase the longevity of the pool table felt. 

Eliminates Wrinkles and Creases

Over time, the felt can develop wrinkles or creases, either from play or environmental factors. Ironing helps smooth out these imperfections, ensuring a uniform playing surface.

Reduces Irregular Ball Movement

A non-uniform surface can cause unpredictable ball movement, which can be frustrating for players. Ironing helps maintain a level of predictability in the game.

Consistent Ball Roll and Improves the Speed

Ironing removes small fibers and imperfections from the surface, ensuring a smoother roll of the balls. A tight playing cloth, immaculate for balls to travel across, can improve the overall speed of the table.

Reduced Friction

A well-ironed surface reduces friction, allowing balls to travel further and more accurately.

Prevents Fiber Entanglement

The fibers in the felt can become entangled over time, leading to a rough and uneven surface. Ironing helps realign these fibers, keeping the surface smooth.

Reduces Pilling

Pilling occurs when fibers break and roll up into small balls on the surface. Ironing helps to minimize this effect, keeping the felt smooth and clean.

Prevents Premature Wear

Regular ironing helps distribute the wear evenly across the felt, preventing premature thinning or damage in high-use areas.

Saves Money on Felt Replacement

By extending the life of the felt, ironing reduces the frequency of costly replacements.

Minimizes Pilling

Regular ironing reduces the likelihood of pilling, where small balls of fuzz form on the surface of the felt.

Prevents Cloth Degradation

 Ironing helps in keeping the cloth fibers flat and aligned, preventing them from becoming matted or tangled.

Aesthetic Appeal to Ironing Pool Table Cloth

A well-ironed pool table felt is not only functional but also visually appealing, and a crisp and flat playing surface definitely does wonders for the table aesthetic appeal.

  • Enhances Room Aesthetics: A smooth, well-maintained pool table can be a centerpiece in a game room, adding to the room’s aesthetic appeal.
  • Shows Care and Pride: Regularly ironed felt demonstrates a level of care and pride in the maintenance of the table, which can be appreciated by both players and guests.
  • Smooth and Flat Appearance: Ironing removes wrinkles and creases, giving the felt a smooth and flat appearance.
  • Enhanced Color Vibrancy: Regular ironing can help in maintaining the color vibrancy of the felt, making it look newer for longer.

Professional and Competitive Benefits

For those who play pool at a competitive or professional level, the condition of the felt is obviously going to be high up the list of importance.

Ironing can help home players can get as close to professional standards as possible. 

Obviously, the quality of the pool table felt matters a lot here as well. 

Simonis 860 for instance meets professional standards and with proper care can last many years performing to professional level.

Simonis 860 premium pool table felt

Can Iron a Pool Table with a Normal Iron?

Yes, you can iron a pool table with a normal household iron, but there are important considerations and precautions to take into account to ensure you don’t damage the felt.

Considerations for Using a Household Iron

  • Before ironing the entire surface, test the iron on a small, inconspicuous area of the felt to ensure it doesn’t cause any damage.
  • Set the iron to a low heat, typically the wool setting, which is around 148°C (300°F).
  • Avoid using steam or any setting that might introduce moisture to the felt.
  • Place a thin, non-stick ironing cloth or a piece of cotton fabric between the iron and the pool table felt.

Best Way to Iron Pool Table Felt

Ironing pool table felt is a delicate process that requires attention to detail and a specific method to ensure the felt is not damaged while achieving the desired smoothness.

Best way to iron pool table felt;

  1. Clean the Surface: Brush the table to remove any dust or debris.
  2. Preheat the iron to the correct temperature: The ideal temperature is usually around 148°C (300°F). It’s best to start at a lower temperature and gradually increase if needed.
  3. Begin Ironing: Start at one end, gently moving the iron along the length of the table in the direction of the ‘nap’.
  4. Apply gentle, even pressure while ironing: Avoid pressing down too hard, as this can damage the felt.
  5. Steady and Slow Movement: Move the iron steadily and slowly across the felt. Quick movements can miss areas, while too slow can overheat and damage the felt.
  6. Check Regularly: Regularly check the felt for any signs of overheating.
  7. Complete the Process: Once finished, allow the felt to cool before using the table.

Ironing Pool Table Cloth – Understanding the Direction of the Nap

The ‘nap’ refers to the direction in which the fibers of the felt are aligned. It’s crucial to iron in the direction of the nap to avoid damaging the felt.

Identifying the Nap: Typically, the nap runs from one end of the table to the other. You can determine the direction by lightly brushing your hand over the surface; the smoother direction is with the nap.

Ironing with the Nap: Always move the iron in the direction of the nap. This helps lay the fibers down smoothly and prevents them from becoming rough or tangled.

Ironing Frequency for Different Felt Types

The frequency of ironing and the techniques used can vary significantly between these types of cloths.

  • Woolen Cloth: May require ironing every few months, especially in high-use scenarios, using a moderate to high temperature.
  • Worsted Wool Cloth: Less frequent ironing is needed, with a focus on gentle, low-temperature ironing.
  • Synthetic Blends: Follow manufacturer guidelines, typically requiring a lower temperature and less frequent ironing.

Woolen Cloth

Due to its higher nap, woolen cloth requires more frequent ironing to maintain a smooth surface.

The fibers can become matted or pilled over time, and regular ironing helps to lift and align these fibers, ensuring a consistent playing surface.

Worsted Wool Cloth

Worsted wool cloth is often used in professional and high-end pool tables due to its superior playing qualities.

Worsted wool doesn’t pill or matte as easily as standard woolen cloth, so it requires less frequent ironing.

However, when ironing is needed, it’s crucial to use a lower temperature setting to prevent damage, as the tighter weave is more susceptible to heat.

Simonis 860 premium pool table felt

Synthetic Blends

Synthetic blends, which combine natural and synthetic fibers, may require a specific temperature setting, usually lower than pure woolen cloths.

It’s important to refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for the correct ironing temperature and method.

Looking After Your Pool Table Cloth Post-Ironing

After ironing, regular maintenance is key to keeping the felt in good condition.

Regular Brushing

  • Frequency: Brush the table before and after each use.
  • Technique: Use a soft brush and gentle strokes in the direction of the nap.

Avoiding Common Damages

  • Spills: Clean any spills immediately to prevent staining.
  • Sharp Objects: Keep sharp objects away from the table to avoid tears or cuts in the felt.


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