So you have a tear in the felt of your pool table? It’s ugly and also affects your game. But how do you fix it? Is it worth fixing? Is the slate or wood underneath the felt damaged? All of these questions must be answered before you even attempt to repair it.
Causes of Pool Table Felt Tears
The number one cause of pool table felt tears is from the pool cue hitting the felt, usually through inappropriate play. If the cue strike is hard enough, then damage can also occur to the table bed. Wood beds are more susceptible to small divots or dips from cue strikes.
Other less common rips usually occur from putting objects (not balls) on the table. This is why pool table covers are so important.
Pool Table Felt Repair Options
Before we outline the options available, deciding on one will depend on the size of the tear, position & shape of the tear and whether or not there is any bed damage.
Of course the best solution would be just to replace all of the felt on your pool table. This is costly and may be over your budget so we’ve outlined some DIY and cheaper options below. These all involve a certain amount of skill and the results may not be acceptable. Use your judgement before attempting any of these.
Stitching the felt of your pool table involves a thread repair kit.
Thread the bent needle with the felt thread
Insert the bent needle into the felt about 1 inch away from the tear. Carefully pull the needle under the felt and towards the start of the tear. Be sure to leave 1 inch of thread remaining at the point where the needle was inserted.
Bring the tip of the needle through the felt about 1/8 inch away from the edge of tear. Pull the thread tight and insert the bent needle again into the other side of the tear about 1/8 inch away to start the stitch. Continue working your way along the tear using the same method.
Bring the bent needle under the felt to the end of the tear and bring the remaining thread through the felt. Trim any excess thread.
Flatten out the repair using an iron. Be sure to keep the iron on a low setting so as to not burn the felt or break the thread. Alternatively, using a small hammer can flatten out small bumps. Be sure not to hit the table bed too hard or damage will occur.
For some tears, gluing may be an option. Keep in mind that using glue under the felt will cause a small bump and if you ever need to replace the felt, this glue must also be removed without damaging the bed. Many professionals will also tell you that glue is difficult to get off slate. Therefore stitching is the preferred option as it will give you a flatter result.
Replacing a small patch in your felt is really the absolute last option. Even if it’s done correctly, you’ll be left with an unsightly area of your table that will never blend in with the surrounding felt. Remember that felt does fade over time so finding a piece of felt that matches will be almost impossible. Some professionals claim to provide this service but if you are hiring someone to do the job then you might as well replace all the felt.
Replacing all of your felt is the best option for repairing a pool table felt tear. All of the options mentioned above are really just ways to cover the problem. Regardless of the size of your tear, it’s worth costing the full replacement of your felt. Stitching a tear will be the best option and something you can try before replacing all the felt. Once your felt has been repaired or replaced, it’s a good time to look at leveling your table.