View Full Version : simonis vs speedball cloth

04-09-2003, 11:49 AM
what cloth to but on 9ft table?

04-09-2003, 07:42 PM
I can't find much on Speedball cloth. It comes on 6 foot fiberboard tables and yet it seems to be at least as costly as Simonis. It's listed as an alternate to Simonis 760 and is a worsted cloth. If the commercial tables around where you live use it then you might want to. I just can't imagine the best cloth coming as standard on fiberboard tables.

It's touted as "hard wearing" and comes in quite a few colors. It's hard to tell if it's a cloth for serious pool playing without learning a bit about it's composition and weight (thickness).

If you're in England and everyone uses Speedball then it might be the one to use. A less expensive cloth that is probably faster is Granito but many think it's too fast.

Simonis seems to be the most popular for tournament play in the States.

04-09-2003, 11:18 PM

There are two basic cloths, house cloth, which is cheap & course like a rug, and Simonis, which is thin & slick, like your suit coat. It is not called felt.
House cloth is woven, the long & the short fibers are twisted, which causes them to break & separate and when the short fiber begins to stick up, this is called pilling.

Those little balls of fur that drive you nuts. The cheaper the cloth, the worse it balls up, so if you do go cheap & choose house cloth, then try & buy the best you can find.
If you have an installer putting it in, you need to question him on what he is using, or you can pay for the best, and what is installed can be the worst.

Mali & Forstmann are two mfgrs that have been around for a while.
Ask them what their stitch per inch is, the higher the number, the better. Ask them what is the weight, the less the weight, the thinner and the more it will wear out, l8 oz is bad, 2l oz is standard, 22oz is great. This is the weight of the cloth for a 36Ē yard of cloth. Most products will be 75% wool, 25% nylon, is the wool content falls below 75%; quality goes down with that number also.

The only reason your pool hall puts on house cloth, which pills, and these pills do deflect balls, is money, it will cost 2 to 3 times less than Simonis, but Simonis will hold it play performance & wear, 3 times longer, so itís a false economy. Itís like buying a $20 pair of shoes, they look good, feel good for a week, then they fall apart fast, it is the same with cloth.

There are look alike cloths being sold as it looks like Simonis, plays like it, nobody can tell it isnít, and itís much cheaper. Any cloth, when it is brand new, plays pretty good & fast, for the first week or two, then the cheaper weaves, slow down badly, and the performance goes south, and they wear out faster, so again, you really donít save anything, its once more, just a sales gambit, an illusion.
These Simonis copies are now being made in Mexico, as are some of the house cloths now being used.
These Mexican house cloths, which are like rugs, are fine to cover a donkeys butt, but I would not put them on my pool table.

Simonis is worsted cloth, the very finest. Worsted means you control the direction of the warp & the welt by twisting together only the long threads, which produces no pilling, and a very smooth flat surface. 860 is going to be 90% wool & l0% nylon, high wear, and 760 is 80% wool & 20% Nylon, less wear, but faster. Simonis has the highest thread count per inch of any cloth, #860 is 129 and #760 is 110.

There are 3 kinds of Simonis:
#300 International high-speed carom 3-cushion Billiard cloth. It is very thin, you canít jump over a quarter, it wears well, but does not hold up well under Artistic play & abuse and it is very fast. You canít play pool on it; you canít shut down the roll of the cue ball. It has extra fine threads to produce the high-speed play required by Billiards.

#760 Standard blend. It has combed worsted wool and high thread count to assure long lasting wear, it is the fastest pool cloth you can get. It is recommended for pocket pool games or for American Snooker, English Snooker prefers a slower and more wooly cloth.

This is the preferred cloth in the NE, and among l4.l straight pool players, and in the new Artistic sport. It has a smooth even surface, it will never pill or fluff up and the ball will roll absolutely smooth and true. In many countries such as Germany, it is the main cloth. World wide, 860 is used 3 to l over 760. In the USA 860 are used 4 to 1 over 760.

All I play on is 760, and when I do a show, if the room will put on a new cloth for my show, I will give them a brand new 760 cloth, so I can have a fast cloth to perform my world class Masses and stroke shots. There are many shots that cannot be made on the slower house cloth, but are easy on 760. The 760 allows you to draw table length with ease, and you can put more spin on the cue ball.

I like the standard green color, or blue green, or electric blue. That is all I use. The Gold or Camel are so nice on the eyes, Mosconi loved these colors. A lot of home tables are sold with the Burgundy or Wine, which are beautiful. I like to stay away from the dark colors, like Marine Blue, Spruce, Black, or even red, some of the object balls donít show up well on them, but others like them, itís like colors on your auto, different strokes, for different folks.

#860 Tournament blends. This was developed especially for 9 ball, it has a high wool content which provides maximum ball control, and is a little slower than 760.
This cloth was tested with the PBT 9 ball pros to find a cloth they wanted, not too fast, not too slow, and one they could jump on. The thicker 860, out jumps the thinner 760, and wears longer in a commercial room.

The 2nd source of worsted cloth is the Granito cloth from Spain. It has light sales around the world and in the USA. The price is about the same, and both cloths, Granito & Simonis are very close in speed & quality. The #2000 is the same as 760; the Basalt is the same as #860, the Billiard M, is the same as #300.

Some people think the Granito runs a tad faster than Simonis, it is really too close to call. Granito does not do a final shave, which produces a wave in their cloth Simonis does not have, so the ball does not run as level & true, and when it picks up that wave in the fabric at the end of a roll, players see a little extra creep in the ball, and some tail off, neither of which are good.

To clean your Simonis, just brush it. Do buy a nice horsehair bed brush, and a strong brush to go under the rails. Take an old small hand towel, and wet it so it does not drip, but is damp, and now wipe the cloth, which will pick up a lot of chalk dust you will see on the cloth. Water will not hurt the cloth, but the damp wipe, will slow the speed down. Usually after a little play, the rolling balls will press the fibers back down and the speed will return. Because my dogs also prefer Simonis, I get dog hair & have a need to get it off fast, so you will see me vacuum.

If you do, never use a floor model, or one with a lot of HP & power, it could pull some fibers loose. A simple hand vac will do, now brush, and wipe. If I have the time, I sometimes use a clothes iron, to press it down as a last & 4th step, the heat from the iron, quickly removes the moisture, and that is also why I have heated my slate in my studio table.
For most of you, just brush, then damp wipe with a towel, is all you need to do.

If you have a bar box, and play in the leagues, then by all means put on 860 now. At the Allen Hopkins Expo, for the first time, there bar box competition was on 860 Simonis, as is all upper level APA events now. Practicing at home on 860, means when you hit your city championship, you will have the speed and actions of those tables now mastered, which will give you a Hugh advantage.

Simonis is known as the cloth of champions, and of Wonder Dog. They have been making cloth, since l680, so in 323 years; they have had a lot of time to figure it out.
Granita makes bolts of cloth for suit companies, they just take their suit cloth & dye it green, and pool cloth is a small sideline to them. Simonis is the only worsted company who is totally devoted to only making cloth for the pool, snooker & billiard world.

Once the table is up & leveled, all of the performance & fun, is going to come from the cloth, so why in the world, would you half than fun & performance, by putting on a cheap cloth, that will make playing the game hard to do. They use only the finest virgin wool, made from worsted yarn, and it is the final shearing, that only they do that removes random fibers, that produces the finest surface.

More record runs have been made on Simonis cloth than on any other surface. All of the big runs & records in this country, of Mosconi, Crane, Caras, Greenleaf, Hoppe were done on Simonis. It is free of any nap, so it wont shed, or form pills and gullies, you see on house cloth. With no nap to break down, you get a consistent speed, and perfect English & rebound off of the cushions, so you are always in control.

It will cost 2 to 3 times more, but it lasts 3 times longer, and resists those ball burn marks much better. Just insist on it, except nothing less than it period.
When you put a woven house cloth fiber under a microscope, it is fuzzy with fibers sticking out all over it, waiting to break loose & pill up. The Worsted fiber is 10 times smaller, and flat & smooth all around.

Simonis is the official cloth of the professional billiards tour, the Euro tour, the European pocket billiard federation, the world pool billiard association, ESPN challenge of champions, Steve Mizerak senior tour and the Womenís professional classic billiard tour.

At the turn of the last century, and through the golden age of pool, Simonis was the primary cloth used in the USA, during the 20ís, 30ís, 40ís, then WWII, shut down the mill in Verviers, Belgium. After the war, nobody made any move here, to import it, so all cloth used during what I call the slow period, the late 40ís, 50ís 60ís & 70ís, was American house cloth.

In l98l, Hank Hayes left Brunswick, and formed his company Dufferin and begins to bring it in once more. During the golden ages, they used Simonis #1, the #2, then #3, all of these blends played at the same speeds, which were about equal to 860 today.

In l98l, 760 was introduced, was much faster than the old cloth, and totally superior to the house cloth being used here at that time, it was a over night success. In the mid 80ís, the players moving to 9 ball, wanted a little slower cloth, they could control the ball better on, and the jump craze had started, so a thicker cloth, would jump better. 860 was born, and that became the preferred cloth for 9 ball play.

Simonis can be bought from a table dealer or installer, or from some pool halls, in just about any decent sized town in America. If you want to acquire it from us, then go to www.fastlarrypool.com (http://www.fastlarrypool.com), and contract us for your needs.

ďBest Wishes,
ďFast LarryĒ Guninger VENI, VIDI, VICIÖÖShoot straight, innovate, no fear, and never give up, just run out on the other guy, then there is no way you can lose.

04-10-2003, 01:28 PM
Dear blue wolf, you asked me a week ago to explain cloth to you, sorry it took so long, this one if for you. Fast Larry