I am restoring an old secretary and the writing felt has ripped so
using the original material is not an option, alas.
Does anyone out there know of a good source for writing surface
felt? I have tried the facric shops in the area but none can match it.
It is green woven wool circa 1878.
Look for a pool or billiard supply house--don't be afraid to call the
swimming pool suppliers either--locally one of them stocks billiard
supplies. Don't know for sure if that's dense enough for a writing surface
but worth a try.
If that fails google "wool felt" and you'll get a number of hits.
What about replacing the writing surface with leather? Seems like it would
provide a longer wearing surface, and can be found with surfaces just as
smooth (if not smoother than) felt, and in just as many colors.
I don't know if that's a historically *correct* way of doing it or
not, but I've seen plenty of antique desks with that solution, and it
Seems like the best bet would be if you could get untanned cow hide,
stretch it in place while it's still raw, and then tan it in place.
It'll tighten up really well. Might be a little messy, but I knew a
lady who made drums like that a several years ago, and the drum heads
were very smooth and very tough- IIRC, she just let them dry, but I'm
sure there is some other way of dying and/or treating them. Tanned
leather tends to be a little softer and less suitable for a writing
surface- I'd worry about tearing it or leaving perminent dents in the
stuff if you don't use a blotter.
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