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Graham WalkerThis is the website of Graham Walker, Dorset, UK who has had an interest in the early piano for over 30 years. He has undertaken the restoration of instruments for private collection and has also carried out research on early pianos and their makers over this period. This has been done alongside a career in management consultancy and performance management. Early retirement in 2007 enabled him to become more involved and he commissioned a cloth manufacturer to produce an authentic keyboard cloth. This cloth is the nearest match to an early 19th century piano cloth that can be made within modern manufacturing processes. It was initially produced for his requirements but it soon came in demand by others.  Further types of cloth have been replicated by request from makers and restorers.  These cloths can be purchased from the online shop on this website.  He has also undertaken some research into the leather used in early English pianos and is currently working in liaison with the Institute of Creative Leather Technology, Northampton University, UK with the objective of determining specifications. He is involved in supporting interest in the early piano and is passionate about ensuring that our heritage of early pianos collections in the UK can be maintained for the future.

Early Keyboard Cloths

Early Keyboard Cloth (action cloth)

There are two thicknesses of Early keyboard Cloth, a 1.5mm and a 2.5mm.   The 1.5mm cloth is the standard cloth for late 18th and early 19th century pianos and is a close match in thickness, weight, composition and colour to that found in English square and grand pianos.  It may also be used for other early keyboard instruments.  It is suitable for the back-touch, balance rail, front rail, hammer rail when used in early pianos.

Prices – 1.5mm cloth

  • 1 metre wide x 25cms (usually enough for one instrument) – £22
  • 1 metre x 145cms (Roll width) – £91.50
  • 1.5 metres x 145cms (Roll width) – £132
  • 2 metres x 145cms (Roll width) – £170

Further discounts are available for larger quantities.

Early Keyboard Action Cloth

Early Keyboard Cloth 1.5mm

The 2.5mm cloth is made from a more course wool yarn and is often used by harpsichord makers.  It is also suitable for later pianos and other early keyboard instruments.   Both cloths can be purchased to provide flexibility in building the thickness required.  One of the requirements for the 2.5mm cloth has been low acidity and this has been measured by the manufacturer at 6.2pH. (Neutral acidity is 7pH) Therefore, it is ideally suited for use by museum conservators.   Both the cloths are 100% wool and are recognised as the most appropriate replacement available.

Prices –   2.5mm cloth (new quality)

  • 1 metre wide x 25cms (usually enough for one instrument) – £32
  • 1 metre x 130cms (Roll width) – £130
  • 1.5 metres x 130cms (Roll width) – £185
  • 2 metres x 130cms (Roll width) – £ 240

Further discounts are available for larger quantities

Early Keyboard Cloth 2.5mm

Damper Cloth (natural off-white)

The natural off-white damper cloth is also available in two thicknesses, a 0.7mm and a 1.0mm.   As the size and sonority of the piano developed, the size and thickness of the damper cloth increased.  The 0.7mm damper cloth is a new addition to the product range (January 2021) and is nearer to the original damper cloth used on English square pianos up to c1820.   The 1.0mm can be used for later instruments but this is not a set rule. For English grand pianos, both cloths are equally suited.   It is woven with a fine wool yarn and has a high thread count making is easy to cut into the small pieces required.

Prices 0.7mm and 1.0mm damper cloth natural off-white

  • 25cms wide x 10cm piece length  –  £10  (Enough cloth for one instrument)
  • 50cm wide x 10cm piece length  –  £20
  • 50cm wide x 10cm piece length x2   –  £30
  • 50cm wide x 10cm piece length x3   –  £36

Further discounts are available for larger quantities

Damper cloth in natural off-white available in 0.7mm and 1.0mm thickness

Damper Cloth (cochineal red)

The Cochineal red damper cloth is more decorative than functional, but it does provide support for the natural damper cloth. This new cochineal cloth (January 2021) is slightly more felted than the former cloth and is about 1.0mm thick. It is woven with a fine wool yarn and has a high thread count making easy to cut into the small pieces required. It is suitable for English square and grand pianos but can be used on many other instruments as appropriate. It can be used for other applications such as a listing cloth.

Prices damper cloth cochineal red

  • 25cms wide x 10cm piece length  –  £10  (Enough cloth for one instrument)
  • 50cm wide x 10cm piece length  –  £20
  • 50cm wide x 10cm piece length x2   –  £30
  • 50cm wide x 10cm piece length x3   –  £36
  • 137cms (roll width) x 2.5cms – £13.70

Further discount is available for larger quantities

Damper cloth cochineal red 1.0mm

Hitch-pin worsted weave bearing cloth (Broadwood type)

The cochineal hitch-pin worsted bearing cloth has a composition of 100% wool with a worsted weave. The roll width is approximately 152cm (60 inches). It has been replicated from the cloth found in early 19th century Broadwood square pianos. The cochineal colour is a typical shade.

Prices

  • 140cm wide x 10cm piece length  –  £15  (Enough cloth for one instrument)
  • 140cm wide x 20cm piece length  –  £25
  • 140cm wide x 50cm piece length  –  £50
  • 140cm wide x 1 metre piece length  –  £80
Worsted Hitchpin Cloth

Single Instrument Set of Cloths

This is the best way to purchase cloths for one instrument giving a discount on the individual prices of each cloth.  There are two options available, one using the 1.5mm Early Keyboard Cloth and the other using the 2.5mm cloth.  For each of these options you can add the hitch-pin cloth if required.   The piece length of Early Keyboard Cloth, 1 metre x 25cms, is usually enough for instruments up to a 6-octave keyboard.

Option 1

  • Early Keyboard Cloth  1.5mm (green) – 1 metre x 25cm piece length
  • Damper Cloth 0.7mm (natural) – 25cm x 10cms piece length
  • New Damper Cloth (cochineal red ) – 25cm x 10cm piece length

Price – £30 (add £7 to include the hitch-pin worsted weave Broadwood type cloth)

 

Option 2

  • New Early Keyboard Cloth 2.5mm (green) – 1 metre x 25cm piece length
  • New Damper Cloth 1.0mm (natural) – 25cm x 10cm piece length
  • New Damper Cloth (cochineal) – 25cm x 10cm piece length

Price – £40 (Add £7 to include the hitch-pin worsted weave Broadwood type cloth)

Please note: The intention is for P&P to be recharged at cost.  The online calculation of P&P is accurate for smaller quantities but if you wish to order larger quantities,  such as multiple cloth sets or roll width quantities,  please email first so that the actual cost of P&P can be calculated.  Payment can be made by PayPal or bank transfer.

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