The Fabrics Used in Covering Pianos

The Fabrics Used in Covering Pianos


Most piano covers are made from 3 materials: vinyl, Mackintosh and Quilted. The choice of the right fabric depends upon your situation and what you are trying to accomplish with the cover. Vinyl seems to be the most popular. It has an attractive look to it, like a soft leather, and comes in multiple color choices. The most popular color choices are black and brown. The vinyl covers do not breathe all that well so they come with overlapping slide panels that allow the piano to receive air while the cover is in place. They are water resistant and will hold up well if someone puts a drink on the cover at a party and leaves it for a short while. As with all water resistant materials, the wetness should be wiped up after the drink is removed. The vinyl covers are medium weight when compared to Mackintosh (heaviest) and a quilted cotton cover (lightest). In my opinion a vinyl cover matches up well with the intents of most people when they are looking for a piano cover. I give the example that an older woman has no trouble removing and replacing a vinyl cover from a piano or organ to play for the church on Sunday and that the vinyl cover will look the best while it is covering the piano during the week.

The Mackintosh covers are also available in brown or black. The look of the fabric is smooth and warm. Many people do not know what a Mackintosh fabric is and have likely not heard that word prior to looking for a cover of some kind. Mackintosh cloth is a tightly woven material, sometimes called a waterproof drill cloth. Mackintosh cloth was invented by Charles Mackintosh of Manchester, England, as a way to have dry clothing touching a person’s skin while the outer layer of cloth fought the weather and kept moisture out. He even went so far as to put a layer of rubber between the two layers of clothing. Piano covers do not use rubber in the manufacture of covers (like the vinyl covers mentioned above, that would hold too much heat next to the piano and cause it to go out of tune quickly) but they are water-resistant. Since the fabric is thicker than vinyl, it does offer more protection from bumps than vinyl covers. I refer people to Mackintosh fabric when they have a piano in higher traffic locations such as churches, schools and hotels where the risk of wear is greater than in a home.

The only downside to Mackintosh fabric is that it is a little more difficult to clean than vinyl, requiring a vacuum to clean and remove dust from the fabric. While the fabric is water resistant, the cloth will absorb a spill and should be blotted quickly after a one occurs. To clear the dust from the cover, many people simply take it outside and beat it with a broomstick a couple of times per year. The reason Mackintosh fabric is such a great seller is the pleasing look it has to offer to any room. The look is softer and warmer than vinyl and less commercial appearing than quilted covers.

Quilted covers are typically available only in the color black. They come with a lovely 4 inch square pattern and look very professional. We recommend quilted covers for any environment where the weight of the cover is a consideration. The quilted covers are the most breathable and many customers like that aspect of cover, especially if the room is environmentally controlled. The quilted fabric, with its cotton backdrop, is the lightest and the easiest to remove, making it a favorite among our more mature customers and a best seller for nursing homes and many church groups.

Source by Chuck R Stewart

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