linen chess board

mphlips76
I was looking at linen chess boards tonight and I was a little confused. Is the actual play surface linen or Is the the board covered with linen with a different play surface on top? I see them for sale but with no real description.
BonTheCat

The actual playing surface is linen, typically on top of very stiff board.

mphlips76
Interesting. Anybody know what the benefits/drawbacks of linen are vs. something like pvc or a roll up board?
Eyechess

The linen is a very nice texture and finish to have on a Chess board.

Look at most board game boards and you will see a folding, cardboard board with a printed paper mounted to it with some kind of a glossy finish.

All that happens is the playing surface is made of linen instead of paper.  The linen is mounted or glued to the folding cardboard and there it is.

This type of board was originally produced and sold by Drueke.  In the very early 2000 decade, Frank Camaratta of The House of Staunton, had some made.

Just last year, The House of Staunton started selling a linen board.  I bought it.  I also own a couple of the vintage Drueke linen boards and the linen boards sold by the House of Staunton many years ago.

Both the Drueke and 2000 era HoS linen boards had the cardboard covered or wrapped in a navy blue or otherwise dark material.  The linen board color was of a dark olive green and a lighter beige for the squares.  This combination looks very nice and professional.

The latest linen board sold by HoS has the cardboard covered in a very light, cream colored material almost like a pvc material.  The color of the linen is also very light in both the green color being more of a Kelly green color and the light squares being that very light cream color.  Also the linen is coated with some kind of finish that is a high gloss.  The board looks more like a child's toy than a nice quality Chess board.

If you can get a linen board of the Drueke or 2000 HoS quality, it will be a nice thing.

BonTheCat

Agree with Eyechess, a linen fold-up board looks very neat and professional, easily beating vinyl, pvc and silicone in the appearance stakes (although obviously, if you expect to have soda regularly spilled all over the board, forget linen!). The cardboard is also nicer to play on. The colour combinations are typically very discreet and refined. Btw, I just looked up the HOS board mentioned, and I had a minor shock ...

In my experience, it's also a hard-wearing surface. If you search on eBay you'll be able to find linen fold-up boards that are 50 or more years old, which clearly show some signs of wear, but still look great.

My only issue with linen-boards is that felt is less suitable as padding on the pieces (they don't glide so well on linen). Thin, smooth leather works best.

 

RussBell

Agree with all of the above.  I have a couple of linen boards which I purchased from House of Staunton (HOS) and I like them very much.....just treat them well and they will serve you well...

wiscmike

I have a very old Drueke linen board. Still looks fantastic.  Why did they stop making their plastic chess sets,boards,etc when bought buy carron co. is beyond me. 

RussBell

The linen board (2.25 in. squares) is now available from HOS...

https://www.houseofstaunton.com/single-fold-regulation-linen-chessboard-2-25-squares.html

 

wiscmike

Thanks Russ, I see it is. I missed this completely. Looks very good in the pictures. 

Eyechess

Guys, I would look more closely at those photos before buying one of those boards.

I bought and own one of those and it really looks cheaply made.

It looks as if there is a clear lacquer or something making the surface shiny.  If it wasn't listed as a linen board, I would have never thought it was.  Sure, if you look very closely at the surface you can see the individual linen fibers, but that's about it.

The colors are also too bright.  The board looks the same colors as in the pictures.  When I put a set on the board, it certainly does not look rich as the other, earlier linen boards looked.

When I look at this board, in real life, I think of a cheap board game board, like Parchesi, Sorry and so forth.

I'm sorry to say that I would not buy this board if I were you.

wiscmike

TY Doc, will take your advice on this. Glad you had the old Drueke to compare against and yes the old HOS also are similar to Drueke.  I thought this one would be almost the same.  

FrankHelwig

folding boards have a crease - major drawback in my book...

RussBell
Eyechess wrote:

Guys, I would look more closely at those photos before buying one of those boards.

I bought and own one of those and it really looks cheaply made.

It looks as if there is a clear lacquer or something making the surface shiny.  If it wasn't listed as a linen board, I would have never thought it was.  Sure, if you look very closely at the surface you can see the individual linen fibers, but that's about it.

The colors are also too bright.  The board looks the same colors as in the pictures.  When I put a set on the board, it certainly does not look rich as the other, earlier linen boards looked.

When I look at this board, in real life, I think of a cheap board game board, like Parchesi, Sorry and so forth.

I'm sorry to say that I would not buy this board if I were you.

Eyechess - Thanks for the heads up on the new HOS linen board.  I had purchased the earlier HOS linen boards which I thought were pretty nice.  Apparently not so much now for the new ones...