View Full Version : Source for light-trapping felt?

Robert McClure
16-Aug-2005, 13:34
Now that I have removed the bellows and frames from my old 7x17 camera, I find I must replace the 80+ year-old felt strips. The original strips had acted as a light trap between the bellows frames and their respective standards (front and rear). The material is not very thick (although it may have been smushed by the pressure of the frames being screwed down on top of it).

Anyone know of a good source who has the material and can tell me what I should use?

Many thanks!

tim atherton
16-Aug-2005, 14:05
I know Dick Phillips orders his from some rare and exclusive source in France (I tried to get him to part with some, but his stock was low) - but I found something that worked very well at


or http://tinyurl.com/8t5sc

I think I ordered the #55 self adhesive (20x30 - the didn't have the 8x10 then - didn't catch that it was a two pack at the time - I think I got enough for 50 years...)

I needed it reasonably thin for some film holder clamshells and it was just right - I'm not sure how much thicker the #65 is.

It's not terribly expensive, and you'll never ever have to buy any again!

John Cook
16-Aug-2005, 14:24
The question is how thick and how coarse should it be to match what you are replacing?

Felt is available in many materials and weights at your local fabric store.

My wife, an orthopaedic nurse, is familiar with all sorts of materials used to line casts, etc. Your nearest orthotic/prosthetic maker has all sorts of whizz-bang stuff.

If you need it thin and cheap, and you don't mind coloring it from pink to black with a Sharpie, garden variety Moleslin may work:


Jorge Gasteazoro
16-Aug-2005, 15:32
I could not find any felt that I thought was good enough so I used black velvet...it worked fine for me. You might want to consider it if thickness is not an issue.

Richard Martel
16-Aug-2005, 16:26
I built a astronomical telascope a few years back and used felt that had a peel off adhesive backing that i used to line the inside of the 10 inch diameter tube. May I suggest a Google search for telescope building supplies. If you don;t have any luck email me.
Regards, Richard

16-Aug-2005, 18:34
The material pointed to via: www.edmundoptics.com/onlinecatalog/displayproduct.cfm?productID=1502&search=1 (http://www.edmundoptics.com/onlinecatalog/displayproduct.cfm?productID=1502&search=1 ) is flocking paper and while most excellent (in the non-adhesive form) for an antireflective surface treatment, it is not gate material. I use it all the time. For gate material we have to keep looking.

tim atherton
16-Aug-2005, 19:06
I don't think we are looking for gate material?

The flocking has worked excellently at replacing the light trap in some film holder clamshells (and appeared ientical to the matewrial I removed) as well as the various light traps on the back of a super graphic and in the front of a deardorff.

I wouldn't use it in the light trap for a film holder though, for example

Wilbur Wong
16-Aug-2005, 19:31
Best single source is http://www.mcmaster.com/

You need to know what you are looking for since there are many many options here.

16-Aug-2005, 23:50
I just finished making 6 brand-new 8x20 holders and used plain 1/4 or 3/8 inch wide dressmakers velveteen ribbon. I've been using this stuff to refurbish filmholders for years; it works just fine and the price and availability can't be beat.

Robert McClure
17-Aug-2005, 06:30
Thanks very much to all! This is extremely helpful. It never ceases to amaze me how you all just, sort of, come out of the woodwork with the very information I need.

Muchas Gracias!