Polishing Sleeves For Lawn Bowls: Evolution and Innovation

Lawn bowls has evolved significantly over the years, not only in terms of gameplay and equipment but also in the tools used of the green. One such tool in a bowler’s bag is the polishing sleeve or cloth. It’s an essential accessory for maintaining the condition and performance of lawn bowls.

Historical Context

In the early days of lawn bowls, maintaining the polish of bowls involved traditional methods such as oils or waxes.  This old school approach was effective but inconsistent in achieving optimal polish across all types of bowls.

From personal experience, there was a time that ladies pantyhose were used in abundance before more modern sleeves were used.

As the sport progressed, the need for quicker and easier methods became evident. This led to the development of specialized polishing sleeves designed to streamline the process of polishing bowls.

Materials and Design For Polishing Sleeves For Lawn Bowls

Modern polishing sleeves and cloths are made from a variety of materials, each offering unique benefits tailored to the needs of bowlers:

  1. Microfiber: Widely favoured for its ability to attract and hold onto dust and dirt particles, microfiber sleeves are gentle on the bowl’s surface while effectively polishing and maintaining its shine.
  2. Cloth: Traditional cotton or synthetic cloth sleeves are still popular among bowlers. They provide a reliable option for achieving a smooth finish on bowls.
  3. Felt: Felt sleeves are known for their soft texture, making them ideal for the final buffing stage to achieve maximum grip on the bowl’s surface.

Accessories for Enhanced Polishing

To complement the polishing sleeves or cloths, various accessories are used to help the polishing process:

  1. Polishing Solutions: Specially formulated cleaning and polishing solutions are used to precondition the bowl’s surface, making it easier to achieve a superior polish.  Things like Helensite’s “Grippo” are highly used and easy purchased at most clubs.
  2. Polishing Machines: In professional settings or for bowlers looking for consistent results, electric or manual polishing machines are used.  Not many clubs have these, but those that do prove that these are a wonderful piece of machinery.
  3. Storage Cases: Proper storage is essential to maintain the polished finish of bowls. Specialized cases with soft interiors help protect bowls from scratches and maintain their shine over time.

The Modern Approach

Today, the approach to maintaining lawn bowls has become more scientific and precise, with advancements in materials and techniques ensuring that bowlers can achieve optimal performance from their equipment. Polishing sleeves play a crucial role in the maintenance of Lawn Bowls. The definitely offer a convenient and effective way to keep bowls in peak condition.


In conclusion, the evolution of polishing sleeves in lawn bowls reflects the sport’s evolution over time.  From humble beginnings with simple cloths and oils to sophisticated microfiber and felt sleeves, the tools for maintaining bowls have come a long way. The use of specialised materials and accessories not only enhance the grip and feel of bowls, but also contributes to the overall performance. As lawn bowls continues to evolve, so too will the tools and techniques used to enhance your game. See the following article to get help Choosing The Right Lawn Bowls for you.