If your sound system's speakers have seen their share of wear and tear, the first place it will probably start to show is on the grill covering. This mesh cloth is used to attractively cover the front face of speakers, but it is so thin and becomes so fragile that over time it will stretch, tear and get noticeably worn. At some point, you may decide to replace this cloth, and if you decide to do so, you'll find it's a relatively simple process once you get the right materials together.
Lay the sheet of speaker cloth flat on your work surface and place the grill frame face down into the centre of it.
Put down a line of fabric glue around every side of the back of the speaker grill. Work quickly so the glue doesn't start to set too soon, but be careful to lay down a straight, even line with no bare spots and no excess glue pooling up in the corners.
Pick one corner to start and at that corner take the cloth and stretch it lightly over the frame and press that corner down into the glue. Don't adhere the fabric to the sides of the frame yet, just the corner.
Do the same to the opposite corner. This will create a small crease down the centre of the fabric that will eventually be evened out when you adhere the remaining corners.
Stretch the remaining two corners over the frame and press them into the glue so they hold. Picture this process as similar to stretching sheets over a mattress. You need to pull the corners of the fabric over the frame enough to eliminate any large creases that go across the majority of the fabric, but any small imperfections in the middle will be eliminated when you adhere the sides.
Pull each of the longest sides of cloth over the frame and press down into the glue. The amount you need to stretch the fabric depends on the severity of any creases in the middle. Pull enough to eliminate these creases and make the fabric taut but no harder--you run the risk of ripping the fragile cloth.
Repeat this process with the shorter sides, pulling just enough fabric over the frame to ensure the entire cloth is tight and flat.
Allow several hours for the glue to set fully before attempting to cut the excess cloth.
Once the glue has set, use a utility knife or razor to trim off the excess fabric along the back side of the frame. To do this, gently lift the unglued portion of cloth away from the frame and run the knife in a straight line parallel to the frame about three-quarters of an inch from where the glue line is. This will leave a slight overlap of cloth but not so much that you can't reattach the newly covered frame to the speaker.
Speaker cloth is relatively easy to find in most fabric stores. Like any raw fabric, you can get it cut in sheets to a specific size, so it might be a good idea to measure the length of all sides of the speaker to ensure you buy the right amount of cloth. Additionally, if you have trouble finding speaker cloth in your local store, most higher-end speaker manufacturers offer replacement cloth for sale.
Tips and warnings
- Speaker cloth is relatively easy to find in most fabric stores. Like any raw fabric, you can get it cut in sheets to a specific size, so it might be a good idea to measure the length of all sides of the speaker to ensure you buy the right amount of cloth. Additionally, if you have trouble finding speaker cloth in your local store, most higher-end speaker manufacturers offer replacement cloth for sale.