We have devoted a significant amount of time to the development our strings. It is a completely new – and at the same time a very old product. Below we provide you with information about our string making process. This will allow you to rediscover our historical sheep gut strings with joy.
Raw Materials and Manufacturing Processes
- We work exclusively with fresh, manually cleaned gut from lambs that have been raised in Europe.
- Our strings are 100% handmade.
- In our workshop we solely use tools and aids that were employed during 18th and 19th century string production, with one exception: Luckily, the raw gut is no longer transported to our manufacturing workshop by horse-drawn carriage.
- We twist our strings with love, using tried out and tested combinations of whole or split gut.
- Our production methods are based on the most recent research on 18th and 19th century string production: The University of the Arts Bern (HKB) project “From Field to Fiddle”.
- We design our strings to suit the requirements of different instruments, adjusting and obtaining the optimal balance between pitch, sound and required tensile strength. For example, we construct a 1.2mm-diameter string intended as an A-string for the cello in a different manner than a 1.2mm-diameter string intended as a D-string for the violin.
- Our strings are only gently hand-polished, the polishing procedure only smoothing the surface of the string. Due to this method, the internal structure of the string is not damaged, the string frays less, and the life of the string is prolonged. The attack of the bow is better thanks to the natural surface structure, resulting in a more direct sound and feel while playing.
- We do not use any artificial additives such as varnish or glue. Our strings our treated exclusively with olive oil.
Tips for choosing the ideal string diameter
- Sheep gut is noticeably more flexible than beef gut. Therefore, we recommend choosing a thicker sheep gut string than a comparative beef gut string.
- Generally, the best sound and string performance is achieved by using strings of equal tension across the whole register of the instrument. You may, however, prefer to use thinner strings than suggested by equal tension calculation for the lower registers of the instruments.
- Retuning between 415 and 440 Hz does not pose a problem for our strings. However, if you have chosen to use thick strings for an intended pitch of 415 Hz, we do not recommend tuning up. If you plan to regularly tune to 440Hz or higher, please choose thinner strings so as to not stress your instrument.
- WARNING! Old, thinly built and much-repaired instruments usually require an adaptation in string strength so as not to endanger the instrument! Choose a lighter stringing for such instruments.
- Humidity and temperature changes influence the diameter of the string.
- Of course, the diameter choice is ultimately determined by your playing style and taste!
Care of strings and adjustment of instrument
- In some cases, notches in the nut and bridge, as well as holes in pegs and tailpiece will need to be adjusted to accommodate the thicker strings.
- Sharp edged notches in the nut and bridge or sharp-edged holes in the pegs and tailpiece can lead to strings breaking prematurely!
- If a string produces impure fifths, this can be due to a slightly unequal diameter along the length of the string. To solve this problem, you can turn the string around (exchange the peg-end with tailpiece-end).
- This often solves the problem. Rub excess rosin off with a dry cloth. In the event of a large rosin build-up, the strings can be carefully cleaned with alcohol. Be sure to protect the varnish of your instrument!
- The strings can be re-oiled with almond or olive oil to protect them from moisture and sweat.
Our strings are produced with natural materials. Should you recieve a string that is inconsistant in sound or bowing, please send it back. We will replace it at our cost.