Exploring Alternatives to Horse Hair
The traditional and widely used material for violin bow hair is horsehair. However, advancements in technology have allowed for the development of synthetic alternatives. Coruss, a company specializing in violin bows, has introduced a vegan violin bow made entirely without animal products. This innovation was prompted by the decrease in horsehair quality caused by environmental changes affecting the horses’ natural food supply. Coruss created synthetic hair from durable fibers that are unaffected by humidity and temperature variations. With its longevity and resistance to environmental factors, synthetic hair is an intriguing option for those open to trying something new.
Coruss utilizes carbon fiber or a carbon fiber/pernambuco blend for the bow’s stick. Additionally, they offer a special rosin specifically designed for synthetic hair, manufactured using organic materials and eco-friendly techniques. Not only does Coruss hair provide sustainability and durability, but it also offers a variety of visually appealing options, with eight different hair colors to choose from.
The Importance of Bow Rehairing
Regular bow rehairing is essential for maintaining the quality and performance of your violin bow. Over time, bow hair can break and become stretched due to changes in humidity and temperature. Additionally, it accumulates dust and oils, affecting its sound and responsiveness. The frequency of rehairing varies depending on personal factors such as playing intensity and bow maintenance. Surprisingly, many people overlook the significance of thorough hair cleaning, as it can refresh the sound and delay the need for rehairing.
If you’re curious about the rehairing process, you can watch a video of a violin bow maker demonstrating it [here](insert video link).
Proper Cleaning Techniques for Bow Hair
To effectively clean your bow hair, start by unscrewing the screw from the frog, separating the frog and hair from the stick. Take a toothbrush dipped in a small amount of rubbing alcohol and gently brush it through the bow hairs. Be cautious not to let the alcohol come into contact with the wood of the bow, and ensure the hair is completely dry before reassembling the bow. Additionally, you can occasionally clean the wood of the bow with violin polish to remove rosin buildup. If you take proper care of your bow, rehairing may only be necessary once a year.
If you’d like to learn how to clean your bow hair and stick yourself, watch this informative video [here](insert video link).
Debunking the Myth of Bow Hair Hooks
A common misconception about bow rehairing is the belief that horsehair becomes worn out when the little “hooks” on it start to get dull. However, when observed under a microscope, horsehair appears completely smooth without any hooks. It is the friction created by the rosin that produces sound while playing. To test this, try playing with a new bow that has no rosin and see if it still produces sound.
In conclusion, understanding the materials used in violin bow construction, the importance of regular rehairing, and proper cleaning techniques are crucial for maintaining the performance and longevity of your violin bow. Consider exploring synthetic alternatives and enjoy experimenting with different materials to find the best fit for your playing style.