Nowadays, most of the professional stringmakers use beef gut instead of sheep gut. From an historical point of view, the early use of this material dates back to the half of the xviii century but so far we have no evidence of a musical use of it. The industrial production of “serosa” type strings is made possible by machines called “slitting machines” that cut the intestines transforming them into stripes.

Further explanations on the video below:

Essentially, the portion of intestine usually called “runner” which has a diameter of 40 to 50 millimetres and a length of 40 to 45 metres is to be cut in two or three longitudinal stripes starting from the fatless part, meanwhile the remains (around three quarters of all the material) constitute the waste and will serve other purposes.

Sheep gut can instead be kept unsplit or be cut in the middle. The result of the second process consists in two stripes called “beef serosa” which are indeed a kind of “sandwich” made of two membranes: the first one is called layer 1, it has a longitudinal configuration and, consequentially, it is more resistant, the second, and weaker, one is called layer 2 and its fibres are in a diagonal order.

Because of the different shape and consistency of the two layers, their separation becomes necessary and it can be carried out by human personnel or by a specialised Machine. The presence of layer 2 in layer 1 stripes is the main cause of string breakages and unfortunately it cannot be predicted by simply observing them.

Layer 1 serosa type stripes measures are subjected to international standards used on sutures and tennis strings such as 19,16,14,8 mm in width and their length is based on frames used for industrial production of chirurgical threads and tennis (6 to 12 metres)

Later, the stripes form a pack called “bundle”, (made of a hundred strands) which is then salted n order to be preserved and transported.

The use of beef serosa has also brought surprising results:

  • High productivity , quick working process, low manufacturing cost
  • Easy reproducibility of the different batch of strings
  • High resistance to traction

Those advantages allow us to provide our strings to a numerous clientele at a remarkably convenient price, maintaining anyway a certain quality standard, this is a rare peculiarity when talking about sheep gut products. Hypothetically speaking, if string factories ceased to produce beef gut strings, the prices would literally skyrocket because In the past, there were hundreds of these factories, anyway, today the professional ones are just a few.


What about sonority?

It is often claimed that sheep gut stripes have better acoustic performances than their beef gut counterparts, nevertheless there is no scientific evidence of that, meanwhile is ascertained now that unsplit gut is superior to both of them.

The truth is that a string’s acoustic performance depends exclusively on its material’s specific weight and on its elasticity. The specific weight of beef and sheep gut is the same, in fact they are both made of collagen; regarding elasticity, it is dependant only on the way the string is made (and it’s measure is the twisting degree). Another important factor are the chemical processes used in stringmaking, which are always kept secret.

In the end, it is possible to produce excellent beef gut strings as well as tremendous sheep gut strings and vice versa.

Our beef gut strings are produced with an ingenious mixture between modern methods to obtain reproducibility, stability and a rapid production process, and old ones to gain the best sonority and durability.