1) Chemical baths

This is the bigger ‘secret’ and clearly takes the first position. The composition of the chemical baths is (and was)  always the very well-preserved secret of the stringmakers of the past and those of today. For example: we can do a lot of video on YouTube showing the whole process to make gut strings but, for sure, we will never tell or shows which are the chemical solutions that we employ, how we manage them and were we use them. Here is the truth: the exact concentration of the product, the different dilutions that are employed during all the process phases, the contact’s time and how we ‘massage’ the raw guts during the chemical treatment are all the most critical parameters on the quality of a gut strings.

At the end of the day, this actually is the very and ultimate secret.

2) The twisting ratio

This is what many already knows but, I say, it is not the most important. There are other things: the drying curve when the strings are on the frame, that it is very different if the weather suddenly change and/or if the strings is made with different quantity of guts. Then it is very important is how much tense are the fresh string just put on the frame and how you ‘massage’ the strings just after they are on the frame to dry.  It is very important when you add twist to the strings because there are more and more twisting steps, all related to the quantity of gut of the strings, then there is the right interval between the different twisting steps and … the weather: sometime we went up from the bed at 3 by night because the weather has changed and we must go to the factory and change something in the drying room.

3) The kind of raw gut

It is not the same if the raw gut came from a place instead another one. The medicines, hormones do not influence at all the gut string behaviours (till now this is what we have seen)

4) The cleaning process

It is not important at all if the raw gut was cleaned by machine or by hands: the goal is to obtain a very cleaned muscular membrane.  Both ways are ok.

5) The tools material

It is not important at all that the tools are made in wood like in the past times. It is the same, even better for the tool lifetime, to employ aluminium frames and plastic tools.

6) The kind of frame

It is not the same thing to employ a frame instead another one. the quality of the final string is very different.

7) Number of guts

It is not the same thing if the same gauge is made from 5 thick raw guts or instead from 8 thinner raw guts: the behaviours change drastically.

This is one of the best secrets.

8 ) Gut type

Beef gut or sheep gut: the performance are the same, but at the condition that they were worked in the same way (same chemicals, same twisting ratio etc) and that the sheep gut is cut in strips like the beef gut.  The strings made from whole unsplit lamb gut are, instead, far superior.


If there is not a stringmakers like a teacher and if there is not a lot of daily practice in a string making factory it is not possible to make real, professional gut strings. The chemical process is the background of this job.

Some amateur, nowadays, make a lot of experiments with chemicals with the hope to find the Holly Grail but with gut strings this experimental way unfortunately does not works.

Yes, one can make the string anyway, but they cannot be like those of the past: they  will be very dark (while in the past centuries this was always considered a sign of bad strings) , they will easily breaks and false in the gauge thinner of, more or less, 1 mm; they will have the strips badly bonded together,  they will be stiffer than the equivalent professional strings even if one have twisted them in a  very high twist (a violin and cello 3rd will be dul and hard to play with the bow: unfortunately  the preformers will think that it is not posible to employ a plain gut string) because the chemical process is not the right one.

Here is the deal:  the perfection of the gut string of the past was reached only after centuries and centuries with the continuous support of a lot of smart and clever people that worked hard on the field and were already professionist of this job. Only one that has not a clear vision on the whole situation can thinks that, because he is working hard and with passion (that is itshelf very good), will arrive one day, alone, to discover ‘The Way’.