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Mr. Sowden....

I recently went to a performance of a very respectable community orchestra in my town, and I noticed that 2 violinists' bows were strung with some very unusual hair: one was bright green, the other red. I hadn't seen this before. Is this merely dyed horsehair or is it some new innovation. Any information you can present would be very much appreciated. Thank you.

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Dear Dean,

Thank you for your question,

The hair that you saw was indeed dyed,usually punk bands have there bows haired with different colors just to be unusual or to make some statement.

The hair would not last very long as it first has to be bleached which seriusly weakens the hair and then dyed into the prefered shade.

The only people who like colored hair are horse hair cloth manufactures which is very expensive.

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Dear Al

I have always been enthrawled by bow makers who hair bows in the 50/50 way. To my way of thinking it can only cause problems by hairs frequently breaking out .

I have sucsesfully talked teachers into hairing the bow in the corret method, white end in frog first,as this is the way hair should be used,naturally the hair is stronger there and slightly thicker which in turn fills the ferrule correctly.

Iwould like to see everybody using this method as it will save me trying to explain to people why their hair is breaking unnessesary

Hope this helps as i can only speak from the hairs poit of view.

All the best, and hope your feeling ok .


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Mr. Sowden, thank you for the explanation. Last weekend I heard Pamela Frank play Kernis's , and her bow hair was dyed blue. Colored bow hair was something I had never seen before either.

I don't know why, but my guess (and I could be completely wrong) is that it might have had something to do with the nature of the piece as well as the fact that she had dedicated her performance to the memory of Felix Galimir, who passed away earlier that week. She also wore black for her performance.

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Yes, the white end is the one near the hair root in the skin. The tapered end of mare horse is slightly darkened by urine, but this etching effect tends to give the hair more "bite" on the string. This is very desirable because the tapered end is installed in the bow tip, and the upper bow is lighter and therefore needs more "bite" there. The stallion hair is cleaner because they don't pee on it.

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: Yes, the white end is the one near the hair root in the skin.


horse hair varies in color from horse to horse.

I have owned horses for 23 years and KNOW this to be true. brown/black and some red horses have black , brown, or combination colored tails. palomino's

greys and some paints (bicolored horses) can have

white or sometimes varicolor tails. generally the

color is uniform the length of the tail unless

the horse's tail is varicolor or a combination of colors. Mare's and stallions BOTH raise their

tails when they urinate-they also squat in effort

not to get tails and hoofs splashed. however , the

tail can and does get stained with manure!

get your facts straight please! HAHAHA

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It is quite amusing to read that DAVID T has spent 23years watching his horses bathroom habits,unfortunatly david must have not been able to withstand the natural forces of wind,strictly in weather terms of course,and retreated indoors.

I have been in the unfortunate position of standing near to a mare as it peed in a quite light wind and felt the spray on my skin,i must have been 3yards away at the time and facing towards its rear end.

So to conclude,its tail was far closer than i was.

Subsiquently i now have a slight rust tan, lord knows what the tail looks like.

I would advise david to take a closer look next time and get HIS facts straight.DAMMIT i never thought david might be refering to ROCKING HORSES???????

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