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Humidity & Bows

Yankee Fiddler

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Can someone explain exactly what happens to bows when exposed to humidity? I notice that when I play outdoors at night or even indoors where there is lots of humidity that my bow keeps going slack, and I keep having to tighten up the hair again.

What exactly is happening? Is this damaging to a bow? Should a cheaper bow be used? Is it o.k. to keep cranking up the bow hair to make up for it going slack? Or, when this is happening, is this a sign that the violin should not be in these conditions either?


Yankee Fiddler

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Most of the additional flex comes in fact from the bow hair. Hair takes up humidity very quickly and gets longer under tension. (This effect is used to measure humidity since long time ago.)

The stick absorbes humidity very slowly only, the stick getting a little more heavy and a very little bit softer, so that is a bit of a problem in south east Asia for example, I have heard, but maybe somebody else knows a little more about this???

So normally there should be no problem. Just make sure you turn the bow very loose when you finished playing.

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Good morning.

First of all may i tell you about a fax that i got about 2 months ago.

One of our customers asked that out side was -4 and inside he had his central heating

on and it was very hard to work with the hair as you said in your question so we told him about one of our products called red string brand bow hair.

This may help you next time,

this hair has been specially prepared to permanently realign and straighten the chain molecules inside the hair,REDUCING the natural tendency to OVER STRETCH under tension therefore minimising the slackening off effect in the bow whitch occurs in humid condisions.

hope this has helped you

thank you

Mark Sowden www.sowden.co.uk

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