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Half rectified high twist
unsplit lamb gut strings, Type HU

The origin of the employment of gut to make musical strings is lost in the mists of time. Through the centuries manufacturing techniques were gradually refined until they reached the perfection unanimously recognized as the trademark of Italian and French string makers in the 17th to 19th Centuries.


The purpose of the current work, supported by constant research and painstaking experimentation by Aquila Corde, is to offer natural gut strings produced by modern crafts people, working in the centuries old Italian string making tradition that has been passed on from one generation to the next. We endeavor to provide you with the very best results of this practice, HU unsplit lamb gut strings, and with them aim to capture the magic of sound that only gut, of all materials, yet can achieve.

                                                Technical specifications
Plain twisted gut strings are the first choice for general use in high and mid registers. All strings less than 0.50mm are low twist. Strings greater than 0.50 mm in diameter are exclusively high twist, though the twist increases with diameter, to ensure maximum elasticity and the best acoustical performance, ease of attack and long playing life, as proven by many acoustical and wear-and-tear tests.

Plain gut strings are now exclusively half rectified twisted unsplit lamb gut (HU). This is the traditional string making method used in Italy for hundreds of years, but was lost with the demise of gut stringing in the late 19th century, and now has been re-discovered by Aquila Corde.

The surface of the HU/HV strings is only partly rectified, imitating the manual polishing technique of earlier times to obtain a string that is true in it's vibration. With this method the amount of fibers damaged by the abrasive action is noticeably reduced as compared with strings rectified with modern procedures. These strings best imitate historic hand- polishing in that they damage only a small amount of gut fibers as compared with current rectifying methods. Owing to the special manufacturing technique employed in the production of the half-rectified string type, the diameters available indicate a mean value; for example a 66 (0.66mm) string will have a diameter between 65 and 67.

All gut strings are also now available in varnished (HV), made from beef gut.  String varnishing is a modern treatment which was never used historically (gut strings were kept in olive or almond oil, which we recommend highly) and its sole purpose is granting a longer string playing life. Aquila's varnish formulation is designed by a chemist and is far superior to the varnish used by other makers. The advantages are: better stability against climatic changes, and potentially longer playing life. HV strings are available by special order only. Please inquire.

Background painting: Orazio Gentileschi
Young Woman_Playing a Violin
Public Domain
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