Horse Tail Hair Wanted for Bow Project

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
4 weeks ago
655 posts

I looked on the International Violin website and found mostly "salt and pepper" bow hair, but they did have black hair for bass bows. I've dealt with them since I began making dulcimers in 1974 and everything has been of good quality. They been good folks to deal with.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Dinahlee
Dinahlee
@dinahlee
4 weeks ago
1 posts

You might try Ebay and look for show horse tail extensions. Check to see that they are made from real horse hair. Many people that show horses use them.

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 weeks ago
1,749 posts

Gregg I was asking questions because I know the struggle of not wanting to waste money on crappy bow hair by mail and how we are somewhat dependent on ordering things from people we don't know.  Also, I wanted to mention that I and Michael King both found the Mongolian black hair to be pretty good for our folk style bent bows.  (not that I'm any expert).  Just trying get more details on what you've done in the past or are looking for specifically now, and why you might need certain specifics. Just trying to help but maybe it came across wrong. It's fine with me that you are seeking hair here.  nod




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Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Gregg Schneeman
Gregg Schneeman
@gregg-schneeman
4 weeks ago
27 posts

Last time I checked there were still lots of horses and horse owners here in America, some of whom play the Dulcimer and might even bow on their Dulcimers with a bow they haired with hair from their own horses. I am trying other sources such as local stables so if you don't like my asking this question of FOTMD members tell me and I'll take it down.

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 weeks ago
1,749 posts

I would think that over time it'd be more and more difficult to find the kind of quality long pristine hair you are looking for from the US. This is also why the really long straight human hair used for long wig or hair extensions almost all comes from Asia as well. Because hair takes so many years to grow and requires such care in preparing/packaging, for people in the US to grow and sell it doesn't make them much money. 

Have you asked on violin making sites, or maybe even on horse fancier sites?




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Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Gregg Schneeman
Gregg Schneeman
@gregg-schneeman
4 weeks ago
27 posts

So I don't quite get your point Strumelia, are you trying to tell me I shouldn't even try to find an American horse tail? Because I had one for over 30 years that made lots of bows and just recently got used up. 

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 weeks ago
1,749 posts

Most everything I see is "Mongolian stallion" black hair.  I've bought 23" hanks of that in the past and used it for folk arc bows (I like to put a whole hank into a bow), and also for twisting jouhikko strings. Seemed to work fine for me.  It's the same stuff that Michael King in the UK uses for his bows and twisted strings as well.




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Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Gregg Schneeman
Gregg Schneeman
@gregg-schneeman
4 weeks ago
27 posts

All the horse hair intended for use on violins and cellos I have seen has simply been too flimsy, brittle, imported from Asia, and also very expensive.The violin bow builders would not even try to hair a standard recurve low tension bow with a frog etc. with regular horse hair, which is what my folk bows require,maybe a nycleharpa  bow uses thicker hair like I'm talking about. I've tried local upholstery supply stores but they have told me that their suppliers stopped supplying it to them. 

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 weeks ago
1,749 posts

So why not just get some hanks of hair intended for fiddle bows then?




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Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Gregg Schneeman
Gregg Schneeman
@gregg-schneeman
4 weeks ago
27 posts

Strumelia:

Gregg, is 2.5 feet substantially longer than the hanks of horsehair one gets for rehairing violin or cello bows?

 Actually they would need longer horse hair for a full size violin or cello bow. 20 inches is the minimum length I need for Bowed Psaltery Bows but longer Dulcimer Bows would need the full 32 inches.


updated by @gregg-schneeman: 01/29/20 12:21:37PM
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 weeks ago
1,749 posts

Gregg, is 2.5 feet substantially longer than the hanks of horsehair one gets for rehairing violin or cello bows?




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Gregg Schneeman
Gregg Schneeman
@gregg-schneeman
4 weeks ago
27 posts

I'm making a batch of Bowed Psaltery Bows suitable for Bowed Dulcimer as well. The Bows I'm working on are Archet style bows for which I need thicker, sturdier straight, prefer black, two and a half feet or longer, as much as a whole horses tail laid out straight and tied with a string on the thicker end mailed to me in a mailing tube. Please contact me here if you have or know a source for Horse Tails.