Sometimes bows are given less attention than they deserve!  A good re-hair is one which brings out the best inherent qualities within an individual bow.  Like the instrument bridge and post, if a bow is not set up well, it will not sound as good as it should.

Bow Re-hairs

Over time bow hair gets worn, can stretch and when the hairs consistently break this is usually an indication that it is time to re-hair the bow.  Hair also accumulates dirt from the atmosphere and the hand.  Worn or dirty hair prevents the rosin from sticking and the resulting loss of grip on the string will affect the tone of the instrument.  

Re-hairing a bow involves many aspects.   A bow is examined for any other potential issues prior to the re-hairing where, after careful consultation with the owner, the following procedure may follow.

  • a worn thumbleather is straightforward to replace, 
  • a twisted stick can carefully be rightened, 
  • a crack or split end needs careful attention to restore,
  • small wooden wedges, that hold the hair in place without glue, are carefully removed,
  • old hair is taken out,
  • stick and fittings are cleaned,
  • new wooden wedges are prepared,
  • new hair is fitted according to the strength and nature of the individual bow,
  • new hair is presented in an even ribbon without loose hairs showing.

Cello bows are treated a little differently from violin or viola bows.  For example, the "playing side" is on the opposite side so extra hair packed onto the playing side is an advantage to the musician.  A stronger type of hair is generally used on the heavier bows. 

Please contact the Workshop on 021 450 6868 to arrange an appointment for a re-hair or general overhaul of your bow. 

Bow Tension 

Keeping the bow at high tension when not in use can cause the hair to overstreatch and reduce the usable life of the hair. This can also result in the bow stick straightening and / or warping. All this can be readily repaired but we would rather prevent the need in the first place!

The following are some tips to help presever the life of the bow hair.

  • always loosen the tension on the hair after use,
  • for Violin bows, the general advise is that once the hair is under tension the distance between the hair and bow stick should be no more that the thickness of an average pinky finger,
  • for Viola's the bow should be tensioned a little tighter than above,
  • for Cello's, please ask teacher for advice and a demonstration,
  • finally, for our beginner players, never touch the bow hair!


Rosin is an important aspect to any bow.  Too much rosin dust is bad for the varnish of an instrument, so if the bow snows rosin onto an instrument it could be as a result of:

  • the rosin being of poor quality,
  • the bow hair being worn,
  • too much rosin is applied.  

Bow Sales

Vegter Violins has a large range of bows for sale, from new to refurbished to suit all instrument types and price ranges.  Please contact the Workshop on 021 450 6868 for details on the current stock.

Bow Repairs & Restoration

Vegter Violins specialise in bow repair and restoration.  Please contact the Workshop on 021 450 6868 to discuss the type of repair or restoration required and to arrange an appointment so that an accurate assessment and quotation can be supplied.

Phone 021 450 6868

Fax 021 450 6868

Monday to Friday: 10am to 5pm; Outside these hours by Appointment