THE MANUFACTURING PROCESS
The process for producing natural gut tennis strings is a highly complex process. Below you will find the general work flow to manufacture our natural gut:
- Strands of cow intestine arrive at our string production facility in large barrels.
- The strands of intestine are removed from the barrels and washed to remove salt, which is used to preserve the intestine en route to the facility. At this stage, the intestine is gently washed in a series of baths, where a detergent is introduced to soften the strings.
- Once washed the gut moves on for a thorough inspection where fatty or discolored strands are removed to ensure the utmost best quality make it to the next stage.
- After being inspected the strands are then layered together by a specific predetermined number to obtain a general gauge of the string.
- The strands are then measured to ensure the appropriate length necessary for the specific application, which at times could be up to 42 feet long. Approximately 2 feet is lost throughout the remainder of the production process. It will take approximately three cows to produce one set of natural gut tennis string.
- Next, the gut is sent to a curing tank where chemicals are introduced to sterilize, whiten, and cure the gut. It’s natural for gut to have a distinctive orange hue, which is mostly, but not always removed at this stage.
- Once cured the strings are spun together a specific number of times depending on the desired gauge of the string and tensile strength.
- The gut is then sent to the drying room where it is dried at a controlled level of humidity for up to three weeks. During this time the gut regularly has twists applied to it. This step is considered to be one of the most critical for producing a great set of strings.
- After being dried the gut undergoes a second stage of drying for up to 3 weeks to ensure the strings are completely dry.
- At this stage, the strings are typically rough so they are sent through a grinder to produce a smooth even finish and more accurate correct gauge.
- Next, the strings are either given a coat of oil or coated for extra durability. Normally we do not heavily coat our V5 strings rather oil them, whereas our V5(+) model has a unique coating process applied to it. Again more time is needed to manufacture perfect, beautiful coated strings such as our V5(+) model. There are both pros and cons to either process. Uncoated strings are not quite as durable, but generally provide the most gut like performance in terms of feel, touch and power. Uncoated (V5) type model strings are the "softest" of all natural gut strings. Coated strings tend to last longer and can handle much higher tensions. Though, coated strings V5(+) do not necessarily provide the best
"true" gut like feel they are the most durable and perfect looking consistent guts in the world. Yes all guts are softer than polys by far, but when coated they of course lose a little softness.
- Lastly, our strings are checked for quality, packaged and shipped in our state of the art triple sealed packaging for extra longevity.
As you can see the process is rather labor intensive, which is part of the reason why natural gut tennis strings are more expensive than their synthetic counterparts. Though, the old saying goes once you go gut it is hard to return back to 100% synthetic. Additionally, long term, gut is so much easier on your body adding many extra years of physically activity.