Why two-strand string instead of three-strand string?

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Carl the Piper
Registered User
Joined: 12 Jun 2009, 03:14

12 Jun 2009, 03:14 #11

Ho there, I have always done three strands for my strings. Reason being I was shooting 80 pound plus bows. It is easier to work with many individual strands grouped into three bundles and the string comes out better and stronger. I have used linen, hemp and Dacron for material. I think this is why they used three strand bundles on the English long bows, since they were possibly a 100pounds plus.


Registered User
Joined: 17 Jun 2005, 23:07

11 Mar 2013, 17:35 #12


Above is a real commercial flemish string of long hemp fibres, the original string on an Aldred kid's English longbow, here slightly untwisted to better show the long hemp fibres.
You will notice that it is not made "like a rope" since the body of the string is just "rolled" long fibres, no counter twisting of plies, no two or three ply cordage.
It was originally coated with a definite "glue" layer, which bound the fibres together and gave a harder, smoother appearance that you can still see a little of in the picture of the laid in loop, much of which is now absent from the main body of the string.


Likewise, the body of an English string is typically not made as two or three ply cordage, only the loop end and the tail being made as three ply cordage.
Why three ply? In my case because I can't divide 15 strands by two as easily as by three, and anyway it makes a string with a more rounded cross section.
The main body of threads is just gathered and has a slight twist rolled in, enough for it to keep together and hold a round cross section, not so much that it coils like a spring.


From the top down:

My version of a light commercial 3 ply string, made in the hand.

My own made in the hand 3 ply, 15 strand fast flight with re-inforced loop. Tails fully tapered and laid in

A US made string, in this case a light 2 ply string where the laid in section of the loop is braided and the string corded throughout the whole length, but the tails of the laid in part are not tapered, just cut off.
Particularly when "slackly" made, which is all too common, these tend to not hold as round a cross section in the body of the string when under tension when braced as does the uncorded twist.

A typical light commercial 2 ply 12 strand English made in the hand string.

Last edited by Rod on 28 Feb 2015, 09:41, edited 3 times in total.
It's meant to be simple, not easy.