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Home > Books > The Art of Archery > Chapter IV: Of Bow Strings
Fourth Chapter.
Of Bow Strings

In the second part of this book, which will treat of bow strings, you will be told of the number of ways in which strings should be made, and of what the best are made. Bow strings are made of raw green silk and of hemp. Strings made of silk are good for flight shooting for three reasons, as Sexmodus tells us. The first is, that silk is so strong that it lasts longer without breaking than any other material. The second is, that the string can be made as thin as may be desired. The third is, that when properly made the string is so springy that it propels the arrow further and with greater force than when made of any other material The silk should be naturally green, and not burnt by dyeing, for it is spun green by silkworms. The other material of which strings are made is hemp, and this is of two kinds, male and female. The male is thick and coarse, and consequently is worthless for bow strings. The female sort is good, but it must be carefully picked and very well chosen. A good string should be gummed and not glued. The loop should be as small as possible, and well stretched with a stone weight (etendue fort a bonnes pierres de fais). And if you wish to know if a string is good, untwist the middle of it, and if the three strands are separate and distinct, it is a good one, provided always that when the string is twisted up again, it is hard and firm, for the harder it is, the better it will be.

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