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Coruss Bow Hair

No reason to switch to synthetic bow hair?  Coruss not only matches horse hair's tonal quality in blind studies, it also possesses greater strength and durability!

In fact the hair performs so well, it is the bow hair of choice for the award winning Orchestre de Chambre de Toulouse, especially when performing abroad. Whether you're a touring musician, a vegan, someone seeking to save money on bow rehairs, you're concerned about animal welfare, or perhaps just want the novelty of playing a bow with coloured hair, Coruss is for you!

Here's why so many players are leaving horsehair behind:

  • Hydrophobic: Low humidity uptake keeps Coruss stable, regardless of ambient humidity.  Take note, touring musicians!
  • Reliability: Unlike horsehair, Coruss is very durable.  Its innate resistance to heat and humidity slows its lengthening, allowing a rehair to last a least three times as long as horse hair.
  • Preservation: Do you keep a spare hank in case an emergency rehair is needed when travelling?  Coruss won't degrade like horsehair when stored for long periods, so your spare hank will last a lot longer, and will not be attacked by wooly-bears, as horse hair does.
  • Colour: Coruss is available in white, black and a range of colours (see gallery at bottom of the page).
  • Strength: Coruss doesn't break under normal use like horse hair.
  • Tone: In blind tests, even professional musicians can't distinguish Coruss from horsehair .  When informed which is being played, 85% preferred Coruss, whilst 100% believed Coruss produced a much more articulate sound.
  • Ethically sourced: Coruss bow hair uses no animal products.
  • Clarity of sound: Coruss is capable of producing subtle dynamics without any tonal distortion.
  • Practicality: Coruss is strung in exactly the same way as horsehair.

Other reasons to use Coruss :

Climate changes have caused extremely harsh winters in Mongolia, called the 'Zud', or 'Dzud'. Animals are unable to graze and find food and die. Most of the hair used for bows comes from Mongolia or Siberia. A shortage of horses means a shortage of hair.

Also, the increase of demand for hair all around the world means that we have to share with many more people than ever before. Whilst it is fantastic to see so many people taking up string instruments, we have to recognise the impact on availability, supply, animal welfare, and carbon footprint.

Allergies to horse hair : it may not be very common, but like all allergies, horse hair allergy is on the rise, and very debilitating. With Coruss, you can give up horse hair rather than playing!

Frequently asked questions :

Q :  My bow rehairer does not stock Coruss. Where can I get it?

A : As Coruss is still relatively unknown,  most luthiers and bow carers will be reluctant to stock large quantities of Coruss to sell it only occasionally. You can always buy Coruss at Cardiff Violins in individual hanks and ask your bow carer to rehair with it. It also avoids waste.

Q : My rehairer does not want to rehair my bow with Coruss because they don't know how to do it.

A : Rehairing with Coruss is not very different to rehairing with horse hair. The trick is not to let go of the hair as it is slippery. At Cardiff Violins, we have rehaired in excess of 100 bows with Coruss, and you can certainly send us your bow for rehair if it is easier.

Q: How much does a rehair with Coruss cost?

A: The rehair in itself costs the same as with horse hair, but as it lasts at least 3 times as long as with horse hair, in effect the cost over the same period of time is a third. Many players have reported that their rehair lasted a lot longer than three times as long, and therefore the cost would be divided in that many times.

Rehairs by post

Unable to travel to the shop for a rehair?  No problem!  Send your bow via post or courier.  Please fill in the following form and send it with the bow: Right click here to download form.

Please make sure you send your bow in a solid container such as a drain pipe. Wrap it gently in bubble wrap, ensuring it isn't overtightened, as this can result in your bow bending during transport. Do not use cardboard tubes as they aren't strong enough.

You can order Coruss bow hair from our online shop and ask your usual rehairer to fit it for you.  It is now available in colours!


Sheku (winner of BBC Young Musician Of The Year) and Braimah Kanneh- Mason

The Coruss hair is really great and we love the strong sound it has produced. It's also nice to know, no harm has been done to animals in its making!

Tim Older, Double-Bassist, BBC National Orchestra of Wales

After 28 years of service in a professional orchestra, using traditional horse hair on my bows and having to rehair them very often, I  discovered Coruss hair and decided to give it a try. I now recommend it to all my colleagues and all players in general. Apart from the obvious massive saving due to the longevity of the hair (in nine months, I have only broken two hairs, which is extraordinary for a double bass bow being played every day), the playability is also very satisfying. I get more sound without working so hard, so less is more, and that is good for my arm! Sound-wise, it is slightly different, but not in a bad way. In fact, I find the response better, the notes are more immediate. So all together, I am delighted and will carry on using and recommending Coruss bow hair!

Gordon Ewan

Just a quick note to say how pleased I am with the Coruss bow hair. I fitted it last week and have to say that it is superb. Needs a bit more rosin than usual but plays with minimal bow noise and good grip. I find that cello rosin works best. It has transformed an ordinary Snakewood baroque violin bow into a very expensive feeling bow that plays effortlessly and with great precision. Thank you very much.

Oli Wilson-Dickson (ALAW, Jamie Smith’s Mabon, The Devil’s Violin)

Perhaps I tilt my bow too much or perhaps I perform with just a bit too much enthusiasm. Either way I had been finding my bow in need of a re-hair every two or three months. That was until I re-haired with a nylon hair from Chris King at Cardiff Violins. That was over a year ago and I have yet to break a single hair. It wasn’t an instant success - I had to change my rosin to find something that worked better with the combination of nylon hair and my bow/instrument.  I also perceived a very slight loss of tone compared to brand new natural hair. But the difference being that the natural hair would degrade much more quickly. This just keeps on going! I suppose in the same way that some excellent bows simply don’t work with some excellent violins - this might not be a solution for all outfits - but with its consistency, longevity and excellent value its definitely worth a try.

Christian Meaas Svendsen, Norway,

I came to Cardiff Violins searching for synthetic bow hair for my double bass bows. For some reason it seems like the classical luthiers are persistent in keeping with the tradition, and finding alternatives to animal products in our line of work can sometimes be a hassle. Therefore I was so happy when I found Coruss bow hair. They work excellent for my type of playing which is — well a bit out of the ordinary. They are super durable, and I haven't broken a single hair since I got them (and I used to break a lot!). What is really super about them is that they have all the qualities needed for playing more conventional as well. I simply rejoice by the fact that a competitive alternative has entered the market, and I hope the rest of the business follows suit. I will recommend Coruss bow hair to every player I meet, regardless of playing style!!!

Marija Lalović, Zagreb Academy of Music

I have a big problem with horse hair because it breaks a lot…..I have to rehair my bow every month, sometimes even more.  Fortunately, if Coruss hair doesn't break so easily ( it didn't break so far), I think I found a solution.  It's better than I expected! It produces solid sound immediately as I touch the strings.

Renaud Gruss, Double Bass Soloist & General Administrator, Orchestre de Chambre de Toulouse

Over my 33 year career as a musician, I myself have been faced with the problem of the deterioration of horsehair, and this is, surely, what motivated my desire to find something else.

Horsehair will certainly remain a leading material. When it is good quality, which is increasingly rare, it provides complete satisfaction.  However, uncertainty about horsehair quality makes Coruss essential for professional musicians like myself.

Of the 4 bows adapted to different types of repertoire I use in the 140 concerts the OCT gives every year, 3 are strung with Coruss and one with horsehair, just for the pleasure of varying the sensations. My colleagues at the OCT have also chosen to keep one bow strung with horsehair and to rehair the others with Coruss.

I am certain that many musicians would take this technological step, whilst keeping some bows with horsehair for specific purposes.

Matthew Crisp, London

Having had a very high quality bow rehaired with Coruss I have fallen in love with my violin's sound again. This new hair has enriched my palette of sound colours and given me more scope for refinement of articulation. With Coruss I can do more in less bow and this is extremely exciting for me. I thoroughly recommend Coruss to all players!

Gavin Stoddart

My viola bow needed rehairing, so I am trying Coruss synthetic hair.  It is different to horsehair.  

Upside:  The appearance of the hairs on the bow is much more even and flatter than I ever had with horsehair. With appropriate rosin, the contact with the strings is firmer than with horse hair, and I am able to produce a deeper and more resonant tone.    This is excellent for loud passages.  For quieter, I am needing to use less bow length.

Downside:  I am having to concentrate more on my right hand - with the firmer string contact it is less forgiving to poor bowing technique (actually, this is perhaps an upside !).  The other difference is that Coruss hair needs much more frequent rosin, and I am giving three firm strokes of Pop’s rosin for every 2 or 3 hours playing

Sarah Markle, Charlotte Symphony

שחר Shacharb, Israel

The package had arrived two weeks ago and it took me a long time to find a violin maker who agreed to replace horse hair with synthetic hair.  Although, I did find someone at last, and he rehaired my bow.  Up to now, I played with it a few times, and I absolutely love it!  It feels the same as horse hair and It looks amazing!

Christian, Germany

I just wanted to tell you how amazed I am with the Coruss hair! I feel it sounds really nice and is very responsive and easy to play with.

Olivia Willson-Piper (Noctorum, MOAT, Atlantæum Flood)

I stumbled across Coruss hair whilst investigating creative ways to refurbish some of the bows I hadn't been using. I use D'Addario Helicore Octave Strings on one of my instruments, strings that require a slightly different approach to playing as they're thicker with medium tension. The combination viola bow + Coruss hair + Andrea cello rosin turned out to be the ideal solution. Coruss hair enables loud and strident playing. The attack is quicker and the tone much richer. On the lower strings Coruss cuts out unwanted overtones. Overall I was surprised by the dynamism of Coruss hair and most delighted by the colour range. Recording in Penzance I was able to ship my bows using poster tubes. Communication with Cécile was a delight! If I lived near Cardiff I'd be a regular.

Aleksander Gabrys, Salzburg

I had a lot to do in Serbia, played yesterday a really successful recital with piano and with the red hair and everybody around was very happy about the music the hair fits really perfect for immediate, instant reaction and "answer" of the string in some accents and very high flageolettes, when good colophoned. I liked playing it in this music very much, also my colleagues were impressed by how it worked, congratulations, great job from Coruss Team!

Gary C Sloan, Denver, Colorado, USA

Greetings, I tried your synthetic bow hair a few years ago and, as a swing/variety musical performer and entertainer who only bows a few times per gig in a state (Colorado) whose dryness and temperature changes are notoriously problematic, I am thoroughly impressed by its resistance to fluctuation and the ridiculous life span.
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