String makers question


I tried DIY string making years ago and failed miserably .

Just tried again and I was able to get it pretty good.

After a few tries I figured out how far to tighten the first half, then the second part and it looks close to holding the tension/ twist compared to the strings I have. Also it took a couple to figure out if I wanted thin or thick. ended up at 8 loops.

It is a rayon thread I used and it has no real bounce at the end of the string. I did not go buy it for this as it was just some we had at home. Its pretty medium slippery, slacks better than I expected, but doesn’t ‘hold’ the shape/slack as some other strings…
Feels middle of the road as far as weight. Not heavy, not light.

Is it the thread type or the tension that gives it that bounce or slight shock absorber at the end?

Any suggestions on how to get the slacks to ‘hold’ the shape?

(InvaderDust) #2

Rayon is uncommon in the makers world. Its doable, but never seen it dialed. Id receommend trying the same thing you found that worked for rayon, with a poly. Theres lots of types, and most will work just fine. These will be heavier and hold their shape better in slack. There are fuzzier polys and slicker/smoother ones. They both work, but frizzy flows slower in the air.

You want bounce? Nylon will give it that. Wooly, Textured, Stretch nylons will all do this. They will be lighter in weight, and less color options, but smoother. Avoid bonded nylon. this is more like fishing line in feel.

Blend a poly with a nylon and you may have found what your looking for. Go buy so new threads and try again. It wont cost but a few buck and the activity and discovery is most pleasing!


I want your recipe Mr.

I plan on looking at home for more and at the store to experiment.

Do you do the 7 or 8 loops one way then 1/2 for the other way or do you make individual pairs first to make up the 8 loops. then put those together?

(InvaderDust) #4

the numbers will change based on what materials you use. Some I need 5, others up to 10. It also depends on how many spools you pull at once. Its weird, its exciting, it begs for experimentation and feel.

How much you twist it during the reduction, and how you release that tension will also affect end product. Some strings ill reduce 10 inches, others may need like 16 or more! and this is also based on how my rig has to be setup, so my numbers may not apply to yours. 10% is a good starting place for reduction. So if your strung-unspun threads are 11 feet long (just an example number) you might want to start reduction around 12-13 inches or so.

Stretchy strings will also greatly affect this and where feel comes into play more than numbers can. Cause you can pull harder, or give more resistance then you can give more spin in the same reduction measurement. So again, you gotta really go hands on to feel it out.

(Mk1 Yoyos) #5

The bounce is almost 100% due to the type(s) of thread used, as Dust says.

You can increase the density of the twist in two ways:

  1. During the first step, reduce it more
  2. During the second step, unwind it PAST the neutral point

This will make it rougher, but also hold its shape better.

(InvaderDust) #6


this guy strings. :slight_smile:


I found some neon spools of triable blend at home. Made a bunch more.
Found 8 loops was too thick and would knot easily, so I went to 7 loops. Even tried different colors by tying together so all the strands had he same tension for the first wind.

Worked wayyy better than my first attempts.

So I played it for a while and my wind came a bit uneven. The second wind like it had on looser 1/2. What can be done to prevent that?


Ok I’m wasting my time.
I then picked up the white heart string and it’s soooo smooth. Search no further.

How do you get the second wind to stay so nice and tight?


Wow I think I’m making progress. used some random thread and its a bit softer. Has slight bounce and a slight bit of fuzz. went down a loop from 7 to 6 and figured out how to tie 2 colors quickly and easily now.

Fun stuff.

Dust I would like to know what thread you use on the ones you sent me. Can you PM or reply here please?



Just a few I made. Seems the mix of threads works really well so far.
Buy still far from heart strings.

(InvaderDust) #11

Killer progress brother!! <3

The Whites are a blend of nylons. Ill Pm you some of the finer details, but those The Whites are 100% nylon.


Thanks for the tips guys. And thanks Dust for lighting the fire in my a$$ to try it by sending the strings with my purchase.
Fun stuff.

More searching I found some string making threads in the mods category. Wonder if this string should be relocated.

(Mk1 Yoyos) #13

At what point does a thread become a string? Guess we’ll need to ask the Discord developers about that.

I love how fast you’re digging into this! If you want to do a string trade sometime, I’m down.

(InvaderDust) #14

I see what you did there :wink:

Im so happy to see you hit the ground running. When i started making strings, it kinda consumed me. If i had more time, id still the the website still up and running, but for now im cool with keeping a personal stash set aside at all times. Gonna spend a few hours on the rig tomorrow though. :smiley:


Im not having good success with all nylon, it seems they hold better with some poly in it.
Then I Have issues with the different material keeping even tensions. Close, but not the nylon of heartstrings yet…

(InvaderDust) #16

I put like 50 hours, easy, into figuring how how to wrangle down those finicky fibers. I had hundreds of trials and errors before i found out how to do it how I wanted to. Adding poly really makes it easier, heavier, more colorful.

Its funny, making strings is pretty simple, but the activity is SO deep in its possibility and variances. Its beautiful really.


I Completely agree about the variance. Between the thread composition, types, colors, then there is thickness, first run tension, second run rollout.

I’ve been trying to figure out the easiest quick way to tie it off. With the nylon it snags on my rough fingers so easily, making end loops difficult or time consuming to say the least.
Also I was trying to find an easy way to keep initial even thread tensions with different types since the nylon is stretchy.
Then the combo strings worked best with 9 nylon and 2 poly. That one is time consuming.
But the nylon has the best playing feel on the fingers - so smooth and slippery.


Pm me you address I’ll send some out.

My biggest challenge has been the strings being snaggy on a bind and needing a few ‘safety’ throws to let go and sometimes they would knot and not. Also they would bind when I wasn’t trying. Finally have something I can work with, but it’s been a TON of tries to get here.

I’ve been able to mimic airetic (Which I really like as well). Unable to get the stiffness of heartstring yet.
More testing to come.


It took some trial and error, but this helped a ton - Pre twisting 1/2’s can do magic

From good to excellent. Thanks for the inspiration SP707 and Dustin

({John15}) #20

Awesome :slightly_smiling_face:

Glad to help