String making questions


My main interest is in making 100% cotton strings. The string I would most like to recreate is the string that comes with a Tom Kuhn No Jive. It is type 9? The string is very soft almost like yarn. Maybe some one can point me to the correct material.
I have found a material intended for crochet, but is slightly more rough than I would like. I am also having a problem at the fold point, the strings tends to be very tight and “kinky” sometimes to so much that it can’t be opened for a yo yo. Near the knot end it’s not so bad. I have moved my twist length down form 18 inches to 15, should it go closer?

I have had some mild success, but need some terms defined.

For example, if a string is described as 4 X 2 or 3 x 3 what is the meaning of this term?

What determines type 6 type 8 type 9 and such.

thanks in advance :wink:


I can answer some questions. :smiley:

You should be able to get plain cotton thread somewhere.

It’s probably too tight. I just look at the string to see how tight it is. If I get it too tight, it does the same thing as yours. I would suggest just twisting it less, but make sure to keep it taught (maybe that’s the right spelling) and don’t give it any slack.

4x2 would mean that there are 2 strands twisted together that have 4 strands in each of them. 3x3 would mean that there are 3 strands twisted together that have 3 strands in each.

I still don’t really get the type 8 and slick 6 determination.


Slick means that the string is 50% cotton and 50% polyester. The number after type or slick is just a less specific number of strands. Where 4x2 is two strands with four threads in each of them type 8 is just a string with eight threads. It could be 8x1. It could be 4x2. It could be 2x4.


More specifically… does any string maker hear know where to find the material used to make the string that comes with a Tom Kuhn No Jive?

The material I now use is described as… Preshrunk 100% cotton 1.5m crochet thread.
When I make string I am only twisting together 2 strands and folding them over.
Does this then make it 4 X 2?


You twist two threads together then fold them over to make the loop for the axle? That is 2x1.

Try making 6x1 or 8x1.


I am fallen in love with TK cotton strings too and I try for weeks now to find the best way to recreate them.

According to my eyes TK strings are 4x2 (two strands, four threads per strand) :

Two of the four threads are 3-ply and the two others are 2-ply.

On TK website we can read that the strings are made of “the finest Egyptian fiber”. I suppose that unmercerized cotton may do the trick.

Can someone tell me where I can find such cotton (or Egyptian fiber) & what are the best sizes to use ? It seems also possible to find cones of pretwisted cotton strings (10 plys ?). If you have more information about that let me know :wink:

Thanks !


If it can help : I bought 2 cones of umercerized cotton (8/2 & 16/2) and I can tell I found what I was looking for !

Now I need time to know what is my favorite string between 4x2 (16/2) and 2x2 (8/2).

(Owen) #8



@nemyo, not really, only by a bit less then a month. Isnt necroing better than starting a new thread?


He necro’d it before that. :wink:


Oh yeah, I should of looked a lot harder lol. Sorry nemyo

(Owen) #12

Haha yeah it was two years… :stuck_out_tongue:


Yeah 2 years but still actual for people interested in twisting their own cotton strings :wink:

Wood is good !