123ArticleOnline Logo
Welcome to 123ArticleOnline.com!

ALL >> Music >> View Article

Violinmaking: Inlaying The Purflings

By Author: Nathan Weiss
Total Articles: 71

Purflings are the decorative inlays highlighting the edges on the faces and backs of most stringed instruments. Since the first violins were made in the 16th Century, purflings have been consistently a key component of the aesthetic of violins, violas and cellos. A tiny sandwiching of three woods of contrasting colors is set in a carved channel that travels along the edge of the entire front and backside of the instrument. Aside from adorning the instrument, purflings may add flexibility to the top plate while reinforcing the plate’s edge against cracks running with the wood grain.


First, materials must be selected to create the purflings. These vary widely among violinmakers. The two outer strips tend to be made darker, while the inner strip is of lighter color. Some use ebony for the dark strips, though it is a hard and unbending wood. Others may use maple for all three, while coloring the outer strips in a dying process using Lockwood and ferrous sulphate. A few makers have turned to non-wood materials, such as whale baleen or corn husks, to create the dark sandwiching layers. Fancier purflings might come from nacreous shell or silver.


The layers can be “shaven” and then stacked and glued. Then, going crossways, they are shaven again. The three wood strips are about 1.5mm. to 3 mm. wide and bendable. A blade is used to score the edges of the purfling channel, and then a knife is used to deepen the edges. Then, with a narrow-bladed chisel, the luthier removes the wood between the cuts. A bending iron can be used to heat and bend the purflings to the correct shape. They are then placed into the channel. Small adjustments can be made to the channel to ensure a comfortable fit.


The “mitre” is the name for the pointed edges of violins, violas and cellos where two layers of purflings connect, also called the “bee sting.” The mitre is particularly difficult and requires great skill. The two sets of layers are cut to fit together so that the colors align. Finally, hot animal glue is applied to set the purflings in place. A light hammer can be used to tap gently on the purflings to even them and squeeze out any excess glue.

Total Views: 127Word Count: 395See All articles From Author

Music Articles

1. The Basics Of Purchasing A Used Guitar
Author: Rayhill Audio

2. Selecting A Learners Electric Guitar
Author: Rayhill Audio

3. Ukulele Lessons Winnipeg – Vocal Lessons Winnipeg For Language Development!
Author: Swawn Coughlin

4. Ukulele Lessons Winnipeg – Voice Lessons Winnipeg Can Remove Those Energy Blockages!
Author: Swawn Coughlin

5. Winnipeg Drum Lessons – Take Vocal Lessons Winnipeg To Feel Better And Stress Free!
Author: Swawn Coughlin

6. Best Match
Author: Adithya Vishag

7. Playing The Instrument Sitar In A Mesmerising Way
Author: Sandip Chakravarty

8. Key Advantages Of Downloading Odia Movie Songs Online
Author: Suresh Sahu

9. Musical Instrument Rental Service- Is It Worth To Contact Them While You Are In A Need?
Author: Kenny Holton

10. Importance Of Telugu Songs In The Tollywood Film Industry
Author: Suresh Sahu

11. How To Buy Worth Ukuleles Online
Author: Rayhill Audio

12. Backline Rental Florida- Right To Choose For A Perfect Concert
Author: Kenny Holton

13. Electric Guitar Purchasing Guide For The Beginner
Author: Rayhill Audio

14. Picking The Right Musical Instrument For You
Author: Rayhill Audio

15. Winnipeg Drum Lessons – Stress Can Be Eliminated To A Huge Extent While Joining Drum Lessons Winnipe
Author: Richmond Frasier

Login To Account
Login Email:
Password:
Forgot Password?
New User?
Sign Up Newsletter
Email Address: