Ariane Todes gets an exclusive peek inside a string factory

String eye

On a recent trip to Sarasota, Florida, I was given a special tour inside the Super-Sensitive Musical String Company factory. It was fascinating to see the intricate processes and phenomenally complicated machinery used to make strings. These little pieces of metal seem so simple on the surface, and yet to create the layers and tensions and strengths takes complete accuracy, achieved with a mixture of human skill and cutting-edge bespoke machine technology. 

The string manufacture business is highly competitive, but here are a couple of not-so-secret pictures that I took of the winding process. One shows the machine that adds the metal eyelet, the other the thread being wound on, with a laser used to show when to stop. They show the complexity of the technology involved in winding the strings we use every day.