Chin rest and shoulder rest cloth

January 16, 2018, 9:05 AM · After many years I've recently started playing without a shoulder rest. I've noticed players who use a piece of cloth or fabric over the chinrest and bottom of violin. What are people using for that fabric? I've tried a small cotton hand towel and that seemed rough and thick.

Replies (8)

January 16, 2018, 9:10 AM · Chamois is most typical, I believe.
January 16, 2018, 9:41 AM · Sometimes I use a piece of extra large microfiber cloth. The kind that is used to clean glasses and camera lenses, but big ones, like around 12 x 12. This is enough for me, but some people may want a piece of thicker fabric for comfort.

Other times I use a chinrest cover which I designed myself by using fine silk and cotton blend fabrics on the outside. In between the front and the back of the chinrest cover, I underline with a piece of flannel for padding.

January 16, 2018, 10:10 AM · Could be almost anything sturdy and thick enough.
Edited: January 16, 2018, 10:39 AM · Too thick, or too much, chamois, especially over the bass bout, and it could dampen the sound a little, which has been my experience with a rather resonant instrument, so experiment to find what works best for you and violin. Otherwise, chamois seems to be ideal - soft and flexible, doesn't slide, is easy on the skin, and doesn't damage the violin.

If, when playing CR-less, you are a violinist whose chin naturally contacts the tailpiece and the treble bout you may wish to consider wrapping a strip of chamois round the tailpiece so that both ends fall freely over the end of the bout.

Btw, avoid chamois substitute. It may look much the same as the real thing but it ain't.

Edited: January 17, 2018, 2:21 PM · No one actually answered the OP’s question: WHY use a cloth at all? My guess (I don’t use one) is to reduce body contact with the instrument for one (to avoid sweat damage on sensitive varnish), to reduce slippage when not using a shoulder rest and comfort (and perhaps some weird sense of violin fashion?)

Addendum: Oops sorry Jim is right, I mis read, my mistake. Not what the OP’s was asking (must have got mixed up in the French side of my brain!) sorry. OP asked “What are people using for that fabric?“, meaning What are people using, for that fabric? (As in What fabric are people using?) and NOT What are people using for, that fabric? (As in What is the fabric used for?)... English sometimes baffles me... like you drive on a Parkway, and park in a Driveway!

Edited: January 16, 2018, 1:32 PM · Roger, I just re-read the OP's entry. He didn't ask why -- or, if he originally did, he must have edited it out later. At this hour, the post reads: "After many years I've recently started playing without a shoulder rest. I've noticed players who use a piece of cloth or fabric over the chinrest and bottom of violin. What are people using for that fabric? I've tried a small cotton hand towel and that seemed rough and thick."

I use the Strad Pad -- I began using these devices at 18 y/o. Mine attach to the chin rest with a Velcro strip and cover the rest and metal brackets. So simple -- and quite economical -- no slippage and no skin irritation. Ever since I started with them, never considered using any other covering.

January 17, 2018, 2:39 AM · Thanks! My question was too vague. Both why people use cloth and what cloth they use. I'll give chamois and microfiber a try.
Edited: January 17, 2018, 2:19 PM · I started using chamois to protect my neck and jaw 40 years ago when I first learned about it. Bought the first one at an auto parts store.

After seeing thicker small soft leather rectangles at a sewing materials store, I bought them and used velcro to affix them to all of my chinrests. This served me well for many more years until I found this "Premium Cotton Chinrest Cover" for sale at SHAR: https://www.sharmusic.com/Accessories/Chinrests/Premium-Cotton-Chinrest-Cover.axd . The product I actually received from SHAR when I purchased was "Vaagun Chinrest Cover Black." I don't know if that is what they still sell and I cannot find it being sold in the USA, but it is sold in UK and Germany.

I now have this cover on 2 violins and one viola. It cushions and protects my jaw, neck and collarbone. To use it you need a chin rest with a little clearance between the chinrest and the violin top. If I were in the "endorsement business" I would endorse this product. It comes in 3 sizes - if you are interested it would be worthwhile to phone or email SHAR and describe your chinrest (know its style!).

I still have the soft leather rectangles on 2 other violins.

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