Cloth under violin - suggestions

September 6, 2018, 7:16 PM · Hello : I am looking for a suitable, light and absorbent cloth to put under the violin (no shoulder rest), I have looked at synthetic chamois, is the material PVA (Polyvinyl alcohol) harmful to the varnish?

Any other suggestions welcome :)

Replies (12)

September 6, 2018, 8:28 PM · Have you tried a chamois?
Edited: September 6, 2018, 8:35 PM · Even though I am a synthetic chemist, I would recommend a natural material. Natural chamois is wonderful stuff. So is leather, actually. Sometimes softer is not better.
September 7, 2018, 3:06 AM · I would also recommend a natural chamois, that is what I use, they sell nice pieces in auto shops, you can then use scissors to adapt it a bit to the form you prefer.
September 7, 2018, 6:38 AM · Hello: I have bought natural Chamois, it does work well, but it leaves fluffs quite often, does washing it help?
September 7, 2018, 7:01 AM · For years I fastened a rectangle of soft leather (more substantial than chamois but with a chamois texture to protect my skin) to the top of my chinrests using velcro. Enough of the leather hung down to protect my neck from the chinrest metal hardware and to cushion my collarbone.

More recently I have been using one of these on each of my chin instruments:

It works very well for me. I believe it is made of cotton.

September 7, 2018, 8:04 AM · I believe washing may make it stiff and rough, depending on the type. There seems to be slight differences with brands. Probably best just to cut off a new section when needed. Synthetic materials can cause skin irritation, react with finishes, and have an abrasive quality. Natural materials are less likely to have these qualities.
September 7, 2018, 12:14 PM · Hi thanks for all the replies. I think I will stick with cotton clothes :)
September 7, 2018, 12:16 PM · very strange, I am quite familiar with chamois also just as a cleaning material and I've never experienced a chamois that is fluffly or leaves plushy residuals!
September 7, 2018, 2:03 PM · I too use natural chamois, and for me it is an ideal replacement for the chinrest. Thinks... could chamois, or other leather, been commonly used in pre-chinrest days, before 1820?
Edited: September 7, 2018, 2:25 PM · Trevor I've also often wondered what they used in pre-chinrest days. However Leopold Mozart's book is completely silent on this as far as I remember. So it may be that it was really customary not to use anything.
September 8, 2018, 11:11 AM · I believe that the automotive use of a chamois is to dry a vehicle so no water spots. It should stand up to an occasional wash.
September 8, 2018, 11:27 AM · "I've also often wondered what they used in pre-chinrest days. However Leopold Mozart's book is completely silent on this as far as I remember. So it may be that it was really customary not to use anything."

Fiddle was on the arm, on the chest, below the collorbone, or on the collorbone but chin off, or chin on the wood left of the tail piece as advocated by Baillot (teacher of Kreutzer, etc) in 1835. You often find the left side of old instruments underneath the chin discolored...

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