To regulate humidity for a humidity-hate violin case with a humidity-love violin inside it

Edited: November 7, 2019, 10:57 AM · Hello,

I live in Jakarta where humidity is very high (80-90%). My violin is from Europe, a much drier continent compared to where I am now, and the humidity makes my violin swollen and the fingerboard lower. The luthier had to cut the below part of the neck to lift the fingerboard again. I assume that the violin problem has been solved now, but not the violin case.

The violin case is so swollen that the case cover cannot zip anymore. An experienced luggage repair man where I consulted refused to repair it since it is too complicated. In short, I have to buy a new case.

Right now I am interested to buy a case from China due to its lightweight, durability and the price; but I have no idea of the humidity where it was made. I assume the humidity in Jakarta is much higher and the China case may swell too. I was thinking about buying a carbon case, but as I researched further, apparently it is heavier and has much smaller compartment than the China case I want to buy. So, carbon case is not an option.

To avoid the China case from swelling, I am thinking about putting desiccant inside the case to keep the case dry, but I am afraid the interior maybe too dry for my high humidity-adjusted violin (the below part has been cut off).

In short : the China case may hate humidity while my violin now loves humidity

Any idea how to regulate the humidity? Does anyone have an idea from what place the China cases usually were made and what is the humidity there?

Replies (8)

November 7, 2019, 10:32 AM · "Any idea how to regulate the humidity?" Buy a dehumidifyer. 80% humidity is high, too high. You could get one of those humidity control packs (e.g. Bogeda) that goes into the case, but chances are the case itself will saturate the pack quickly. I think your best solution remains controlling the humidity level in the room where you keep and use the instrument.
Edited: November 7, 2019, 11:14 AM · Thank you Roger.

You give me an idea to buy a bigger box as "a house" for my violin case and regulate the "ambient" humidity inside "the house" by putting desiccant.

And I will put my violin in the old swollen case, since my violin body has been adjusted to high humidity. If I put it inside the new violin case in "its house", it will crack.

November 7, 2019, 11:15 AM · How about styrofoam for a case material?
Edited: November 8, 2019, 3:26 PM · Step one would be (if you have not ready) to get an accurate hygrometer. Without an accurate reading, it's like shooting darts in the dark. If you already have an hygrometer, did you verify its accuracy? Many hygrometers are completely out of wack.

Controlling a larger space humidity with dissicant most likely would require a large bucket full of that stuff, not very practical, and once saturated dissicants are no longer effective. I think you would be better off with a small dehumidifyer in a closet if controlling an entire room isn't an option.

Humidity control packs are met to work in a "small" case and work both ways, i.e. they absorb and release humidity as needed. You would want one that is specifically designed to maintain humidity level at 49Rh. They don't last for ever, and should be replaced at regular intervals (time vary with the degree of humidity being controlled). You may want to look up Boveda online.

Edited: November 7, 2019, 4:44 PM · If your violin is adapted to the ambient humidity, and if you want to play anywhere you like, you don't want to store it in a drier space when not playing.

Alternatives to carbon are Gewa's "Thermokern" (a sort of stiff injected thin foam shell, very robust) or the Styrofoam that Paul suggested (light, shock-absorbing, but definitely not crush-proof).

Edited: November 10, 2019, 3:18 AM · Thank you all for helping me to solve this case.

I have been thinking about this for days, and now I decide: I am NOT going to regulate humidity for my new violin case. Instead, I will take a simpler way : buy an oblong-shape violin case, and if the wood expands, I will just need to change the cover.

I had peeled my previous expanded violin case to see whether I could change the cover myself. Actually it is a simple thing to do, but since my previous violin case is in violin shape, sewing the cover with many curves needs skills. If it is oblong shape, I think I can do it myself.

November 10, 2019, 4:24 AM · You wouldn't consider a case made of some material other than wood?
November 15, 2019, 7:05 PM · Hi @David Burges,

The new case only has a zipper, not a key. Zipper will work only when the upper and and lower part of the violin case cover can touch each other. If the wood expand, the cover can't touch each other, and the cover won't zip. So, my issue is mainly the wood.

The new case has the same system and design as my old case, it's just the new case is oblong shape, so the predicted problem will be the same : cannot zip

My plan is, If the wood of the new case expand, I will only need to change the cover.

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha YVN Model 3
Yamaha YVN Model 3

Corilon Violins
Corilon Violins

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases


Violin Pedagogy Symposium
Violin Pedagogy Symposium

Masterclass Al-Andalus
Masterclass Al-Andalus

Aria International Summer Academy

Meadowmount School of Music

Bobelock Cases


Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Wangbow Violin Bow Workshop

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine