Bow Strings


Active member
Bit of a question for you all. With everyone of my longbows I've had strings with Flemish twists in for the end loops (sometimes at both ends, sometimes just one end and a bowyers knot at the other).

But, I was wondering could you use a recurve style string on a longbow (to the right length of course), with serving at top at bottom?

Only reason why I'm asking is I've seen a few longbows with strings served at the top and bottom, but they aren't hugely common. So I was wondering whether there were (m)any advantages/disadvantages to the different styles.

Del the Cat

Well-known member
I use a continuous loop string served top and bottom on all mine except when I'm tying to be "authentic medieval" then it's linen, flemish twist with a Bowyers knot at one end.
I think the main advantage is consistency, ease of making 'em and the serving helps stop wear. On the other hand the serving can shift leaving ugly gaps. I don't trust bowyers knots with modern string materials, and i don't even trust 'em much with natural fibres, unless done with extra tthreading through of the tail and pulling really tight.
There is a perceived advantage that a laid in flemish twist type loop has more strands round the loop, but tests have shown it makes little difference.
E.G a continuous loop string of 10 strands only has 5 at the actual nock loop , but breaking strain tests show it still breaks at the 10 strand poundage.
A flemish twist of 10 strands has 10 strands going round the loop, which is fatter, but a continuous loop string can have extra strands laid in and it has serving to bulk up the loops.
You pays your money you takes your choice. Bottom line, if you make your own, try both and see which you find easier (time spent making jigs is well spent)


New member
Del's on the money, really. I've used both, on all sorts of weight bows, but personally prefer the Flemish twist as I can make them in my hand without any jigs at all - saves lots of space and quite a bit of time. I think it's more a preference thing, but as Del said the pros of continuous loop strings far outweigh the cons and they are probably the most reliable and consistent type.

Depends whether you want to be traditional, make your own, or just buy them. If buying them (is there a cost difference? Never bought a string before) then continuous seems to make more sense as it will probably stay reliable. Then again, a well made Flemish without too much wax and laid in with plenty of tension has never let me down yet....