Is Woodworm Treatment the Secret to Stradivarius' Success?

Picture of a Treated Violin

Most of what we cover in our blog posts addresses negative things like wood rot and woodworm. We thought it might be nice to turn the tables this month and address something positive. We will set things up by asking a question: is woodworm treatment the secret to Stradivarius' success?

Lovers of classical music recognised the Stradivarius name as being the premier name in violins. The man Stradivarius was a 17th century instrument maker whose precision instruments have become the standard. A Stradivarius violin is an exceptionally high-quality instrument with a distinct sound that has never been replicated.

The longevity and quality of Stradivarius violins and violas has long been thought to be the result of especially dense maple that may have been used to create them hundreds of years ago. But new scientific research suggests Stradivarius quality has nothing to do with the wood itself. Rather, it may be a woodworm treatment that deserves the real credit.

Wood Treated in an Unusual Way

In a study released late 2016, researchers from the National University of Taiwan revealed that they found nothing remarkably unusual about the maple used in centuries-old Stradivarius violins compared to the wood being used today. They said the older wood is not any more dense than its modern equivalent, shooting down the theory that denser wood makes Stradivarius violins what they are.

However, researchers did find that Stradivarius' 500-year-old Maple was especially resistant to wormwood. They investigated further to find that the wood had been treated with a number of minerals that were not widely used back then. They cannot say for sure whether the treatment was intended as a woodworm killer or a more general seasoning to preserve the wood over time, but either way, the mineral cocktail in the wood makes it resistant to woodworm.

Researchers also discovered that the minerals used in original Stradivarius instruments was used almost exclusively in Cremona at the time he was alive and working. A few other instruments from the same period and region were examined and found to contain some of the same minerals. Those minerals include aluminium, calcium, zinc, potassium, copper, and sodium.

We Are the Experts

So what does all this have to do with Thames Valley Timber Treatment? It's simple: you don't have to accept woodworm as something that comes with living in the UK. We certainly have our share of woodworm problems here, but none of the problems are so severe that it cannot be overcome by experts. Getting a handle on woodworm infestation is just a matter of approaching it the right way.

Thames Valley Timber Treatment is the woodworm specialist in Berkshire and the Thames Valley. If you believe you have woodworm problems in your home, don't try to treat them yourself. Instead, call the experts. We know how to handle woodworm just as Stradivarius apparently did. Better yet, our services cost a lot less than a genuine Stradivarius violin.


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