Rosin, also known as Als colophony, is the resin of coniferous woods. In violin building you find it used

  1. For lubricating bow hair
  2. As a component of varnish

Use: Rosin gives the bow hair the stickiness needed to bring the string to vibration. Many manufacturers utilize their own trade secrets in the rosin production process to extract the desired qualities out of the resin used.

Rosin manufactured by Bernadel

Rosin manufactured by Bernadel

Rosin is also used as a component in the production of violin varnish. This is often recognized by the sensitivity to scratches of the various varnish types. Sometimes even little "scrapes" leave behind noticeable traces. Because of its brittle quality, we recommend that you use varnish manufactured without rosin.