Catgut is a type of cord[1] that is prepared from the natural fibre found in the walls of animal intestines.[2] Catgut makers usually use sheep or goat intestines, but occasionally use the intestines of cattle,[3] hogs, horses, mules, or donkeys.[4] Despite the name, catgut manufacturers do not use cat intestines.

A piece of gut cello string


The word catgut may have been an abbreviation of the word "cattlegut". Alternatively, it may derive by folk etymology from kitgut or kitstring—the word kit, meaning fiddle, having at some point been confused with the word kit for a young cat; The word kit, being derived from fiddle in Welsh. [5]

Common uses

Stringed instruments

Violino classico, dettaglio
Catgut violin strings

For a long time, catgut was the most common material for the strings of harps, lutes, violins, violas, cellos, and double basses, acoustic guitars and other stringed musical instruments, as well as older marching snare drums. Most musical instruments produced today use strings with cores made of other materials, generally steel or synthetic polymer. Gut strings are the natural choice for many classical and baroque string players[6], and gut strings are still most commonly preferred in concert-tension pedal/grand and some lever harps because they give a richer, darker sound as well as withstanding high tension within low alto, tenor, and high-bass ranges[6]. Many acoustic guitarists moved away from gut strings in the early 1900s when the C. F. Martin & Company introduced steel strings, which gave greater volume to the guitar. "The demand for steel came from ensemble players, who couldn't make themselves heard clearly without it."[7] Within a few years the majority of Martin guitars were made with steel strings to accommodate the demand. After World War II, most classical and flamenco guitarists switched from catgut to the new nylon strings for their greater smoothness, durability, and stability of intonation.

Before 1900, the best strings for musical instruments were reputedly from Italy. Musicians believed the best were from Naples, though Rome and other Italian cities also produced excellent strings. Today high quality gut strings are produced mostly in Italy, Germany, and the United States. They are also made elsewhere, for example in India and Morocco, for local use.


Catgut suture was once a widely used material in surgical settings. There is debate about whether to continue using catgut in a medical setting, since cotton is usually cheaper and wounds closed with either cotton or synthetic threads are less prone to infection.[8] Catgut sutures remain in use in developing countries where they are locally less expensive and easier to obtain. Catgut treated with chromium salts, known as chromic catgut, is also used in surgery.[9]

Tennis racquets

Natural gut is still used as a high-performance string in tennis racquets, although it had more popularity in the past and is being displaced by synthetic strings.


To prepare catgut, workers clean the small intestines, free them from any fat, and steep them in water. Then they scrape off the external membrane with a blunt knife, and steep the intestines again for some time in potassium hydroxide. Then they smooth and equalize the intestines by drawing them out. Lean animals yield the toughest gut.[10] Next, they twist the prepared gut strands together to make string. String diameter is determined by the thickness of the individual guts, and by the number used. A thin string, such as a violin E, uses only three or four guts, whereas a double bass string may use twenty or more. After twisting and drying, workers polish the strings to the required diameter.

Before the twentieth century, the strings were simply rubbed with an abrasive to smooth them. Today they are generally ground down to the desired diameter using a centerless grinder. After drying and polishing, workers bleach and disinfect the strings using sulfur dioxide, dye them if necessary, and sort them into sizes.

Catgut sutures are normally treated with a chromium salt solution to resist body enzymes, to slow the absorption process, and are called catgut chromic sutures—whereas untreated catgut sutures are called catgut plain sutures.[11]


  1. ^ Underwood, Oscar Wilder (1913). "Tariff schedules: Hearings before the Committee on ways and means". Strings for Musical Instruments. p. 5691. Retrieved February 27, 2010. [T]here is no such thing as crude catgut or catgut unmanufactured. Catgut is a manufactured article and a finished product; the crude form are the intestines or guts of sheep or other animals.
  2. ^ Roenigk, Randall K.; Henry H. Roenigk. Roenigk & Roenigk's dermatologic surgery: principles and practice. p. 93. Catgut sutures are made from the submucosal layer of the small intestine of sheep and the serosal layer of the small intestine of cattle.
  3. ^ "The unusual uses for animal body parts". BBC. 2011-06-06. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  4. ^ Hiskey, Daven. "Violin strings were never made out of actual cat guts". Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  5. ^ Therapeutic Gazette. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  6. ^ a b Bruggemeyer, Cecelia (Jan 22, 2018). "What are period instruments?". Youtube. Retrieved Jan 29, 2019.
  7. ^ de Ste. Croix, Philip, editor - The Complete Guitar Encyclopedia, New York: Parragon Books, 2014, pg. 14
  8. ^ iPad iPhone Android TIME TV Populist The Page (1944-02-07). "Cotton vs Catgut". Time. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  9. ^ Start, N J; Armstrong, A M; Robson, W J (1989). "The use of chromic catgut in the primary closure of scalp wounds in children". Archives of Emergency Medicine. 6 (3): 216–219. doi:10.1136/emj.6.3.216. ISSN 0264-4924. PMC 1285609. PMID 2789586.
  10. ^ "Workshop Companion". Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  11. ^ "Types of Catgut Sutures". Dolphin Sutures. Retrieved 2014-01-07.

External links

1000 Guineas Stakes

The 1000 Guineas Stakes is a Group 1 flat horse race in Great Britain open to three-year-old fillies. It is run on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket over a distance of 1 mile (1,609 metres), and it is scheduled to take place each year in late April or early May on the Sunday following the 2000 Guineas Stakes.

It is the second of Britain's five Classic races, and the first of two restricted to fillies. It can also serve as the opening leg of the Fillies' Triple Crown, followed by the Oaks and the St Leger, but the feat of winning all three is rarely attempted.

Action Masters

Action Masters are a sub-line of the Transformers toy franchise, first released in 1990, with a wave of new releases released in Europe in 1991. It featured Transformers action figures who were unable to transform, but came with transforming partners, weapons or exo-suits. Some of the larger sets came with transforming vehicles or bases. This was the last sub-line release as part of the original Transformers toyline before the launch of Generation 2.

Archibald Donald

Archibald Donald (May 1860 in Edinburgh–17 April 1937 in Alderley Edge) was consulting gynaecological surgeon at Manchester Royal Infirmary and professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the Victoria University of Manchester. Donald was notable for routinely sterilising catgut sutures and for a surgical repair technique for Uterine prolapse that later became known as the Fothergills Repair and later still became known as the Manchester operation

Catgut (horse)

Catgut (foaled 1816) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare who won the classic 1000 Guineas at Newmarket in 1819. The Guineas was the filly's only competitive win in six races, her other victory coming when she was allowed to walk over on her racecourse debut.

Catgut Ya Tongue

Catgut Ya' Tongue? is an album by FourPlay String Quartet. This is their first studio album; it mainly consists of covers with two original tracks.

Catgut suture

Catgut suture is a type of surgical suture that is naturally degraded by the body's own proteolytic enzymes. Absorption is complete by 90 days, and full tensile strength remains for at least 7 days. This eventual disintegration makes it good for use in rapidly healing tissues and in internal structures that cannot be re-accessed for suture removal.

Catgut suture has high knot-pull tensile strength and good knot security due to special excellent handling features. It is used for all surgical procedures including general closure, ophthalmic, orthopedics, obstetrics/gynecology and gastrointestinal surgery. It is absorbed faster in patients with cancer, anemia, and malnutrition. It also absorbed faster when used in the mouth and the vagina, due to the presence of microorganisms.

Catgut has largely been replaced by synthetic absorbable polymers such as Vicryl and polydioxanone. It is not used at all for human surgery in some countries. In Europe and Japan, gut sutures have been banned due to concerns that they could transmit bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad-cow disease), although the herds from which gut is harvested are certified BSE-free.


The chakhe (Thai: จะเข้, pronounced [t͡ɕā.kʰêː], also spelled jakhe or ja-khe), or krapeu (Khmer: ក្រពើ; also called takhe, Khmer: តាខេ, takhe, takkhe or charakhe), is a fretted floor zither or lute with three strings used in Thai and Khmer music. The Thai and the Khmer instrument are virtually identical.It is made of hardwood in a stylized crocodile shape and is approximately 20 cm high and 130–132 cm long. The "head" portion is 52 cm long, 28 cm wide and 9–12 cm deep; the "tail" portion 81 cm long and 11.5 cm wide. It has eleven (chakhe) or twelve (krapeu) raised frets made of bamboo, ivory, bone or wood, graduated between 2 and 3.5 cm in height, which are affixed to the fretboard with wax or glue. Its highest two strings are made of silk yarn, catgut or nylon while the lowest is made of metal. They are tuned C–G–c. The instrument is usually supported by three or five legs.The player—sitting beside the instrument—uses his or her left hand on the fretboard while plucking the string with his right hand with a 5- to 6-cm long, tapered plectrum made from ivory, bone or water buffalo horn, which is tied to the player's index finger, and bracing it with the thumb and index finger. The instrument has a buzzing sound because the strings are raised just off the flat bridge by a sliver of bamboo or other thin material such as plastic.

In Thai music, the chakhe is part of the Mahori ensemble, in Khmer music, the krapeu is part of the equivalent Mohori. Among the Khmer classical instruments, the takhe is probably the most recently introduced; it is assumed to be adopted from Thai music. It is used for wedding music, A-yai, and Chapei music as well as modern music.

The name chakhe is derived from chorakhe (จระเข้), meaning "crocodile". The word krapeu means "alligator" or "crocodile" in the Khmer language, as well.Chakhe and krapeu are also related to the Myanmar/Mon mi gyaung (kyam), which has however realistic zoological features and not just the abstract form of a crocodile. More distantly, they are also related to the Indian Veena.


The claviharp is a 19th-century musical instrument that combined a harp with a keyboard. J. C. Dietz invented the instrument in 1813 CE. His grandfather was one of the first upright piano manufacturers. Struck by what he saw as difficulties and defects of the harp, in 1810, he built an instrument à cordes pincées à clavier, which connected a keyboard to the harp strings.

He made the instrument to address limitations of the harp—susceptibility of catgut strings to atmospheric change, inconsistency of sound as finger motion varies, limited diatonic scale (without pedals), and lack of dampers. The claviharp's keyboard plucked the strings (as a harpsichord) rather than strike them (as a piano).


The dutar (also dotar or doutar;

Persian: دوتار‎; Tajik: дутор;

Uyghur: دۇتتار‎, ULY: Duttar, USY: Дуттар; Uzbek: dutor; simplified Chinese: 都塔尔; traditional Chinese: 都塔爾; pinyin: Dōu tǎ ěr; Dungan: Дутар) is a traditional long-necked two-stringed lute found in Iran and Central Asia. Its name comes from the Persian word for "two strings", دوتار do tār (< دو do "two",تار tār "string"), although the Herati dutar of Afghanistan has fourteen strings. When played, the strings are usually plucked by the Uyghurs of Western China and strummed and plucked by the Tajiks, Turkmen, Uzbeks. Related instruments include the Kazakh dombra. The Dutar is also an important instrument among the Kurds of Khorasan amongst whom Haj Ghorban Soleimani of Quchan was a noted virtuoso. In Kormanji one who plays the dutar is known as a bakci (bakhshi), while in Azeri the term is ashiq. Khorasan bakhshi music is recognized on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

At the time of the Dutar's humble origins in the 15th century as a shepherd's instrument its strings were made from gut. However, with the opening up of the Silk Road, catgut gave way to strings made from twisted silk imported from China. To this day some instruments still feature silk strings, although nylon strings are also commonly used.

The dutar has a warm, dulcet tone. Typical sizes for the pear-shaped instrument range from one to two meters.

George F. Merson

George Fowlie Merson FRSE FPS FCS (1866-1959) was a Scottish pharmacist who produced an artificial surgical catgut called Mersuture. In authorship he appears as G. F. Merson.

Racket (sports equipment)

A racket or racquet is a sports implement consisting of a handled frame with an open hoop across which a network of strings or catgut is stretched tightly. It is used for striking a ball or shuttlecock in games such as squash, tennis, racquetball, and badminton. Collectively, these games are known as racket sports. Racket design and manufacturing has changed considerably over the centuries.

The frame of rackets for all sports was traditionally made of solid wood (later laminated wood) and the strings of animal intestine known as catgut. The traditional racket size was limited by the strength and weight of the wooden frame which had to be strong enough to hold the strings and stiff enough to hit the ball or shuttle. Manufacturers started adding non-wood laminates to wood rackets to improve stiffness. Non-wood rackets were made first of steel, then of aluminum, and then carbon fiber composites. Wood is still used for real tennis, rackets, and xare. Most rackets are now made of composite materials including carbon fiber or fiberglass, metals such as titanium alloys, or ceramics.

Catgut has partially been replaced by synthetic materials including nylon, polyamide, and other polymers. Rackets are restrung when necessary, which may be after every match for a professional. Despite the name, "catgut" has never been made from any part of a cat.


Sewing is the craft of fastening or attaching objects using stitches made with a needle and thread. Sewing is one of the oldest of the textile arts, arising in the Paleolithic era. Before the invention of spinning yarn or weaving fabric, archaeologists believe Stone Age people across Europe and Asia sewed fur and skin clothing using bone, antler or ivory needles and "thread" made of various animal body parts including sinew, catgut, and veins.For thousands of years, all sewing was done by hand. The invention of the sewing machine in the 19th century and the rise of computerization in the 20th century led to mass production and export of sewn objects, but hand sewing is still practiced around the world. Fine hand sewing is a characteristic of high-quality tailoring, haute couture fashion, and custom dressmaking, and is pursued by both textile artists and hobbyists as a means of creative expression.The first known use of the word "sewing" was in the 14th century.

Space Cats

Space Cats is an American cartoon series for television (with some live-action puppetry sequences) that aired on NBC in 1991. It is a comedy show about alien felines helping mankind. It was created by Paul Fusco, the creator (and voice) of ALF. As of 2019 Space Cats never had a VHS or DVD release.

String (music)

A string is the vibrating element that produces sound in string instruments such as the guitar, harp, piano (piano wire), and members of the violin family. Strings are lengths of a flexible material that a musical instrument holds under tension so that they can vibrate freely, but controllably. Strings may be "plain", consisting only of a single material, like steel, nylon, or gut, or wound, having a "core" of one material and an overwinding of another. This is to make the string vibrate at the desired pitch, while maintaining a low profile and sufficient flexibility for playability.

The invention of wound strings, such as nylon covered in wound metal, was a crucial step in string instrument technology, because a metal-wound string can produce a lower pitch than a catgut string of similar thickness. This enabled stringed instruments to be made with less thick bass strings. On string instruments that the player plucks or bows directly (e.g., double bass), this enabled instrument makers to use thinner strings for the lowest-pitched strings, which made the lower-pitch strings easier to play. On stringed instruments in which the player presses a keyboard, causing a mechanism to strike the strings, such as a piano, this enabled piano builders to use shorter, thicker strings to produce the lowest-pitched bass notes, enabling the building of smaller upright pianos designed for small rooms and practice rooms.

Surgical suture

Surgical suture is a medical device used to hold body tissues together after an injury or surgery. Application generally involves using a needle with an attached length of thread. A number of different shapes, sizes, and thread materials have been developed over its millennia of history. Surgeons, physicians, dentists, podiatrists, eye doctors, registered nurses and other trained nursing personnel, medics, and clinical pharmacists typically engage in suturing. Surgical knots are used to secure the sutures.

Suture materials comparison chart

Numerous different surgical suture materials exist. The following table compares some of the most common absorbable sutures.

Tephrosia virginiana

Tephrosia virginiana, also known as goat-rue, goat's rue, catgut, rabbit pea, and Virginia tephrosia, is a perennial dicot in family Fabaceae. This subshrub has alternate compound leaves. Its leaves are imparipinnate, with relatively wide pinnae. All parts of the plant are pubescent giving it a silvery, hoary appearance. The terminal, compact racemes of cream and deep pink flowers bloom May to August. This plant prefers acidic soils, in part to full sun. It grows throughout the Midwest, New England and southeastern United States. Not easy to propagate, this plant can be found in sand savannas, open woods and glades, prairies and rocky soils.

All tissues of this plant are toxic, and should not be eaten by people or livestock. Crushed stems were previously used as a fish poison.

The Muppet Musicians of Bremen

The Muppet Musicians of Bremen (released on home video as Tales from MuppetLand: The Muppet Musicians of Bremen) is a 1972 television special that is an adaptation of Town Musicians of Bremen, featuring The Muppets. It is directed and produced by The Muppet's creator Jim Henson. Kermit the Frog hosts the special.

Turkish tambur

The Tambur (spelled in keeping with TDK conventions) is a fretted string instrument of Turkey and the former lands of the Ottoman Empire. Like the ney, the armudi (lit. pear-shaped) kemençe and the kudüm, it constitutes one of the four instruments of the basic quartet of Turkish classical music a.k.a. Türk Sanat Müziği (lit. Turkish Artistic Music). Of the two variants, one is played with a plectrum (mızraplı tambur) and the other with a bow (yaylı tambur). The player is called a tamburî.



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