MEDIA / LESSONS / Wrapping & Stitching

Wrapping & Stitching

Most marimba and vibe mallets on the market today are wrapped and stitched. That’s about all you can say about them. The wrapping is medium tight, the stictching holds it all together and the finished mallet is often very pretty to look at. At MALLETECH(tm), life is not so simple. Most of our mallets have special performance characteristics that require tension adjustments as the mallet is wrapped. Many models have two or more layers of wrapping that need to be wound at different angles. Others have internal stitching that is below the playing surface so that it doesn’t affect your performance.

One thing you will find missing on all MALLETECH(tm) mallets is decorative reinforcement stictching anywhere near the playing area. When the idea of stitching only the very tip and next to the handle of the mallet was introduced on the first Stevens mallets almost twenty years ago, many players couldn’t find the stictching and thought the mallets were held together with glue. This simple advancement, now found on all MALLETECH(tm) models (and, we are proud to confess, a few imitators!), allows the player to use the “fresh”, unworn yarn near the tip, for the very softest of rolls or special effects.

Of course, this stictching feature would be wasted on a mallet that wasn’t wrapped properly. While all of our mallets are hand-stitched, some styles of wrapping can be done better by machine. Such as winding vibe mallets very tightly. We have the most advanced machine in the industry. Unlike other winding machines, it can make tension and angle adjustments in the middle of wrapping a mallet, permitting us to build-in audible performance features other brands just can’t match. But some things are too subtle for even our one-of-a-kind machine, so mallets like the Stevens line are still completely hand-wound and stitched. Check the tension and consistency of wrap on our marimba mallets. Now check another brand. Ours are looser, but also more regular. And because they are looser and more regular, they offer better dynamic control, less contact noise and smoother rolls. Check the tension and regularity of our vibe mallets by pushing hard on the yarn under the ball near the handle. Now check another brand. Ours are tighter and smoother. And because they are tighter and smoother, they project better, wear longer and slap less.

All of these advances in design and technology, as well as the great care we exercise in the crafting of mallets, is for two purposes: so that you can have the very best tools with which to make music, and so that we can keep our reputation as the best mallet maker in the world.