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Date Posted: 08:36:13 09/15/04 Wed
>Hey everyone I'm doing a quick class presentation for
>one of my college classes, and I need to know what
>bagpipes are made of? the pipes, the bag, all of it.
>If anyone can help that would be wonderful! Thank you!
Traditionally, though, the bag might be typically made of sheepskin in climates like Scotland. In North America, elk skin hides were the most popular. The wood is most often African blackwood from eastern Africa where it is known as Mpingo. This is a very hard, brittle wood and is difficult to work with, as they crack very easily because of their brittleness. For instance, a block of African blackwood needs to sit in the back room of the shop and cure for something like 15 or 20 years before it's ready to be worked. As you can imagine, this has an impact on the supply/demand chain. As a result, many bagpipe makers use the wood before it is fully cured, and the results are that the drones can become warped and curve or bend over time, or crack.
Some pipes use ebony or cocus wood, as those are hardwoods as well, but blackwood is better.
The ferrules traditionally were made out of ivory or silver, but with the ban on ivory imports, plastic substitutes have been made instead of ivory.
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