Legendary racquet stringer Lucien Nogues describes the different types of tennis racquet strings, their pros and cons and how they are made.
The are two general string families: natural gut string and synthetic strings.
Natural gut is an organic, biodegradable product made from cow intestines. It is a byproduct of the beef industry. (It has NEVER been made from cats.)
Synthetic strings are inorganic and man-made. They include:
A: Polyurethane (PU) monofilaments.
Pros and cons of PU —
1. PRO – Elastic (playable)
2. PRO – Comfortable
3. PRO – Powerful
4. CON – Not very durable
Pros and cons of polyamides —
1. PRO – Holds tension fairly well
2. PRO – Powerful
3. PRO – Controllable
4. Durability is better than PU.
C: Polyester and Co-polyester
Pros and cons of polyesters/co-polyesters —
1. PRO – Durable
2. PRO – Controllable
3. PRO – Accentuates existing topspin
4. CON – Not elastic (not playable or comfortable)
5. CON – Does not hold tension
Within these families, strings can be constructed in ways that offer specific benefits. For example, strings in all three families can be made stronger by making them thicker.