Synthetic String Construction
Now that we’ve covered the three main types of string materials, let’s dive into the most common string construction.
Solid Core & Outer Wrap(s)
A traditional string construction used heavily with synthetic gut strings is a solid core with a single layer of outer wraps.
Often, players describe these strings as having a crisp feel, especially when compared with multifilament (more on these to follow) or natural gut strings. In most cases, the quality of this type of string is a direct result of the grade of material used, which most frequently is nylon, such is the case with Gamma Synthetic Gut pictured above.
Although not as typical, solid core strings with multiple outer wraps provide many of the same characteristics with the added benefit of increased durability and a slightly softer or cushioned feel.
Monofilament, which consists of a single solid filament, is the most basic construction of the bunch. Typically, manufacturers make monofilament strings with polyester. The single larger filament combined with the stiff properties of polyester makes them some of the most durable strings on the market.
The vast majority of monofilament strings are low powered and provide a level of control well beyond what other stings offer. Pictured above, Babolat RPM Blast is an example of a monofilament polyester string.
Due to their stiffer feel, you’ll often find players combining monofilaments with natural gut, a multifilament, or synthetic gut.
If you’re a player suffering from an arm injury, you’re most likely not going to find the comfort you’re looking for in a monofilament.
Multifilament tennis strings have become popular over the years and are considered by some to be the top category of string construction after natural gut.
Multifilament strings are created through a process similar to natural gut – by weaving hundreds or thousands of microfibers together, as you’ll find with Dunlop’s Silk Pro tennis strings.
The result is a string that provides a soft, almost cushion-like feel. As a result, these strings have become an excellent option for players suffering from arm injuries.
Some players might be surprised or slightly turned off by the fraying that occurs with multifilament strings as they wear down, which is a result of the breakage of tiny fibers used to create these strings.
Due to their added durability, multifilament strings are also frequently found as part of hybrid strings sets, such as Wilson’s NXT Duo II.
More recently, companies like Babolat have experimented with the shape and texture of monofilament strings, and such is the case with RPM Blast Rough shown above.
Textured strings may also be constructed through the addition of an outer wrap or by incorporating a larger wrap within the outer layer, which creates a raised band and gives texture to the strings.
In some cases, manufacturers flip this approach by adding grooves to strings, which produces a similar effect.
Composite tennis strings are a result of combining multiple types of materials or grades of materials in an attempt to create a string that shares the benefits of each.
With that said, composites are less a construction and more a method of combining materials to achieve certain playing charatersitcs, but we’ve included them in this section for simplicity.
As such, the construction varies among these strings. Wilson NXT Control is an example of a composite multifilament that features polyester and nylon in its creation.