I have had a few inquiries about my preferred loop material for my tri-string wands. I have not experimented as widely as I would like, but so far I have found that lighter weight loops seem to work better and waste less bubble juice than thick absorbent materials that get very heavy when wet. I was surprised that a thirsty 1/4" 100% cotton rope produced bubbles no bigger than those created with homemade rope that was made from just 2 strands of cotton twine. (I'll blog at another time about how to make rope and string using nothing more than an electric drill, an eye hook and some hanger wire.) I might get a few more bubbles per dip with the heavier rope but the bubble size was not improved. It seems that while the amount of solution in the rope influences the bubble size, the loops size and the bubble juice have an even bigger influence as long as the loop material can satisfy the bubble juice's demands. In my explorations, a 48-inch top string made from just a single strand of cotton twine doesn't do as well as one made with the two-strand rope, but my 4-strand rope doesn't do any better than the 2-strand rope. Both seem to do a bit better than my 1/4-inch pure cotton rope -- (which had a polyester core that I removed). That cotton rope feels like it was perhaps processed with something. So, another type of rope might work better.
I have had a few conversations with the Bubblesmith and he has noted that he also finds lightweight ropes to be more productive than heavier ones. He gave me some 100% bamboo yarn (which is very soft and somewhat rayon like) that works very well and some cotton-tencel blend that is nice. I don't know that either is dramatically better than the twine but they might be when used in the right conditions with the right bubble solution.
I am about to explore the ropes made from bamboo yarn a bit more studiously by comparing them in the same bubble session with my old standby loops. And, I'll do the testing under reasonable conditions (not the blustery conditions that I used them with the last few times).
This morning, I briefly used a 40-inch top-string loop made from a single strand of 100% bamboo yarn with no washer or other weight on the loop. The loop was so light that the surface tension of the soap film closed the loop's opening to something like six to ten inches in diameter which limited the bubble size. What was interesting to me was how the bubbles were completely self-closing. As the bubble tubes elongated they would start to pull the loop together until it completly closed itself off. Tonight, I twisted some thicker ropes (2-strand and 8-strand) together to see if their weight when soaked might keep them a bit more open.
Below are pictures of some of the materials that my tri-string loops are made from.