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Naturally, the best maintenance for your bagpipes is regular playing. It’s the natural way to prevent joints from drying, becoming slack and losing their fit. But no matter how often you play, regular cleaning, oiling, rehemping and proper storage of your bagpipes is crucial. After all, your highland pipes are a serious investment! USA Kilts offers the support materials you need at a fair price so you don't have to think twice about stocking up on what you need to take good care of your pipes.
When re-hemping your pipes, stick to just standard yellow hemp for all joints and slides. Yellow hemp naturally absorbs moisture and expands to allow a better seal. This is essential to compensate for any movement in the wood. Make sure all the hemped joints are wrapped carefully and evenly. Each part should be tight enough to be completely airtight, but loose enough to allow smooth removal. This goes for the drone tuning slides as well -- they should be airtight yet loose enough that you can tune them with just one hand. Tight and even hemp wrapping is the key. Black waxed hemp is effective for this function. Finally, be sure that the valve is making a good seal and not leaking.