LMI Help Center

Rosettes

It’s possible that the common use of a rosette on guitars arose from a desire to reinforce the delicate area around the soundhole but with the employment of a soundhole reinforcement patch inside the box, it’s best to view them as a purely cosmetic and traditional component.

Some guitarmakers give special emphasis to the rosette, using it as a type of builder’s ‘signature’. Others keep it simple.

Regardless of your approach, LMI has you covered. Nowhere on earth will you find a greater selection of options to help you adorn your soundhole! Here’s an overview:

Classical Marquetry: These are composed of hundreds of small, dyed sticks. We carry a wide array of attractive, traditional designs some of which are based on designs by the great Spanish masters. You will also find the traditional herringbone steel string rosette here. We offer a sub-category of handmade rosettes from Russia which extend your options with vivid, detailed designs. Finally, we carry rosettes sticks in three sizes and all the important colors for those who want to make this kind of rosette themselves.

Shell: Steel string guitars often have an abalone shell ring around the soundhole and then two rings of black/white/black material, one inside and one outside. We offer Abalam shell material or pure shell slab (both have pros and cons, described on our website). We also have ‘Zipflex’ strips that are perfect for rosettes and simple to install. The black/white/black lines come from our purfling section, and there you will find lots and lots of options for layer composition, thicknesses, and materials.

Solid wood: We are now manufacturing a growing variety of solid wood rosettes. Though not a traditional look, it is one which is compatible with the modern, wood centered aesthetic found on many handmade guitars these days —and they are easy to install.

Paper Label: We get calls from time to time from people looking for the paper label rosettes you commonly find on less expensive instruments. We do not carry these. For the most part, we think these are usually produced by the factories that use them on their guitars, so they are hard to find.