by Jacques Cole
The majority of bits are made from vulcanized rubber, simply called "vulcanites," but over the past two decades some manufacturers have used acrylic on their better quality lines. Acrylic is more expensive but has the advantage of retaining its color, whereas vulcanite can fade. Acrylic is, however, harder on the teeth and some smokers prefer softer vulcanite. Bits are generally black, but a type which is dark brown with black streaks, called Cumberland, has also become popular on quality lines.
There are basically two styles of mouthpiece: taper and saddle. The taper has straight converging lines, while the saddle is flattened for easier gripping. Seen from the top, bits can either be narrow or fishtail (opening out fanwise). There are variants of types of lips (the part held in the teeth), with the best known being the Peterson Lip.
Prossimo articolo: Guide to Pipe Shapes and Styles: Mounts