Silk is very absorbent, soaking up water in instruments better than any other material on the market, including both cotton and chamois. Silk is also very compressible, making it possible to pull through instruments with large variations in bore size. In addition, silk is lint free. Most Hodge swabs are made using a ball chain, which is very effective as a weight and more flexible than most traditional straight weights. The ball chain is non-abrasive and does not scratch the bore or other parts of the instrument when used properly.