CHAPTER 4: Dulcimers in the British Isles since 1800 > Dulcimers in East Anglia
Split-cane hammers wound round with wool are standard, and players make their own, holding the ends in the steam from the kettle to make the loops; the hammers shown in John Leach's article (26) are not typical and appear to be from his cimbalom.
Ian Clabburn writes
My auntie (Dad's sister) remembers the punishment cane that used to hang over the mantelpiece and how it gradually got shorter every time a new dulcimer hammer was required...
None of the players met in this study uses plectrums, except for sounding the strings whilst tuning; when dulcimers in East Anglia are plucked, the finger-nails are used; and Billy Bennington keeps the single finger of a protective glove handy to put on his main playing finger whilst gardening.