Drawn wire has been around for thousands of years and has many uses, one of which is musical instruments.Wire strung plucked instruments go back at least to the 17th century if not before. It was certainly used on farmsteads and has many uses in weapons and various tools. A nice cheap source of drawn wire today is "music wire" which can be purchased by the pound in any machinists' supply house in a large variety of gauges. The plain steel wire has a warmer, richer sound than the stainless steel wire usually used for unwound strings.
Contrary to popular thought, gut strings are capable of plenty of volume if the instrument was properly designed to utilize them. Banjos with gut or nylon strings are quite loud if the rim is very lightweight and the head is thin. Forget the tone ring. Gut strung plucked instruments are usually very lightly built, like lutes which often have soundboards around 1/16" thick. A dulcimer could be designed to use gut or nylon strings. I have not seen any that were. The few examples of bowed zitters that did have gut strings on them I think most likely used violin strings that were available. They might or might not have been satisfactory or even usual. We don't have enough information.