brushes we use for painting signs and pinstriping
all come from one of these two types of material
that form the tuft of a brush.
man-made of either nylon or polyester. They may come tipped,
tapered, flagged, abraded or even etched to increase the brushes'
ability to carry color. The man-made filaments may be dyed and
baked to make them soft and more absorbent. The advantages of a
synthetic brush are as follows:
are very durable
are less likely to be damaged by moths, paints or mild
are easier to clean.
you are using an acrylic paint, use a synthetic brush.
animals are raised or trapped for the sole purpose of making a
brush. Natural animal hair may be used in its pure state or mixed
with other types of hair to accomplish a particular mixture for
price, and or, performance, Natural hair will hold a tremendous
amount of paint, because it has microscopic scales along the shaft
of the hair. Quality and price of natural hair is determined by
the grade of animal, and by supply and demand. Generally speaking,
longer hair is harder to find and more expensive than the shorter
Camel - Pony - Ox - Red Sable
- Sableline - Kolinsky Sable - Bristle
Of Natural Hair
squirrel is the most readily available and comes in long lengths,
as well as short lengths. It is generally used for striping
brushes and lettering brushes. Brown, or kazan, is no longer as
plentiful as it was several years ago. It is generally found in
the shorter lengths and used for stripers, quills, and outliners.
Both blue and kazan are very soft and fine. They point as well as
kolinsky, but have very little snap, since the hair is not very
resilient. Grey squirrel is the hardest to find and the most
expensive. It is more durable, has more snap and makes a great
quill or lettering brush.
There are no
camel hair brushes. Camel hair brushes received their name from
"Mr. Camel", who invented them. Camel hair could be
squirrel, ox, pony, goat, or a blend.
It comes from an
animal that is at least two years old. It is very strong, but also
soft. The very finest pony hair comes from the belly of the
animal. It is often blended with other hairs for less expensive
watercolor and touch-up brushes.
The best ox hair
comes from the ears of cattle or oxen. It is very silky to the
touch. It is also very strong, resilient and has good snap.
However, it lacks a fine tip, so it is usually mixed with other
natural hairs. The blending makes a brush more resilient and have
This hair comes
from any member of the weasel family that has red hair. It does
not come from the "sable" animal. It is used to make a
lot of different brushes, and there is a big variance in quality
when one speaks of "red sable". The good quality red
sable can be used as a less expensive alternative to kolinsky.
Quite often, red sable is blended with ox hair to make a more
economical brush, but unfortunately, the fine point is sacrificed.
This is normally
light color ox hair that is dyed to look like red sable. Some
lettering and watercolor brushes are made with sabeline, mixed
with sable, to lower the cost of the brush.
It comes from
the tail of a mink. it is the best hair for watercolor and oil
brushes because of its strength, spring and snap. It comes to a
very fine point, and with proper care, will last many years.
It comes from
hogs in different parts of the world, but the very best comes from
China. Hog bristle is different than any other natural fiber,
since it forms a V-shaped split or "flag" at the tip,
and has a natural curve. This gives it a resistance to fraying and
it spreads paint smoothly and evenly.