Source for Badger Hair

Discussion in 'The Brush' started by blaireau, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. blaireau

    blaireau New Member

    I spoke to a fellow named Shawn at Bigelow's Chemists in NYC today and heard something that I thought was very interesting. He said that all the badger hair used in shaving brushes comes from one badger farm. He said that he thought that the farm is owned by Edwin Jagger and that he believes that it is located in Germany. Does anyone have information on this?
  2. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

    I read in a few places that most comes from China. They eat the badgers and the hair for the brush's is a by product... but again I have never been there.

  3. rodd

    rodd Knotty Boy

    I have also heard that the majority comes from China.
  4. blaireau

    blaireau New Member

    I had heard the same thing, China. But Shawn insisted otherwise and that the badgers are not killed but rather sheared like sheep and left alone until the hair grows out again and then sheared again ad infinitum.
  5. rodd

    rodd Knotty Boy

    I am fairly certain that is wishful thinking.
  6. MTgrayling

    MTgrayling Rocket Man

    +1, as I suspect also is the rumor of the hair being a byproduct of the meat industry.
  7. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

    a few net quotes i found

    According to this manufacturer, badger hair used in shaving brushes is collected from the animal’s pelt and not from shearing. Hair from boars (pigs) and sables are also commonly used to create make up brushes and paint brushes.

    Most commercial badger hair comes from remote areas of China where badger populations are so vast that they endanger crops and livestock. The Chinese government controls badger culling by licensing tiny village cooperatives to conduct the hunts and process the hair. The sale of badger hair provides co-op members with an additional source of income to augment their meager earnings from the land."

    Because badgers are a protected species in North America and most of Europe, virtually all commercial badger hair comes from mainland China, which supplies knots of hair in three grades to brush makers in both China and Europe. In rural Northern China, badgers multiply to the point of becoming a crop nuisance, and village cooperatives are licensed by the national government to hunt badgers and sell the hair to processors. [1]

    But you can read anything.. I could not find where it said anything about shaving the things.... Who hold sit down for that>

  8. Tony Miller

    Tony Miller Member

    I myself have found most of the shaving establishments (barbers, and the like) actually know far less than we do about it. I have heard more misinformation about razors, steels, stropping and brushes from barbers than anywhere else.
    Many were schooled on old traditions or have come to this brand new and have only heard the old traditions. While there is good info there to build on I find most of us have learned via a mix of listening to these traditions and then experimenting to find what actually works. Nothing compares to an open mind and challenging the norm. if we all stuck to what the old times taught us we would all own only a razor, barber hone, sterilized horsehair brush and a 1 1/2" wide strop. No Nortons, Shaptons, stainless razors, etc.....

    As for brushes, well, where does Sr. Gomes say his badger hair is coming from?

  9. The Zook

    The Zook New Member

    I've heard the source was from the badger... :confused:
  10. cooncatbob

    cooncatbob Member

    I'd pay to see a video of somebody trying to shear a live Badger.:happy102
  11. JayKay

    JayKay 3000 posts and all I got was this lousy title

    That is why Shawn just sells the stuff and isn't a chemist. Are you speaking about C.O. Bigelow? Because I've yet to meet anybody in any of the ones I've been who has a clue what they're talking about when it came to the mens shaving section.
  12. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

    I'll bring the beer and popcorn

  13. blaireau

    blaireau New Member

    Tony, that's a good question. In fact I have asked Leon to ask Sr. Gomes that very question. Some folks on the forums that I made this post on have talked about knots supplied by China but Sr. Gomes doesn't use knots as is plainly evident from the Youtube video. I'll post his answer when I get it.
  14. Tony Miller

    Tony Miller Member

    I know many of the well know English brush establishments sort and tie their own instead of buying pre-made knots but think the hair is still coming from China no matter what the form.

  15. Sirshavesalot

    Sirshavesalot New Member


    Cooncatbob has it right I seriously doubt Badgers are sheared while alive, their not docile like sheep. It'd be like trying to get a piece of deer from a wolverine.

    I did a quick search for badger hair wholesalers and found that the websites that came up are all from china.


    I would think asking Rob at Golden Nib or Penworks his other site would be the best source.

    On the other hand I just drilled out my old Concord Boar haired brush to fit it for a nice 23 or 24mm Silver tip, probably from Goldennib, unless someone hair a better source for brush heads. It's a really nice silver plated base, real classy and needs a silvertip to finish her off.

    ok cheers
  16. blaireau

    blaireau New Member

    Tony and all, Leon asked master craftsman Sr. Gomes to reveal his source of Badger hair. Sr. Gomes says that all the badger hair that he uses is European in origin. I have always felt that Semogue's Badger hair is from a different source than that of most brush producers. This is based on color comparisons with a vintage tall horn handle Plisson brush that I bought some time ago in NOS condition. The tips of both these brushes are an off white, creamy tan color rather than white. And both brushes have a very soft, luxurious feel on the face but with a backbone. I own modern day Plissons, Rooneys, Simpsons and others and these aren't like the Semogue brushes. So China isn't the only source of Badger hair if you've been in the business in Europe for over 50 years and know where to buy European Badger hair!
  17. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

    Did he mention how they retreive the hair.. From pelts or from shaving Badgers.(ok that really does not sound right)
  18. blaireau

    blaireau New Member

    I just asked Bruno to find out.
  19. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

    Thanks... the information is welcome.

  20. blaireau

    blaireau New Member

    Leon has found out that the Badger hair that Semogue uses is sheared like sheep's wool and that the animals are raised for this purpose. We don't know the country of origin but it appears that Shawn of Bigelow's has some of his information straight.

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