Source for Badger Hair

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

  1. MTgrayling

    MTgrayling Rocket Man

    Well I'd like to see sources and citations myself.

    As a maker of flies for fly fishing I can say it is exponentially easier to snip a bit of hair from a skin or pelt than to root around in a bag of loose hair looking for what is needed. Speed counts if you want to make money and grabbing a lock of bulk unsorted hair with tips facing opposite and all directions takes quite a long time to sort out. I'd guess there are easily a few hundred hairs in a quality knot and probably much more. Think of an animal skin like a map of cuts of meat in a butcher shop. On a pelt the hair is presorted by nature and all facing the correct direction.

    Dead skins can't bite like Badgers are infamous for also. You can't shave a live or conscious Badger, it cannot be done by anyone who likes their limbs and digits.
  2. mastermute

    mastermute FatBoy

    Has anyone tried a horsehair brush? I never heard of them before this... sounds interesting...
  3. MTgrayling

    MTgrayling Rocket Man

    Horse is stiff and coarse and won't hold water like Badger. Except for the tail and mane it is generally too short. It is used in flytying for some locally originated flies.
  4. siv

    siv New Member

    Edwin Jagger uses knots as you can see from this video.

    That may be for their cheaper brushes though or they may even make the knots in-house.

    Most badgers in Europe are protected by local laws and should not be used in shaving brushes. Chinese badgers are fair game!

  5. blaireau

    blaireau New Member

    Very interesting Siv, thanks for your informative post. I wonder if the French producer is Plisson. As far as shearing badgers is concerned, I won't try it to be sure! Those little rodents give severe bites. But others do it quite successfully. The plot thickens and as always, the more you dig the more dirt comes up! :bounce017
  6. cooncatbob

    cooncatbob Member

    Badgers aren't rodents, there from the same family as Weasels, Skunks and Wolverines.
    A predator rather then prey.
  7. blaireau

    blaireau New Member

    cooncatbob, thanks for the correction! I feel much better knowing that the badger hair that we all pay a lot of money for doesn't come from a rodent! :D
  8. cooncatbob

    cooncatbob Member

    It's funny but rodent's fur makes the best felt for fine hats, Beaver, Nutria, Rabbit and Hare.
  9. asagage

    asagage New Member

    Where did you hear this?
  10. cooncatbob

    cooncatbob Member

  11. JimR

    JimR Active Member

    OK, let's many holes can we find?
    1. All badger hair used in badger brushes...I know for a fact that Vulfix gets its hair from China, which they then tie themselves into knots. I've seen pictures of the badger hair bundles from's kind of tied in a sheaf, all of the same grade/length.

    2. Edwin Jagger owns the badger farm....Now, come on. Every brush manufacturer buys its hair from Edwin Jagger? Hmmm...

    3. The Shear the badgers live...So they go around sedating the badgers, shearing them, and then the badgers regrow their hair without any kind of ill effects, living in holes in the ground? Sheep have been bred for centuries to grow wool and have it sheared off. Badgers? Not so much.

    There was a thread a while ago on a couple of other sites, claiming that someone from Edwin Jagger actually went to China to confirm the humane slaughter of the badgers used to make brushes. Sorry mate, no badger shearing. There may be badger farms, but they don't come out of it alive, I reckon.
  12. blaireau

    blaireau New Member

    JimR, I happen to agree with you. I published Shawn's remarks to hear what our members think and to see if there were some kernals of knowledge out there. So much for Shawn. Sr. Gomes is another story. This master craftsman has been in the business of making Badger Hair brushes all his adult life. He has sources of badger hair that are half a century old. Focusing on the shearing of badgers alone, he confirmed Shawn's assertions without being prompted to do so. I think that it is pompous of us who have never been in this business to dismiss his assertions and insist that we know more. Whether we like it or not, we don't know more about badger hair, how to grade it, where to buy it and how it is harvested than Sr. Gomes does. I believe him and will try to find out the location of his badger hair source. Needless to say, I will report any results here.
  13. Maintaining a badger farm is a claim that at least one shaving brush manufacturer is making... LINK

    But, personally I would think that the costs associated with maintaining the farm, feeding the badgers, the shearing, the sedating, paying the farmers, the whole process really would make the price of the brushes cost prohibitive.

    Short of seeing a video or photographic evidence, I am skeptical.
  14. Teaser

    Teaser New Member

    So am I, especially when I see words like pampered, coddled and spacious being tossed about. Badger shearing would be one of those events irresistible to anyone with a video camera - or any kind of camera for that matter. If the process is real, proof should be easy to find.
  15. Sirshavesalot

    Sirshavesalot New Member

  16. mmack66

    mmack66 Member

    Wow. Good thing that badger was discombobulated or that could have gotten ugly.
  17. msandoval858

    msandoval858 Active Member

    The hair is definately not collected by shearing the live animal... though that'd be pretty impressive to see someone pull off that feat :happy102

    My understanding, from conversations I've had with brush makers and the actual product I've seen in person, is that the badger pelts are collected as a byproduct from the meat industry in China. Those pelts are sold to European firms (though I have no idea who these firms are) that actually take the pelts and remove and "dress" the hair. This dressing process includes sorting, grading, colorizing (yes, a good majority of hair is colorized) and sterilizing. Obviously this step is probably where the price goes up for us, the consumer, as I'm guessing this is not the easiest thing in the world to do.

    The dressed hair is then sold to brush makers who knot (be it by hand or machine, depending on the maker) and produce the final product.
  18. blaireau

    blaireau New Member

    Mike, Leon has worked with Sr. Gomes for quite some time and has developed a very good relationship with him. That is why I believe what Sr. Gomes says about the source of his badger hair. He wouldn't mislead Leon, that is taboo in our Latin culture. Mislead an outsider is not so forbidden but mislead a fellow Latin especially another Northern Portuguese brother, virtually impossible. So, the badger hair in Semogue brushes is of European origin and I for one think that Plisson also uses European badger hair. I also had a brush specially made by Vie-Long in Seville, Spain which is luxurious like the new Semogue horn handle brush. I think that it is also made of European badger hair. I'll contact Sr. Camps after the holidays and find out for sure. Prefabricated knots, on the other hand, are almost always made from inferior hair. In fact I have been approached by an oriental brush maker who has asked me to purchase badger hair in Europe for him so that he can make superior high end brushes.
  19. blaireau

    blaireau New Member

  20. Sirshavesalot

    Sirshavesalot New Member

    Ummmm lol ok...

    Oriental rug yes, Oriental brush maker?

    Dood....what are you the latin Archie Bunker?

    Eurasian Badgers in Europe, China Badgers being eaten for dinner?

    "Dogs and cats living together Mass Hysteria" Ghostbusters


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