What Is a Camel's Hair Brush Made Of?

By Viola Horne

Although it might seem like a no-brainer, a camel's hair brush is not made of camel's hair. The art tool was invented by a Chinese man who needed a brush soft and small enough to create Chinese lettering.

History

Meng Tien, a Chinese savant, was said to have invented the camel's hair brush in 250 A.D. to perfect his Chinese lettering skills.

Uses

The soft, round-ended brushes are used in lettering, watercoloring and tempera painting.

Materials

Camel's hair brushes are usually made from goat, ox, squirrel or a combination of several types of animal hair depending on the desired softness and cost.

Misconceptions

While people still circulate the myth that these brushes are made with camel's hair, another legend has the brushes created by a man named Mr. Camel. Neither is true.

Maintenance

Camel's hair brushes must be cleaned as soon as possible after use. Paint left on the hairs will harden and be more difficult to remove once dry.

About the Author

When not working in her family-owned food and bar business, Viola Horne can almost always be found with a cookbook in one hand and a whisk in the other. Horne never tires of entertaining family and friends with both comfort food and unusual delicacies such as garlic cheese smashed potatoes and banana bacon pancakes.