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What Is a Camel's Hair Brush Made Of?

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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.

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