european vs chinese badger

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Jun 28, 2017
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Hobart
How much is the difference? I had one European for many years, but now the brush making is dominated with Chinese badger hair (a different species of badger, actually). I am getting soon an european badger brush and I am curious, as at the time I used the old one, I was not really on wet shaving
cheers
Fer
 

alfredus

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I really don't think you know for sure where the hair actually comes from...and more likely than not it will end up being Chinese hair anyway...

There is a LOT of marketing/hype going on with badger knots - and even if you get a knot by a supplier you love today, it doesn't mean you can get the same knot from the same supplier tomorrow.

That's why I stick these days with suppliers, who actually describe their knots and/or have a good reputation
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2017
Location
Hobart
I really don't think you know for sure where the hair actually comes from...and more likely than not it will end up being Chinese hair anyway...

There is a LOT of marketing/hype going on with badger knots - and even if you get a knot by a supplier you love today, it doesn't mean you can get the same knot from the same supplier tomorrow.

That's why I stick these days with suppliers, who actually describe their knots and/or have a good reputation
I do know for sure the source of hair. I open this thread for getting feedback from people like you with your experience, regarding this kind of sourcing, it will came.
There is no much marketing on these brushes, as there will be not much of them....
 

58RW

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Dec 29, 2017
Location
Melbourne
I really don't think you know for sure where the hair actually comes from...and more likely than not it will end up being Chinese hair anyway...

There is a LOT of marketing/hype going on with badger knots - and even if you get a knot by a supplier you love today, it doesn't mean you can get the same knot from the same supplier tomorrow.

That's why I stick these days with suppliers, who actually describe their knots and/or have a good reputation
That is so so spot on this reply
 

todras

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I really don't think you know for sure where the hair actually comes from...and more likely than not it will end up being Chinese hair anyway...

There is a LOT of marketing/hype going on with badger knots - and even if you get a knot by a supplier you love today, it doesn't mean you can get the same knot from the same supplier tomorrow.

That's why I stick these days with suppliers, who actually describe their knots and/or have a good reputation
Most correct my friend, let me spill some information in general terms...

The badger hair from all of the artisans I know is exclusively Chinese, however theirs is different to most if not all of the American market and it is why their brushes are so good.

The first important distinction is between buying already set knots and buying batches of badger hair that you can have set into knots based on your specifications in China, or tied and sent to you for you to set yourself. Already set knots are a dime a dozen and most often contain all the hair lots that have been passed in by the big 2 players (Isle of Mann/Germany), this hair is then sold to wholesalers who bleach and treat the tips, set in glue and offer wholesale boxes of 24,48, 72 badger knots that are bought by retailers to sell in US online retail stores. There are 2 or 3 suppliers in this wholesale game who onsell to other wholesalers which is evident as we see the exact same grade of mixed hair in just about every knot. Knots labeled as 'manchurian' or 'high mountain white' are a mix of hair from different sources which is treated, this is why a knot from the Isle of Mann is of a substantially better quality than a knot bought in the US for $50 or so.

In regard to the source of the hair when you buy lots of badger hair (not set knots, weights of graded hair) the sellers provide extensive information and pictures in a bid to garner new business including sending tied knots of grades for evaluation. Making contact with these parties in China is very difficult due to existing relationships and the highly profitable wholesale market selling already set knots. Most of the sellers if you do locate them will not do any business with you due to the two main players. Their are two artisans in the US who have managed to connect with these wholesalers and are subsequently known for their grades of knot, quite understandably these two artisans are guarded to the point of paranoia about their relationship and source - it is the cornerstone of their business.
 
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Oct 3, 2015
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Brisbane
@todras I would guess one of the Americans is paladin but curious of the second? Declaration?

This got me thinking wonder where some of the knots come from? M&F, Thater, roony.
Paladin don't tie their own knots. Scott @ Declaration does. As Steve said, Lee does, as does Bernd from Shavemac. Not sure on which, if any others do, but not to my knowledge.
 

todras

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Lee Sabini ties his own knots (M&F)
He does, I have several M&F brushes knotted by him and he is hands down one of the best in the business if not the best when it comes to shaping knots.

@todras I would guess one of the Americans is paladin but curious of the second? Declaration?

This got me thinking wonder where some of the knots come from? M&F, Thater, roony.
Ill apologize now for this next paragraph....

The artisans were mentioned only to illustrate the function of the model, it was not meant as an exclusive or exhaustive list and you knowing their names would serve you no advantage whatsoever if you cannot already deduce the quality of their hair from either owning and using their brushes or even seeing pictures of their brushes or reading discussions in relation to their brushes.
 
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Rami

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He does, I have several M&F brushes knotted by him and he is hands down one of the best in the business if not the best when it comes to shaping knots.



Ill apologize now for this next paragraph....

The artisans were mentioned only to illustrate the function of the model, it was not meant as an exclusive or exhaustive list and you knowing their names would serve you no advantage whatsoever if you cannot already deduce the quality of their hair from either owning and using their brushes or even seeing pictures of their brushes or reading discussions in relation to their brushes.
No offence taken. I know what I like regardless of the knot. But was curious, maybe it’s someone I haven’t come across. I don’t have my ear to the ground as you can probably tell.

Ps. For what it’s worth M&f is the only maker I have multiple brushes from.
 

alfredus

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This is purely speculation on my part, but I think the reason why Paladin get away with buying already tied knots is, they are prepared to discard any that don't meet their standard. I wouldn't be surprised, if Ken hasn't thrown away whole shipments of kntos - I've seen him buy back brushes and then cut them open to analyse faults...
 

Rami

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This is purely speculation on my part, but I think the reason why Paladin get away with buying already tied knots is, they are prepared to discard any that don't meet their standard. I wouldn't be surprised, if Ken hasn't thrown away whole shipments of kntos - I've seen him buy back brushes and then cut them open to analyse faults...
Shows why I know. I thought paladin tied their own knots. 😅

Doesn’t detract from the end product thou
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2013
Europe has had laws for many years prohibiting the use of European badger in any products. Even badgers found dead cannot legally have their hair harvested in Europe. As far as I know, European manufacturers of badger brushes have been using Chinese sourced hair for decades.
This. Although Plisson do market some brushes as European Badger my understanding is that the hair sourced from Russia.
 
Joined
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Hobart
I am under the impression that badger skins (sourced from within European Union limits) are used in Italia for some of their fashion women clothes, but it may have changed? There are very few reasons to hunt badgers in Europe other than for their skins.
cheers
 

Arnold J Rimmer

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I have a Chinese badger brush, out of China. It lathers well, but it does seem to benefit from a hot pre-soak.

One big thing I have noticed, and @todras has mentioned above... the Chinese/Chinese brushes don't appear to be knotted, rather glued. It could explain why there is so much crazy shedding of badger hair so early on. These are cheap brushes, but they do a quite good job. I think I paid $6 each in 2015.

This brush is 3 1/2 years old. I have a second (unused) one, so it may be worth breaking this one open to confirm/bust my suspicions.
 
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