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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