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So if all badger hair knots come from China...

If the badger is a protected species in North America and Europe, and all badger hair knots come from China (see Wikipedia reference here), then what's the deal with paying $200+ for a brush? You can almost make a case for brushes with hand-turned wooden handles, or expensive materials like precious metals or tortoise shells, but what's up with paying a lot for a brush with a plastic handle?
 
That's like saying "why is a Van Gogh so expensive? He just used paint and canvas, same as my art class in school".

A high end brush like that is almost always crafted by an artisan, or in small enough batches to make them expensive, or of interesting materials. More often than not, you can actually custom order them to your exact specifications (specific loft, shape, engraving, etc.).
 
If the badger is a protected species in North America and Europe, and all badger hair knots come from China (see Wikipedia reference here), then what's the deal with paying $200+ for a brush? You can almost make a case for brushes with hand-turned wooden handles, or expensive materials like precious metals or tortoise shells, but what's up with paying a lot for a brush with a plastic handle?
I wasn't aware that it was only sold in knot form from China? :confused: There are China made knots sold. I however was under the impression that your higher end brush companies bought it in bulk & created their own knot to their higher specification.
 
I'm not sure why something from China can't have a high price tag on it...have you ever gone shopping for jade jewelry in China? I have and good stuff isn't cheap. And that's stuff that hasn't been exported yet.
 
I however was under the impression that your higher end brush companies bought it in bulk & created their own knot to their higher specification.

This is exactly right. In checking the Wikipedia entry, I see the key sentence reads, "Because badgers are a protected species in North America and most of Europe, virtually all commercial badger hair comes from mainland China, which supplies knots of hair in three grades to brush makers in both China and Europe." The statement is technically correct, but by mentioning "hair" and "knots" in the same sentence, it is misleading. It is saying most commercially available badger hair comes from China, and China also supplies knots to some brush makers. It does not say China supplies all (or nearly all) knots to all brush makers, although it would be easy to infer as much from the way the sentence is written. (There's a reason why no self-respecting college professor will allow a student to cite Wikipedia in an academic paper, and you've just seen evidence of it.) In fact, while many high-end brushes feature Chinese badger hair, only the cheaper brushes actually feature Chinese-made knots. All of the better known brush makers buy loose hair and make their own knots. This is particularly true of companies like Simpson/Vulfix, Rooney and Plisson. So, to answer the OP's question, what you are paying for in a quality brand of brush is the quality of the knot, general workmanship, materials used, and also the quality of the hair itself. Much of the commercially available badger hair may come from China, but not all Chinese badger hair is the same, as we can see by the various grades available. To wit, check out the thread on two-band Simpsons and see how whenever a few show up at a seller, they are sold out almost instantly.
 
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It is not just China where the knots come from; Plisson and maybe some others make some of their brushes from Russian badger.
 
It is not just China where the knots come from; Plisson and maybe some others make some of their brushes from Russian badger.

True, which points out another flaw in the Wikipedia entry; it really should say "most" instead of "vitually all commercial badger hair comes from mainland China." Plisson does offer European Grey and European White grades in addition to its Chines Grey and High Mountain White. Although again, the distinction should be made between hair and knots. Irrespective of where the hair in a Plisson comes from, the knot itself is French, because Plisson is making it at its own manufacturing facility.
 
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This is exactly right. In checking the Wikipedia entry, I see the key sentence reads, "Because badgers are a protected species in North America and most of Europe, virtually all commercial badger hair comes from mainland China, which supplies knots of hair in three grades to brush makers in both China and Europe." The statement is technically correct, but by mentioning "hair" and "knots" in the same sentence, it is misleading. It is saying most commercially available badger hair comes from China, and China also supplies knots to some brush makers. It does not say China supplies all (or nearly all) knots to all brush makers, although it would be easy to infer as much from the way the sentence is written. (There's a reason why no self-respecting college professor will allow a student to cite Wikipedia in an academic paper, and you've just seen evidence of it.) In fact, while many high-end brushes feature Chinese badger hair, only the cheaper brushes actually feature Chinese-made knots. All of the better known brush makers buy loose hair and make their own knots. This is particularly true of companies like Simpson/Vulfix, Rooney and Plisson. So, to answer the OP's question, what you are paying for in a quality brand of brush is the quality of the knot, general workmanship, materials used, and also the quality of the hair itself. Much of the commercially available badger hair may come from China, but not all Chinese badger hair is the same, as we can see by the various grades available. To wit, check out the thread on two-band Simpsons and see how whenever a few show up at a seller, they are sold out almost instantly.

True, which points out another flaw in the Wikipedia entry; it really should say "most" instead of "vitually all commercial badger hair comes from mainland China." Plisson does offer European Grey and European White grades in addition to its Chines Grey and High Mountain White. Although again, the distinction should be made between hair and knots. Irrespective of where the hair in a Plisson comes from, the knot itself is French, because Plisson is making it at its own manufacturing facility.


Well said Red!
 
It is not just China where the knots come from; Plisson and maybe some others make some of their brushes from Russian badger.

That's what I thought! But then when was Wikipedia ever known for being entirely correct? It's not a bad resource per se, but its not without its issues either. Unless such statements are referenced, and referenced to a reliable resource at that, it's reader beware.
 
Even though apparently incorrect, let's assume;

1. All badger hair comes from China.
2. All badger hair knots come from China.

The cost of a badger brush could still reasonably be high priced because;

The fair asking price for an item in a free market economy is whatever the market will bear.

If no one EVER bought a $200.00 Brush, those brush prices would drop until they did sell, providing a profit could still be made by the manufacturer.

Think about that the next time you go in to Abercrombie and Fitch and pay 75 dollars for a shirt made in Indonesia for $5.00
 
I'm not sure why something from China can't have a high price tag on it...have you ever gone shopping for jade jewelry in China? I have and good stuff isn't cheap. And that's stuff that hasn't been exported yet.

My intent was not to say Chinese cannot produce a marquee item. But rather, if all (or most) badger hair and knots come from China, then are are we just paying premium prices for brand name brushes just to get "balla status" on B&B?
 
I feel a difference in brush quality between Simpsons Super and my other lower priced brushes. I like all my brushes but I love my Simpsons the best and I think it was worth every penny I spent for it.
 
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