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In historical times the early Egyptians used brushes to create their elaborate tomb paintings, while the ancient Chinese employed the tip of a long-haired brush to make the many intricate characters of their writing, a practice continued in the Orient today.
Brushes can be composed of natural or synthetic fibers set into a handle that is used for cleaning, grooming, polishing, writing, and of course painting. The type of material used to make a brush and its design are dictated by the intended use. Hog bristles, for example, have long been used for paintbrushes and art brushes because such animal fibers are flexible and resilient and display an excellent capacity for holding paint. Each individual bristle has a broad, sturdy base and a tapered tip that splits into several fine filaments.
Brush hair or bristles are joined to handles and backs of wood, plastic, or metal in several ways. Paintbrushes and art brushes are assembled in a metal cup that forms a mold for the desired brush shape. After the bristles are trimmed to size and bound together, they are transferred to a metal ferrule into which cement or a gum rubber solution is poured. When this adhesive has hardened, a handle is fastened to the ferrule.
"brush." Encyclopedia Britannica. 2011. Encyclopedia Britannica Premium Service
25 Nov. 22, 2011 <http://www.britannica.com/eb/article?tocId=9016799>.
Artist Brushstrokes Brush Education - History of the Brush
A brief walk through brush history
Brushes have been used by cultures throughout the world for centuries. Whether to document historical events in Egyptian society or to create intricate Chinese writing, the brush as a tool has significantly evolved. Today, brush applications extend from the traditional uses in industries such as art, craft/hobby and cosmetics to aviation, medical and information technology.