Of the 3 species of badger found throughout China, hair from the Meles Meles is the softest, best looking and most preferred for crafting shaving brushes. Though badgers populate many regions in China it is believed China's coldest region, simply called "The Northeast" and historically known as "Manchuria", produces growth of the finest quality badger hair.
The general term most commonly used by brush makers to describe the finest grade of badger hair is "silvertip". However, over the years the definition of "silvertip" has become a bit elastic and now seems to apply to almost any hair with white tips, even hair that has been bleached to look white. Bleaching of badger hair is rather common these days, even hair of the highest grade. In some cases it is requested for aesthetic reasons, to give the tips of the hairs a lighter more eye-appealing appearance. But there may also be less than honorable reasons for bleaching, particularly to give the impression (the "look") the hair is of a higher quality. As with human hair, bleaching badger hair can make it dry, brittle and prone to breakage. Over bleaching can cause the tips of badger hair to curl.
It is not well known that even within a silvertip hair bundle there are some black hairs. This is the natural hair growth pattern on the badger. The best brush makers will do their utmost to remove many of these black hairs. However, because hand crafting a brush is labor intensive in and of itself, this additional time-consuming process would be very expensive. Hence the wide-spread use of bleaching to produce a uniform look.
The QED Select Manchurian Silvertip Badger shaving brush has been designed for the shaving brush purist. The gentleman who wants the finest unbleached, uncut, unmixed silvertip badger hair available on the market today.
Species: Meles Meles
Origin: China, The Northeast (Manchuria)
Grade: Silvertip (unbleached, uncut, unmixed)