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Development of Synthetic Hair for Brushes

 

In recent years, the prices for some natural hairs have risen sharply. For the user, this is especially noticeable with larger sized brushes. This is mainly caused by the higher amount of material that is required for producing heads for larger brushes. Increasingly, however, synthetic brush hairs are a financially attractive alternative for price-conscious artists and painters. With that being said, there are not necessarily sacrifices in terms of quality.

The use of synthetic hair over time

Since many decades, synthetic hairs are already being used for the production of brushes. At lineo (Mesko Pinsel GmbH), brush-makers we have identified the potential of such artificial hairs at an early stage. In the beginning, however, many of these materials were still not good enough for wider use with brushes for professionals. This was mainly because of technical limitations which did not allow the production of high-quality synthetic materials at a reasonable price.Three bunches of fine synthetic Toray hair for brush making.

When the company finally started investing in research and development of synthetic hairs, technology eventually started enhancing as well. The company was among the first to use synthetic hairs for the production of paint brushes suitable for the use of professionals. Since prices for natural hairs started hiking, this has been a big advantage and until today, is one of the main drivers for corporate growth. Brush makers would be able to compensate increasing prices by developing and optimizing mixtures used for paintbrushes rather than by reducing the amount of hair being used per brush. Initially, retail and professionals were sceptical about these new brushes. Hence, the company started to work together with renowned paint manufacturers to do application testing together. As there were no significant differences in application and finish, initial doubts could have quickly been dispelled.

Targets for the development of synthetic hairs

The success led to further intensive research and development of new materials. The aim is to be able to constantly improve the quality of the different synthetic hairs. In the long term, the target is to be able to produce hair that will offer artists the painting experience of a brush with natural hair. One of the main challenges, however, are colour/water holding capacity and the overall durability. Naturally grown hairs have a special surface structure which still makes them superior to synthetic alternatives. So far, the biggest success in this field is the imitation of natural hog bristles. Mesko brushes with these filaments have come very close to their natural counterpart. The quality of the finished brushes is unmatched on the market. This especially refers to their fully synthetic brushes.

Mesko KONEX brush with natural wooden handle, stainless steel ferrule and synthetic KONEX hair.The new KONEX® material

One of the most important developments in the field of synthetic hair recently has been the new KONEX® material. Special about this synthetic hair is the long, extremely fine and soft tip with an excellent bounce. It is pleasantly elastic and, with good care, also relatively durable compared to other synthetic filaments. For such fine hair, that’s quite astonishing. KONEX® has been developed to obtain perfectly smooth surfaces after painting. No other brush available on the market does this better than the Mesko KONEX®. Due to its unique characteristics and the consistently positive feedback from retail, industry and professionals, they have started to do further testing together with artists. So far, artists like this material a lot and we are optimistic that we will soon be able to present extraordinary new products with KONEX®.

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