Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Paint Brush Highlights: Quills

Dynasty Quills
Quill brushes aptly receive their name due to bird feathers used for the ferrules instead of metal.  Some manufacturers still do use quill for the ferrule, seamless or multi-piece, while other manufacturers have moved to synthetic quills for cost and environmental sustainability.

The natural quill is soft and pliable from soaking during the manufacture of brushes, allowing for the tuft and handle to be inserted easily.  Some are wrapped with a brass or steel wire to hold the hair in place while the quill stiffens.  When the quill dries, it tightens around the tuft and the handle and the wire can be removed.  Precaution is taken, however, if an extra large brush is created when more than one quill is needed for the ferrule.  These brushes need the wire intact to hold it together. 

Early quills were made from all types of bird feathers, each brush size was dependent on the size bird and quill used.   Feathers were sorted by the diameter of the base and tubes cut from the base to use for the quills.  Because each natural quill size and coloration are different, each natural quill brush is different.  Another reason manufacturers lean towards synthetic quills is to provide consistency in sizing and stability.

According to FM Brush Vice President, Jeff Mink, "All our quills  are double string tied, and also use 4 brass wire twists, as did the traditional European quill.  Additionally we apply an extra plastic covering over the twisted wire, as a protective covering which is another improvement over the 'traditional design'."

Dynasty Quills are produced in FM Brush Thailand by master Brushmakers each with a minimum 20 years’ experience.

Keep Painting, 
Karyn 

For more brush information, check out the Dynasty Brush website.