Invented in China around 300 BCE, the bamboo brush was originally intended solely for traditional calligraphy and ink painting styles. When grouped together with the inkstone, inkstick, and xuan paper, these implements form what’s called the “Four Treasures of the Study,” a name used to denote the tools necessary to create ink works. The brush is the oldest member of the “Four Treasures” grouping, and the oldest brush-painted artifacts are painted bones that date back to the Zhou dynasty. Bamboo brush bristles are generally made from animal hair, and brushes used during the Imperial examinations were said to be made with a strand of baby hair, in order to bring good luck. Modern bamboo brushes are mainly made from white goat hair, black rabbit hair, yellow weasel hair, or a combination of the three. Over the years, bamboo brushes have become increasingly popular for general watercolor use as well as traditional ink and calligraphy painting. Bamboo brushes come in many different brush-tip sizes and set combinations. Whether you’re in the market for a single unit product or a full set, we’ve got you covered. Browse our roundup of the best bamboo brush options below.
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