Bristle materials

Bassine

Borassus Flabellimormis or the sago palm grows in the East Indies as well in Sir Lanka. The process of threshing the dried palm leaves releases the leaf fibres. These are brownish color and characteristically the bassine is softer and more fragile than other piassavas. The Colombo bassine from Sir Lanka is a more rigid type of Bassine.

Coconut fibre

The tough fibre ropes of the coconut (Cocos Nusifera) beard is soaked in water for a month. In order to hasten the process of exposing the bare fibre, the ropes are beaten. After dying, the fibre is dressed and sorted. Coconut fibre is produced in India. The material is soft and not particularly elastic. It's most common use is for yard brooms and in mixtures with other plant fibres.

Goat hair

Goat hair is clipped from the breast of the animal, where soft and springy hair is found. Preparation involves washing and combing. This soft hair is used for face brushes, dusting brushes and certain types of cleaners. Goat hair is imported.

Artificial fibres

Nylon, perlon, habofalith, shalon etc are artificial fibres which exist in various thicknesses and types. Most of these materials have poor brushing characteristics and are not suitable for brooms. Artificial fibre is appropirate for products which do not absorb water, such as washing-up and toilet brushes.

Piassava/Madagascar

The African piassava (Riphia Renefern), is not extracted from the leaf casing but from the stalks of palm species which grow in the swamp areas of West Africa. During preparation, the stalks are steeped in water where they rot after which fleshy parts of the leaves are removed. After the stalks are dried in the sun, they are threshed by hand with flails and flax-combs. The African piassava is light brown or reddish brown color. The length of the stalks vary, as does their stiffness and elasticity. The African piassava is used mainly for brooms, brushes on road sweepers and brushes used for raking athletics tracks.

The Bahian-piassava is obtained from the leaf of the Attaléa palm. The leaf is enclosed in a casing which seperates when the leaf is fully developed. The casing if left haning on the trunk and after some time only the dark brown fibres remain. The fibres are allowed to rot after which the 1-4 metre long fibre stalks are dried in the sun and sorted. The Bahia piassava grows in the Brazilian province Bahia. The Bahia piassava is an excellent material for road brushes as it is tough and elastic.

Madagascar is a type of piassava and comes from the leaf fibre of the Bonitra palm, Raphia Pendunenlata. The name of this raw material indicates it's place of growth, i.e. Madagascar which lies off the east coast of South Africa. The fibre are extracted by rotting. The raw material is dark brown in color and is characterised by it's elasticity and durability. Madagascar is used for yard brooms, mattresses and upholstrery brushes.

Cereal root

Cereal root is the root of a species of grass, zacaton plant, which grows on the high plateaux of Mexico. The roots of the Zacaton are cut from the plant, washed clean from soil and transported to a preparation factory. Cereal root is a tought, elastic and water-resistant material which is used for vegetable brushes and washing-up brushes.

Horse hair

Horse hair is divided into different categories: hair from the tail, which is strong and elastic; hair from the mane, which is soft but has poor elasticity; tail hair from cattle, which is soft but lacks elasticity. In order to obtain satisfactory material, the hair is cut directly from the animal. Hair from dead animals lacks lustre and elasticity. Horse hair must undergo preparation before it is ready to be used as a material for brushes. Briefly, the process involves the following: washing, combing, boiling, drying, making into trusses and, usually, dyeing. From one horse, approximately 5-6 hectograms of hair per year can be obtained. Horse hair is imported from China. Horse hair is used for yard brooms, bath brushes, washing-up brushes, pastery brushes and shoe brushes.

 

 

Union mixture

Union mixture is a mixture of white fibre and bassine. It´s a strong and water-resistant mixture which is used for vegetable brushes, deck brushes and scrubbing brushes.

White fibres

White fibre, Mexican fibre or Tampico is extracted from the leaves of certain species of Agave (Agaves Sisalana, Agave Foreyodes) which grows mainly in Mexico. The fleshy leaf of the Agave plant is cut off and threshed, after which it´s beaten with sticks so that the fibres are released. On large plantations, theshing machines are used. The natural colour varies from green to yellowish-white although the fibre can also be black or brown as well as grey. The material is used extensively for making yard brooms, panel brushes, deck brushes, nail brushes and bath brushes. The fibre is also used mixed together with other materials, for example, coconut, bassine or horsehair.

 

 

 

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