Bamboo Sable Series BW170
Bamboo handle with Sable hair.
Sable is chosen for its spring (the ability to return quickly to its original shape) and its point (the ability to return to a fine pointed shape). The shape of an individual hair resembles an elongated pear. There is greater width in the middle of the hair than at the tip, which is pointed. This hair shape is what gives sable its strength to spring back and to come to a very fine point. The strength of the spring and the length and fineness of the tip of the hair together determine the quality and the price of the brush. Consequently, hairs collected from wild animals that live in colder climates are preferred because their fur grows thicker and longer. The best-quality brushes are made with hairs that are collected from the middle, or belly, of the tail. The hairs are longer at the end of the tail, but also are thinner, have less body, and are usually damaged, blunted, or kinked from the animal's activity. These hairs are used in lower-quality sable brushes and sometimes as filler in medium-quality brushes.