Hand Tied Horse Hair Shaving Brush Knot, Start To Finish | The Holy Black Trading Co

Hand Tied Horse Hair Shaving Brush Knot, Start To Finish

Posted on December 03, 2015 by Stefan Vincent | 4 comments

I've been wanting to tie my own brush knots for a while and most of the research I have done has made it seem close to impossible. It seems like it is some ancient art lost to time. There are a couple videos online and some pictorial websites, but nothing showing all the steps. For this project I had to make a few of my own tools, and test out quite a few little tricks, but overall I'm very happy with the end result. 


I decided to start with horse hair, as it seemed the easiest to work with and the most readily available. I got a haft of mane hair in black, and probably have enough left over to make two more brushes.

After being cut to length it goes into a custom hair stacker to get the tips lined up, and then into another homemade stacker with a concave bottom to get the bulb/fan profile. (This step is not so necessary with horse hair because it can be clipped to shape, but will be essential for synthetic and badger hair) The knot is tied here with regular cotton butchers twine in a slip knot. Get it as tight as you possibly can or it will unravel in the next step.

tied horse hair knot

A sharp knife is of the utmost importance for this next step, cutting the hairs down to an even footing.

cut bristles on horse hair knot

Now our knot is ready to be glued, before it can be glued into the plug, I use a CA type of glue that is very thin and, wearing gloves, work the CA glue in between all the individual hairs in the knot. I have found this step is the most important to make sure your knot doesn't shed in the future.

ready for a resin plug

Here is the knot with a polyester resin plug that I poured into a 24mm silicone mold that I made for this particular project.

The finished knot, ready to be epoxied into a handle.

I bored the hole in this custom handle down to 28mm to give this knot some much needed backbone and leaving us with about a 65mm loft. Overall I'm very happy with the performance, and was surprised how much lather the horse hair held. 

These are not currently for sale but I do make them in synthetic and in silvertip badger hair at my store.

Thanks for looking!

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4 Responses


August 05, 2016

Hello Stefan, I’ve read yr comments with great interest. Myself, I use most horsebrushes, as I find those more suitable for me, compared to badger and boar. Vie Long is the only producer, there isn’t any competition. This should change. Myself, I’m too busy, being german, living in Singapore. I would like, but there isn’t time for doing myself. In case, you should consider doing brushes for otherls (horse), PLS INFORM ME. I WOULD GO FOR IT IN BLACK, BUT KNOW LARGER THAN vIE lONG MAX 24MM. cHEERS, aCHIM+

The Holy Black
The Holy Black

January 09, 2016

Hi David, the home made stacker was made from brass sheet brazed into a tube. The domed bottom was made on a dapping block and brazed into the bottom section of the tube. I actually have to modify this tool to make the loft a little shorter on my horse hair brushes.

David Ross
David Ross

January 08, 2016

I love the look of your horse hair knot. It came out quite well. I’d like to make my own horse hair knot as well, and was wondering if you would be willing to share with me more about your homemade stacker to line up the hair.
Best regards,

Tom Stack
Tom Stack

December 03, 2015

Looks great, Stefan! Well done! Glad I found THB!

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