Where does badger hair come from?
Because badgers are very aggressive animals, it is nearly impossible to shear their fur. In addition, shearing would gather the hair into a clump, which would be expensive and time consuming to sort into organized strands to knot into shaving brushes. Instead, most badger hair is purchased in pelts skinned from badgers in Asia. Although it is mostly unregulated and undocumented, badger pelts are usually obtained in two ways. First, badger meat is commonly consumed in Chinese culture, so the pelt is sold as a byproduct of the meat-packing industry. Second, badgers are hunted due to their market value for shaving brushes and overpopulation in some areas. The pelt is skinned from the animal and sold to a distributor, who sorts and processes the hair. The hair is then "dressed" so that the color is uniform, equal in length, and properly sterilized. At this point, it is then graded for its quality, which ultimately determines the price of the hair. Finally, the hair is packaged and sold to brush manufacturers, who knot it into shaving brush handles. Learn more in Understanding Grades of Badger Hair.