Hang Up Your Brushes To Dry

Most, but not all, quality Chinese brushes have a loop on the end so they can hang up to dry. In this way water drains away from the brush hair and the base of the hairs can dry out. If you lay your brush flat to dry, or worse stand it up in a container with the hairs facing up, it will take longer to dry and mildew may grow—especially in hot humid climates. If the brush handle is wood or bamboo—which most are—the water may swell this porous material making it more likely the hairs will fall out and the wood or bamboo will crack. And the longer the base of the brush hairs are wet, the more likely the glue holding them together will dissolve. Store your brushes in a brush pot only after they’ve dried completely by hanging with the tip down.

Both of the illustrated brush ends probably have silk hanging cords, but the brush on the left has an end cap made of plastic, while the one on the right is all part of the wood shaft—a sign of a more expensive, and probably more quality, brush.