Horsehair refers to hair taken from the mane or tail of horses. It has various uses including brushes and the bows of musical instruments. The word is also used to refer to haircloth, a hard-wearing fabric made from horsehair. The term can also refer to horsehair plaster, a wallcovering material formerly used in the construction industry and now found only in older buildings; it has been replaced by drywall and other cheaper, more modern materials.
It can be very stiff or very fine and flexible, mane hair is generally softer but shorter than tail hair, which is longer and thicker. The quality of the horse’s natural hair may play a role, as it varies to some degree by breed of horse and nutritional conditions. The processing given to horsehair may also impact its quality.
Mane hair is shorter and softer than tail hair. It is used for the crafts of horsehair hitching, horsehair braiding, pottery, and in making jewelry. It is used to make some wall and fine arts paintbrushes.
It was almost always the fiber used to make shaving brushes. It was also common in hats and women’s undergarments. It was used in the hair to create the “Gibson Girl” look. In the 18th century it was commonly used in wigs. Until the 20th century, it was commonly used to make fine arts paintbrushes, along with sable, fox, wolf, goat, and lamb hair. Calligraphy brushes are made from rabbit, fox, or horse hair, among others.
For thousands of years, fishing lines have been fabricated of horsehair.
Mane and tail hair samples are commonly used for DNA analysis of Equine specimens. Private genetic testing companies regularly use the DNA extracted from the root follicle of horsehair for relationship testing, genetic disease assays and checking for color breeding potential.
Another use that is usually kept a closely guarded secret is within the film industry for special effects.
In-fact our horse hair has been used in Prince of Persia, sands of time and Clash of the Titans!
Or for a more relaxing pasttime there are many Rocking Horse enthusiasts who purchase horse hair for either the restoration of an old rocking horse or for making a new one.
We can supply horse hair for all these uses and more so please do get in touch with us if you don’t find what you’re looking for. We also stock a massive amount of human hair in all lengths and colours, both straight and wavy.