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Chinese made knots

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Chinese made knots

Postby Fido » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:17 am

Can someone explain why a Chinese or American worker is unlikely to have the abilty to make a shaving brush knot to match the standard achievable by a worker in England or the Isle of Man?
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Re: Chinese made knots

Postby Vulfix Old Original » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:32 am

I can't ... but there's just something about British hand made manufacturing and the history associated with it.

Fido wrote:Can someone explain why a Chinese or American worker is unlikely to have the abilty to make a shaving brush knot to match the standard achievable by a worker in England or the Isle of Man?
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Postby Fido » Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:00 am

The fact is that as long as you specify exactly what you want and conduct adequate quality control checks, the Chinese can deliver product quality as good as anyone.

Here's a sobering set of results to reflect upon:

http://www.imo-official.org/results.aspx
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Postby Vulfix Old Original » Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:39 am

I wouldn't doubt it although there's something quintessentially English about shaving brush manufacture in my eyes.

The Germans do cars ...

The Japanese do electronics ...

The Italians do fashion ...

We do shaving ...





Fido wrote:The fact is that as long as you specify exactly what you want and conduct adequate quality control checks, the Chinese can deliver product quality as good as anyone.

Here's a sobering set of results to reflect upon:

http://www.imo-official.org/results.aspx
:D :D :D
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Postby Zot! » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:00 am

I think people like dealing directly with the maker/craftsman. English brushes have had a reputation and tradition for quality-made shaving brushes. If I buy what I think is an English handmade brush (it says so on the website and brush) then I expect it to be so. If a brush maker gets its badger hair from wherever, most likely China anyways, I would still expect it to be hand formed and set by an English craftsman. Naturally to save costs the Chinese could sell the same knot formed by them to the brushmaker because Chinese do not have the reputation for brushes and knots yet because they don't have a major player in the field. Granted that it probably is the same quality badger hair and that they may have equally skilled craftsman that aren't paid the same as their English/German/French counterpart. I would expect that if someone sells me a brush, that the information would be disclosed. If so, I still might take the chance on the Chinese one expecting the cost benefit to be passed on, or I might opt for getting one actually made in England because I like that traditionally made brush.
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Postby Baloosh » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:03 am

Fido wrote:The fact is that as long as you specify exactly what you want and conduct adequate quality control checks, the Chinese can deliver product quality as good as anyone.

Here's a sobering set of results to reflect upon:

http://www.imo-official.org/results.aspx


Lol. Those results have nothing to do with the topic of discussion.

As long as you specify exactly what you want and conduct adequate quality control checks, *any* entity can deliver product quality as good as any other entity.

The fact remains that $7 or $10 Chinese knots will never match up in density, quality or overall longevity to a British hand-made brush.

Actually, all the hair comes from the same place probably. It's how you build it - and that comes at a cost - that makes the difference.

Fido, I know you're trying to get across that you think your brushes can go up against Simpsons/Plissons/etc. But those brush makers charge what they do for multiple reasons. Just as you seem to be experiencing with your latest round of brushes -- the higher quality you make them, the more you have to charge.
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Postby gsgo » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:13 am

Based on my own experience in an unrelated field, given the same components, training and guidance Chinese workers are completely capable of producing goods of world class quality. The biggest advantage of Chinese made products come from savings on the labor component since globally, most commodity prices are somewhat stable. Given that the Chinese might actually be the largest source for much of the badger hair that goes into the making of shaving brush knots there exists the potential for even further cost advantages (a rare example since China needs to import most of it's raw materials for manufacturing purposes). These savings are so great that goods made in China can be boxed up and packed up in a 40' container and shipped on giant vessels all over the world and still represent a value in the marketplace.

Fido, given your experience with New Forest as well as your previous investigation of the shaving brush industry it's safe to say your question may be more of a statement.

Secondly there is probably an abundance of Chinese made knots already out in the marketplace through various sources and suppliers including New Forest. Comparisons could easily be made based on the simple data of the already existing market.

The question could be put back into your court by asking "how did you come to source the knots for your shaving brushes?".
Good shaving,

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Postby rustyblade » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:53 am

ed.
Last edited by rustyblade on Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Fido » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:12 am

My purpose is to question the idea that because a shaving brush knot is made in China it is inevitably going to be of an inferior standard to one made in the West. It is a point that is regularly made on the shaving forums and is rarely challenged.

It is not appropriate for me to respond to questions about a brand I have a direct interest in. I do my marketing in other places.
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Postby Baloosh » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:36 am

Fido wrote:My purpose is to question the idea that because a shaving brush knot is made in China it is inevitably going to be of an inferior standard to one made in the West. It is a point that is regularly made on the shaving forums and is rarely challenged.


It's not an inevitability - it's simply the experience of pretty much everyone who has used a wide variety of knots, including Chinese-made and the corresponding English-made.

Fido wrote:It is not appropriate for me to respond to questions about a brand I have a direct interest in. I do my marketing in other places.


You're asking, in a round-a-bout way, why your brushes shouldn't stand alongside Simpsons/Plissons/etc. Increase the quality of Chinese-made knots, and the answer to your question will be obvious.
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Postby Fido » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:54 am

As a matter of interest, which American brand shaving brushes are completely handmade in the USA? Including the knots.
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Postby function » Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:45 pm

I can believe that any knot, made anywhere, can be as good as any other. In order to get a hand-tied knot of the same quality seen in a "proper" English or French brush, you will have to put in the same amount of time and train employees the same way. That seems to be the only difference.

If the manufacturer is picky about the hair quality and has good QC, I have no reason to think a Chinese-made brush can't be just as good as any other.

A great parallel would be the premium cigar industry. There are cigars being produced in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic that are not as good - they are BETTER than any produced in Cuba. The reason for this is a number of Cuban expats opened up businesses, applied their knowledge, and were not satisfied with the tobacco until every cured leaf(read badger knot) was perfect. They trained a new generation of rollers and cutters, and produce cheaper and IMO better cigars than most made in Cuba.


Edit: All of that said, I still have plans to buy a Simpson/Vulfix brush in the next year or so, and will replace my Rooney with another Rooney should anything happen to it.
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Postby Fido » Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:23 pm

Someone in Germany seems pretty good too!

http://www.davinci-defet.com/deutsch/ko ... -293-.html
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Postby kbuzbee » Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:57 pm

Vulfix Old Original wrote:I wouldn't doubt it although there's something quintessentially English about shaving brush manufacture in my eyes.

The Germans do cars ...
The Japanese do electronics ...
The Italians do fashion ...


Mark,

The English do BEER
The Germans do BEER
The Japanese do SAKI
The Italians do WINE
(you left off the French and Portuguese, they do WINE too!)

Come on! :D You know I'm right!

Ken
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Postby Gary Young » Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:01 pm

Fido wrote:Someone in Germany seems pretty good too!

http://www.davinci-defet.com/deutsch/ko ... -293-.html


Well have to say that the knot making is following the traditional method to a degree. After tying the lady is using a strange method by turning the knot in mid air in her hand. To ensure a uniform knot it is best to rest the knot base down on a firm surface else you are working against gravity which can cause slippage in the knot structure. I think they have edited a small section out. There seems to be a continuity break around 1min35s/1min40s. Not sure why there is a break there? Bit odd! The process which seems to be missing is the 'head finishing'. The easiest way to finish the head is to work the knot on a table top (the best surface type is formica) which will allow you to work the knot around in a circular motion applying gentle downward pressure. This is the hardest element of producing a knot and takes a lot of practice to get right without spoiling the knot structure. This method of finishing the knot is rarely seen these days so it is a shame that this element of the process isn't shown in the video.

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Postby gsgo » Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:18 pm

So a few questions that needs to be answered here:

Which companies make their own knots?
If they make their own knots where do they get the hair from?
What about boar knots?
Do they make them for all of their range or do they source out imported knots for their value line?

I am not hung up either way and pretty unbiased given that I go brushless more than half the time and used a synthetic for quite sometime as well.
Good shaving,

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Postby 95% » Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:47 pm

It seems to me that unless a brush manufacturer receives whole pelts to work with, another party (presumably in China) must share the credit for hand-crafting the brush.

I have some sympathy with Fido's point. For about 15 years after World War II, the label "Made in Japan" on a product drew sneers and laughs here in the U.S. It indicated cheap merchandise of low quality. Today, as we know, Japanese quality is regarded as very high. When I bought my Toyota a few years ago, the salesman proudly told me that it was made in Japan, not in an American factory.
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Postby Ecosse » Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:06 pm

Gary Young wrote:
Fido wrote:Someone in Germany seems pretty good too!

http://www.davinci-defet.com/deutsch/ko ... -293-.html


Well have to say that the knot making is following the traditional method to a degree. After tying the lady is using a strange method by turning the knot in mid air in her hand. To ensure a uniform knot it is best to rest the knot base down on a firm surface else you are working against gravity which can cause slippage in the knot structure. I think they have edited a small section out. There seems to be a continuity break around 1min35s/1min40s. Not sure why there is a break there? Bit odd! The process which seems to be missing is the 'head finishing'. The easiest way to finish the head is to work the knot on a table top (the best surface type is formica) which will allow you to work the knot around in a circular motion applying gentle downward pressure. This is the hardest element of producing a knot and takes a lot of practice to get right without spoiling the knot structure. This method of finishing the knot is rarely seen these days so it is a shame that this element of the process isn't shown in the video.

Gary


That's an interesting tid bit of info Gary, thanks for that. I always assumed that when making a knot, before tightly wound, the knot was tamped down on something convex, like a marble or dome, to push up the middle hairs to get the overall shape of the knot (fan or bulb shape)
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Postby drmoss_ca » Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:39 pm

But that is how a knot is shaped - a form is used that shapes the knot when inserted tip first. You can see that in the da Vinci video, and in those photos released by Shavemac and the (possibly gone) webpage from Vulfix that was hosted by Classic Shaving - ah! I found it.

Now twice in the da Vinci video we see a knife blade being dragged across the 'canopy' of the knot. That concerns me a bit - I don't want cut hairs. Any insights, Gary?

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Postby lfb » Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:52 pm

drmoss_ca wrote:Now twice in the da Vinci video we see a knife blade being dragged across the 'canopy' of the knot. That concerns me a bit - I don't want cut hairs. Any insights, Gary?

Chris


The brush maker, according to information in a different part of the da Vinci web site, uses the knife to remove reversed or blunt hair/bristles. They also add that any brush maker would turn pale at the mere thought of using the knife to shape the brush.

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