Commonly used terms


Brush sizes:

Unfortunately there are no international standards and that’s why it is difficult to compare only the size numbers of the different manufacturers and suppliers. In all our catalogues and offers you find additional to the size numbers the exact dimension of brush like diameter or wide and length of hair.


Which means the metal sleeve which holds the brush hair body and which connects the brush head to the handle.

Silver ferrules:

Silver ferrules are seamless nickel plated brass ferrules. Silver ferrules are used for higher qualities of artist-brushes.

Gold ferrules:

Made of brass like Silver ferrules but gold plated.

Aluminium ferrules:

Seamless drawn aluminum tubes, often gold or silver anodized. Mostly used for brushes for school and students.

Nickel ferrules:

Nickel plated tin ferrules with soldered or unsoldered seam. The unsoldered nickel plated ferrules are used for simple brushes. Dimensional stability of soldered nickel plated ferrules is similar to brass ferrules.

Tin ferrules:

Made of tin plates and mostly unsoldered. For flat and wide brushes the tin ferrules are grooved or soldered.


We are using exclusive natural wooden handles, made of European beech or birch wood.

Varnished/Lacquered handles:

All our brush handles are minimum 3 times dipped- 1 x ground and two times lacquer. All our varnished/ lacquered handles don’t contain any heavy metals according to the formulation, and therefore comply with EN 71, part III. Furthermore our varnished handles don’t contain any PCB.

Short and long handles:

Long handles means handles with overall length of 264 mm (around 10″), The long handles are for easel working, for oil- and acrylic paint brushes. Short handles means handles with overall length of 140mm (around 5 1/2″), 153 mm ( around 6″) or 160 mm ( around 6 1/4″) or 175 mm (around 7″) which we are using for different kind of water color brushes, sign writer, ones-stroke brushes, school-brushes and other kind of brushes. Please give your attention to our descriptions in the catalogues.

Labeling on handles:

Our brushes are labeled with the size no., our brand name “kolibri”, the series number, the type of hair or type of use and bar-code (EAN 13).

Brush body and shape:

We never cut the hair of a good brush! All shapes of our brushes are formed by hand and with the help of brass- bushings. For more details please see the video “making staff”.


Principle for every brush we are using 2-components adhesives which are resistant against all common solvents.

Pressing/ crimp:

The finished brush head is pressed onto the shaft, more recently, often only glued. To swell and by the disappearance of the wooden handles from resulting frequently shake the heads will prevent our larger brushes in addition to the clamps still glued to the handle.

Gum Arabic (Rubber Arabicum):

To protect the shape of fine hair brushes we are using Gum Arabic. Gum Arabic is a natural product from the acacia.It is used also in food and pharmacy industry. Please wash out with lukewarm water the gum Arabic solution before first using.

Additional the brush heads of most round and pointed brushes are protected with crystal-clear plastic tubes.