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Tree squirrel


Ground squirrel

Any of several small, thick-tailed rodents of the family Sciuridae (such as Sciurus vulgaris). Squirrels are found worldwide, in both urban and natural settings. Their soft, thick fur has been used for coat trims, capes, and mufflers. Additionally, the long, coarse guard hairs from their bushy tails are used for artist and household brushes. These form soft absorbent brushes that form a good point. Brushes are made from the following squirrels (Z. Pinney 1999):

  • Talahutky: gray, rare, most expensive, thick, strong, coarser than kazan, used in quill ferrules for lettering brushes; from the Pyrenees mountains and Russia.
  • Kazan: brown, thinner and softer than talahutky; used in watercolor brushes and mops; from Russia.
  • Saccamina: blue-black, long, soft hair; used in watercolor wash brushes; from Russia
  • Canadian (or golden) squirrel: variegated yellow and black, slightly thicker, less resilient, shorter with more belly
  • Chinese pine squirrel: used in mixtures
Squirrel hair

Synonyms and Related Terms

European red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris); North American gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis or Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) ; Talahutky (); Kazan (); Saccamina (, sacamena, blue squirrel); Canadian squirrel (Sciurus hudsonius, golden squirrel); écureuil (Fr.); egern (Dan.); Eichhörnchen (Deut.); ardilla (Esp.); scoiattolo (It.); esquilo (Port.); eekhoorn (Ned.)

Physical and Chemical Properties

Guard hairs: Cross section of butt end is circular changing to dumbbell shape further up the hair.

Fur fibers are short.

Resources and Citations

  • Zora Sweet Pinney, "Artist Brushes' WAAC Newsletter 14(3), Sept 1992. Link
  • Edward Reich, Carlton J. Siegler, Consumer Goods: How to Know and Use Them, American Book Company, New York City, 1937
  • F. Kidd, Brushmaking Materials, Bristish Brush Manufacturers, London, 1957
  • Zora Sweet Pinney, 'A Handle on the Terms used for Artists' Brushes', unpublished glossary, 1999