||The oldest type of ferrule isn't really a ferrule.
The hair is tied to the handle with string. The string is coated with
glue to keep the brush together.
||Plastic ferrules are found on some inexpensive brushes.
||The typical and most common ferrules is made of plated
steel. A great inexpensive material, its drawbacks are that exposed
seams in the plating will rust and the plating can peel. This is especially
true with brushes used with water-based finishes. The ferrules can
be plated with anything, zinc is common but the ferrule on the left
has a nickel plating which gives it a nice warm look.
||Copper ferrules are really nice. They aren't as sturdy
as steel ferrules and depending on the solvents used they may or may
not contaminate the finish. In general they are not common today -
probably because of cost.
||The best ferrules are made of stainless steel. Hard
to damage, immune to corrosion or contamination, it was our choice
for our brushes and in a sense it was an obvious choice considering
the cost and quality of the hair used in the brush.
||This ferrule is a actually two ferrules. First the hair
is inserted and glued into a regular plated ferrule and then the ferrule
is inserted into soldered shield. We have seen this style of brush
referred to as a "fitch" brush. We think the name originates
from when, in the early 20th century, very fine finish brushes
used fitch hair (a type of weasel) and while real fitch
is only used today in artists brushes
the name seems to have stuck for this style of ferrule. The shield
protects the glue that holds the bristles of the brush in. We think
with modern epoxies this style of ferrule isn't needed, and
forces the use of a round handle, which we find uncomfortable.