A choice of two whisk like brushes, one of straw coloured tampico, the other deep umber shuro. The paler is a sort of hybrid brush hand bound in Wakayama after the style of small shuro kojin (fireside) brooms but of tampico fibre, drawn from the leaves of agaves found only in the Chihuahuan desert. Tampico is renowned for its water and chemical resistance as well as water holding ability, a quality granted by its microscopically barbed and consequently mildly abrasive surface. A material of choice for natural dish-brushes as well as for cleaning and polishing metals or fingernails, all purposes to which this brush is ideally suited. The darker is a copper bound and plaited shuro (an interwoven fibrous sheath harvested from the trunks of Japanese hemp palms) brush of a type traditionally used for cleaning the inside of Chagama, the iron kettles used during the Japanese tea ceremony but ideal for use on any delicate surfaces, wet or dry. These brushes are an acknowledged speciality of northern Wakayama, and are handmade there today by one of the few remaining manufacturers, a company established originally as shuro rope makers in 1880, Yamamoto Katsunosuke shoten. The tampico brush measures approximately 13cm by 5cm, the shuro kettle brush about 15cm by 5cm.