Kazakh nomads wore vests made from local goat hair to keep warm during severe winters on the Orenburg steppes. The goat hair was among the softest and finest in the world. When Russian settlers arrived in the 17th century, they used it to knit shawls in traditional patterns. Diaphanous and virtually weightless, these shawls are remarkably warm and durable.

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What is it about the yarn used to make Orenburg shawls that makes them so warm, light and transparent?

responded: Aug 24, 2010

Posted by Elena Nikitina

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The furry shawl on display was bought by me in 2006 in Volzsk, Mary-El Republic of Russia from a famous knitter who knitts shawls like this to sell to her neighbours and friends. I wear it in winter time when it is cold outdoors and in the house when I am not feeling good. I am happy and feel proud to see my shawl in this museum.

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