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 Nina Saparova

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I had a furry shawl like this when I was younger and had my babies just born. I used to wrap my doughters and my son in the shawl when taking them outdoors. These shawls last for generations; two shawls were enough for me for my entire life.

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