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: Sep 19, 2010

Posted by Natasha

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There is a way of telling which shawl is a true Orenburg shawl and which is not: Orenburg shawl is so thin that it can easily go through a ring, that a person may wear on their finger. Other knitted shawls will get stuck in a ring. So, if you are buying one, you'll be able to distinguish.

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