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: Apr 26, 2011

Posted by Tata

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One of myths about the Orenburg scarfs is that they are made of 100 % down. Neither the best needlewomen, nor factory masters do that way. Silk, viscose and cotton threads give a basis, and down gives warmth and elegance. One shawl needs about 100 gram of the goat down and one bobbin of a silk thread. For a scarf it takes 300 gram of down and big bobbin a cotton thread.

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