Shawls have been a part of traditional
Russian Women’s costumes since the 18th Century. The original
home of the shawl was Kashmir in India. In the 19th century,
Russian manufacturers introduced worsted weaving yarns and
began producing their own garments. The most well known Russian
shawls are those made in Pavlovo Posad factory, shawls which
are very colourful and have an extensive variety of designs,
Orenburg shawls that date back as far as the 17th century
and made entirely by hand. They are handspuned and handknitted
from the finest down of goats in the region of Orenburg near
Russian Orenburg Shawls have
natural colors of the goats and can be white, grey or brown.
Prices depend on size, on quality of threads used for making
of the shawls and, of course, on quality of work. Each woman
makes her own shawls with her own lacy ornaments and patterns.
In Russia with cold and long winters women used to wear these
shawl everyday especially in country area. Each woman has
at least two shawls - one for everyday usage and other one
Many people ask what kind of material (wool)
is used fro knitting of the Orenburg shawls. Authentic Orenburg
shawls are made of goat down. Sometimes people by mistake
call the down "cashmere" but this is not exactly
so. People in Orenburg area breed species of goats that give
not only milk but perfect soft and light down.
Goat down shawls are durable in usage, and
the more shawl is used the more attractive it is.
Russian Orenburg shawls are really hand-made, they are produced
in limited amount and each shawl is different and unique.
Orenburg Shawl Factory was established in 1960
in order provide growing demand for high quality goat down
shawls for affording price. More than 30 small work-shops
were organized into large enterprise. Many years were spent
to organize manufacturing process, to develop, produce and
tune unique machines and equipment and to gain a priceless
Manufacturing of Orenburg shawls at the factory
is the full cycle process beginning from gathering raw goat
down and wool and ending of production of goods and utilization
Orenburg goats down shawls are unique products and they demand
unique equipment, unique technological process and high skill
of workers. In past Orenburg shawls were handspun and hand
knitted, a shawl-maker should spend about 2 weeks to weave
a quality shawl not counting efforts and time spent for preparing
yarn and threads. In the end quality of a ready shawl greatly
depended on qualification of a weaver and its price was so
higher that not many women could afford to wear beautiful
Nowadays the main part of Orenburg shawls,
scarves, tippets, cobwebs are knitted by hand, only most labour-intensive
and routine operation are made by machines. It allows knitters
to concentrate only on creative operation of shawl knitting.
The fact that some operations are machine made does not degrade
quality of shawls and specific features of real hand-made
Orenburg shawls but makes these items more perfect.
Pavlovo Posad Shawl
Among unique, well-known in the world products, presenting
pride and glory of Russia, a particular place occupies shawls
from an ancient town of Pavlovsky Posad. Every year "Pavlovo
Posad Shawl Manufactory issues 200 kinds of shawls, scarves
of natural fibres: wool, cotton, silk.
Pavlovo Posad is an ancient Russian town about
60 kilometres from Moscow. It is well known as the home of
hereditary textile workers. The Pavlovo Posad factory for
production of woollen shawls was founded in 1795 by Ivan Labsin.
In the very beginning shawls were woven of
yarns. It took much time to produce shawls and as a result
those shawls were quite expensive. A single shawl could take
up to 18 months to complete. During the 19th century different
and more cost effective methods were used in the manufacturer.
Highly skilled weavers and designers were sought after as
the demand grew.
There are many different operations have to be made for giving
birth to unique in its qualities Pavlovo Posad shawl! Its
production technology combines a careful attitude to the traditions
and the using of the most advanced achievements of scientific
and technical ideas.
Gradually printed woollen shawls replaced costly
color woven shawls. Some of the elaborate color weaving was
replaced by printed designs. Until late in the 19th Century
shawls were decorated by means of hard wood block printing.
In the 1937 Paris World Fair Pavlovo Posad
was awarded the Grand Prix of the whole exhibition. Pavlovo
Posad was internationally recognized as the masters of shawl
design and quality. After the Second World War a new generation
of designers won the Major award at the Brussels World Trade
Fair in 1959.