Russian Art Store

is an online store offering authentic handmade Russian art, gifts, jewelry made in Russian, toys for children and the whole family, board games, souvenirs, house-ware and more. We do our best to sell only quality, made in Russia items. 

We have a large physical store in Toronto and ship to Canada and U.S. 

Proudly serve our customers since 1953!

Orenburg downy shawls.

By Darya • 10/22/2021

Orenburg cashmere shawls

Few people know, but Orenburg downy shawls production has started for more than 300 years. According to one of the legends, the Russian settlers who arrived in the Urals were surprised at the easy dressing of the Kalmyk and Kazakh horsemen for the harsh winters. The secret of resisting frost turned out to be simple: a scarf knitted of goat down served as a lining under light clothes. Then the scarves did not have any patterns and ornaments and served only for insulation. The approach to knitting changed after Russian Cossacks started trying to knit downy shawls and began to make adjustments to the design. Very quickly, the innovations had a positive effect and the scarves began to change. Thanks to this, down products became widely known in 1857 at the international exhibition in Paris. Right after the fair, the Orenburg shawl stole the hearts of fashion lovers from London, Berlin, Shanghai, Stockholm, Vienna, Paris, and Brussels. In 1939, a small artel named after the Paris Commune was created.

Many foreign merchants began to come to the outback of Russia for the Orenburg goats, however, after 2-3 years it became clear that when the goats were resettled from cold regions, it became an unexpected disappointment. The fluff of the Orenburg goats with the change of climate became no different from the fluff of an ordinary goat. Desperate, merchants began to massively purchase down from Orenburg in order to establish the production of down products in Europe. The products were so popular that one of the large English companies began to produce downy shawls marked “imitation for Orenburg”. Even today cobweb downy shawls conquer hearts with their beauty and practicality, which is why you can choose your favorite shawl and order it online at Russian Art Store!

The present era of industrial production of knitted downy shawls began only in 1945. Since that period, the production technology has been improving daily. The technology for the production of combed yarn on equipment was introduced - this is how the famous cobwebs were created.

Unfortunately, the Iron Curtain of the USSR had a negative impact on the factories of Orenburg, which meant the end of the era of world fame for warm shawls. Although a decrease in production was expected, the Orenburg downy shawl received a second wave of popularity, but this time inside the Soviet Union and soon patterned products became a luxurious souvenir, without which it was considered disrespectful to return home from the Orenburg region.

By 2000, 50 million downy shawls were knitted.

Today the Orenburg cashmere shawls are considered an elegant and warm addition to the image and remain the best gift and souvenir for friends and family. You will find the best selection of Orenburg downy shawls in Canada at the most pleasant prices at the Russian Art Store!


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