|The famous Orenburg Lace Shawls are handspun and handknit from the finest down of goats in the region of Orenburg near Russia's Ural Mountains.
This centuries old art form combines silk and down of the Orenburg goats to create a delicate and lacey shawl so light that it can pass through a ring.
Each shawl is handmade by craftswomen in their homes. By purchasing one of these beautiful shawls, you are helping sustain a vanishing tradition and aiding the survival of fine craftspeople.
At this time we regretfully have no shawls available.
|My first introduction to Orenburg shawls was when I was given one by a dear friend who is from the Moscow region. I had never seen anything so beautiful.
When our family spent a month in Moldova to adopt our daughter Fiona, I bought my 2nd Orenburg shawl at a flea market in Chisinau.
I am pleased and honored to be able to share these beautiful works of art with others as part of our farm store.
|There is some confusion as to the type of goat that produces the down for the authentic Orenburg shawls. Some people mistakenly call the down "cashmere." However, the goats are not cashmere goats. There is a "Russian White" goat and it is described as such: "Dairy goats in the North Caucasus, Crimea and Central Asia are somewhat smaller, have hair of various colors but are inferior in productivity (milk) to the goats of Gorki, Moscow, Yaroslavl and Leningrad regions. There are goats there which have a wool undercoat and, consequently, double utility; they are milked and, in addition, yield about 100-150 gm of fiber per head. (from the Oklahoma State University "Breeds of Livestock" website). In further trying to research the question of whether these goats are "cashmere" I consulted the website's listing under "Cashmere" and it says this: "...60% of the world's supply of cashmere is produced in China and the remainder from Turkey, Afghanisan, Iraq, Kashmere, Australia, and New Zealand. The first cashmere goats were imported from Australia and New Zealand."
In consulting with my Russian friend, who is an authority on Orenburg shawls, she said this about the goats: "...there is no such thing as 'cashmere from the Russian animals.' We cannot call it that way. The Cashmere Association will be very much against. They own the name 'cashmere.' And, indeed, the goat is Orenburg Goat, not 'cashmere.' It is the finest wool from Orenburg goat. Some of it is very-very fine (denier) and some of it is more like mohair (from angora goat). The product, Orenburg Shawl is valuable not only because of the wool, but of the technique of spinning and of course knitting. Indeed the knitting is fascinating!"
|Orenburg Lace Shawls
|Shown at left are authentic Russian spindles, handcarved in the Orenburg region. The small ones are about 10" long and the longer plying spindles are about 12-13" long. There is a lovely website that relates some folktales about the Russian spindles. Visit this site and enjoy!|