Russian styled clothing, hats, shoes, decorations


Sarafan (Сарафан)Russian sarafans

- traditional Russian women’s clothing in the form of dresses, often sleeveless. Originally sarafan was a menswear. It was a ceremonial dress  made of silk, brocade, velvet and other expensive fabrics. It was long, touching the ground, with long folding sleeves. It is also known that sarafan had a golden embroidery.

The  clergy was also using that suit, but after a certain time it became women’s clothing. The complex of clothes  included – sarafan, shirt and belt. In a while it was supplemented with a headdress (kokoshnik).

Kokoshnik (Кокошник)

-old traditional Russian headdress.


Orenburg shawlRussian-orenburgskiy-platok-ring

—Knitted scarf made of goat down and thread base (cotton, silk, etc.). It is known that regardless of the size it can easily pass through any engagement ring.

Fluff of Orenburg goats is the thinnest in the world: its thickness – 16-18 mkm, Angora goats (mohair) – is 22-24 mkm. Therefore, the products of the Orenburg fluff are especially gentle and soft. Orenburg goats have such a thin fuzz due to the harsh conditions, as well as eating habits on the mountain steppes of the Ural. Despite the thinness, the fluff is very durable – it is stronger than wool.

There are several kinds of Orenburg shawls.

  • The first is the grey (seldom white) thick down hair shawls. These shawls started the tradition of Orenburg down-hair knitting.
  • The second is the quite dense kerchiefs and pautinkas. They are used for every day wear and they give a similar warmth to shawls. Such pautinkas are knitted in the Orsk region.
  • The third kind of Orenburg shawls are very thin (compared with “spider web” pautinkas and tippets).

As a rule thin pautinkas have fancy patterns and are used as decoration on special occasions.

Each scarf  is an original work of art, which required a lot of creative work and patience of its masters.  A good knitter can knit two kerchiefs – pautinkas (“spider lines”) of medium size or three tippets a month. It will take a month or more to knit a largeshawl or a kerchief with a pattern or inscription. Because of the high cost of down hair and yarn, an original hand-made Orenburg shawl or kerchief is an expensive item.

Pavlovo shawls, stoles, silk scarves, shawls, scarves for men (Павловопосадские шарфы)

-items produced in Moscow Region, the city  Pavlovsky Posad,  at JSC “Pavlovo Posad Shawl Manufactory”.russian-traditional-pavlovoposadskiye-platki

Pictures on Pavlovo shawls developed from standard samples specific to tissues of Moscow region and eastern shawls (“Turkish pattern”).

In the 1870s there was a tendency to expand the range of scarves with naturalistic floral motifs. Preference was given to garden flowers, especially roses and dahlias.

At the end of XIX – early XX century, the final design was created: three-dimensional images of flowers, gathered in bouquets, garlands or scattered across the field of a shawl on a black  or a red background, sometimes with the addition of an ornament and stylized vegetal elements. Shawls were made of translucent or heavy wool fabric, later they began producing the silk ones.

Vologda lace (Вологодское кружево) 

- сommon  type of Russian lace produced in the Vologda region, made with a help of special wooden sticks. All the main images in the coupling Vologda lace are made of dense, continuous, equal in width, gently wriggling linen braid; they are clearly silhouetted against the patterned arrays decorated as asterisks and sockets.  Linen  is a typical material for the Vologda lace.

You can get Information about clothes and hats with military and Soviet themes  in the relevant article of the Russian souvenirs theme.

Fur products – mittens, hats

One of the original forms of folk decorative art is sewing and decorating clothes, shoes and hats with fur. For creating  artistic fur items they usually use fur of deer, elk, seals, walrus, polar fox, foxes, squirrels, beaver. More rarely they use synthetic furю

Stained glass, colored lanyards, badges, metal pendants made of copper, brass, iron are popular for  for decorations. There is also a term “fur mosaic.”


Bast shoes=Lapti (Лапти)  Russian-lapti

- Low shoes, formerly in wide use in the countryside until the 1930s. They were woven from bark wood (basswood, elm, birch and others). Sandals were the main routine (and festive) summer (and sometimes winter) footwear.

Bast shoe laces were tied to the legs, twisted from the same bark of construction for themselves and sandals. The bast shoes would wear out very  quickly, so for each long journey it was necessary to take several bast shoes.

Felt boots=Valenki (Валенки)

- Warm felt boots made of matted wool (method of manufacturing identified the name of the shoes). They are often made solid, for wearing under other footwear (galoshes) they are made soft.

Earlier the colors of boots were black, gray or brown, now there are more options.

6 thoughts on “Russian styled clothing, hats, shoes, decorations”

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