Few people know that the word "shawl" has Persian roots and literally means "large patterned scarf, covering the shoulders". Asian countries since ancient times owned the secrets of the production of shawls. This garment was a part of the male and female costumes of ancient India and Babylon.
In Europe, shawl appeared thanks to Napoleon, in 1799, when these scarves of excellent quality in abundance appeared in France. They were so well made that once conquered women's hearts.
Soon the fashion for shawls came to Russia, where they have huge demand. Shawls imported from India cost fabulously expensive. This high price is understandable: three weavers worked on ordinary shawl for few months, but a difficult shawl with intricate pattern is woven from a half to four years.
Such expensive shawls could not be available to mass. Therefore, more widely weavers used silk, wool, cambric shawl, painted in different colors, with a printed pattern. Gradually shawls have evolved from luxuries into an integral part of the attire. Shawl was worn by everyone from aristocratic to urban dwellers, merchants' wives and peasant women.
With new technologies, Russian shawls have become a luxurious addition to women’s wardrobe. Art of wearing a shawl and even dance with a shawl was taught to the girls in the aristocratic families from an early age.
Creating a pattern for the shawl was very important, especially the artists involved in this. Figure itself is valuable. Same figure could not be used by competitors, it is to insure. New drawing goes to the colorist. The color range distinguishes Russian shawl from the eastern and western. Saturated, but very clean and gentle tones of red, pink, green, blue, cyan, purple, yellow in decorative floral pattern in Russian shawls creates the major mood, corresponds to Russian national taste. Scarves are worn by girls and women in different seasons, they give the women's costume a brilliance and originality. Scarf, along with sundress has become a symbol of Russian costume.
Magnificent knitted shawls from goat down became famous thanks to Orenburg region. Since the middle of the XIX century, Orenburg downy products have repeatedly been awarded medals at the World Industrial Exhibitions in London, Chicago, and Brussels. Light, delicate, like a cobweb, shawls and scarves hit exhibition visitors with its beauty and elegance.
In Pavlovsky Posad (Moscow Province), from the middle of the XIX century, there is a "Trade House of Labzin and Hraznov", known far beyond Russia. Printed silk, woolen scarves and shawls produced here, have won prizes of Russian and international exhibitions.