Russian scarves and shawls

Russian scarves and shawls
Russian scarves. Chintz scarf. Moscow. Glinsky Manufactory. 1851 year

The history of the emergence and distribution of the Russian headscarf in Russia.

The custom of wearing a headscarf in Russia has a long history. Even in ancient times, a woman covered her head with a piece of cloth – a cloth, a scarf. At first it was worn over a headdress, and then they began to tie it directly to the hair. In the old days, the head was covered with towels, which were called ubrus. Information about towels-ubruses has been preserved in written monuments dating back to the 12th century. The custom of covering the head with towels existed in some parts of Russia even in the 19th century.

The traditions of the Russian scarves are directly related to the feast of the Intercession of the Mother of God, which exists only in the Russian Orthodox Church. In Russia, the image of a married beauty was unthinkable without a headdress. The headscarf on her head meant a change in social status to married. Any changes in the life of a Russian woman were reflected in her headdress.

During the ceremony “Unleashing the mind” – the first haircut, the girl was presented with a skirt and a scarf. But wearing a headscarf was not obligatory for her until the girl reached the age of the bride. Then she also wore a wreath, a ribbon, a folded handkerchief, from under which a braid peeped out. The headdress has always been used for fortune-telling for the groom, for the Feast of the Intercession and for Christmastide.

Silk shawl, Moscow, artist Chistov, 1970
Silk shawl, Moscow, artist Chistov, 1970

The wedding ceremony usually lasted more than a week, and each stage of this important celebration in the life of every girl was accompanied by a ritual with a headdress. The main sign of the engagement was a Russian scarves worn on the bride by her father in the presence of her friends and older women.

After the wedding, a woman could not appear in public and among households without a headdress, which consisted of several elements: a light soft cap and a scarf or shawl.
The headdress was considered a solar, heavenly sign, just like birds. Young women wore mostly colorful and red headscarves, older women and widows – black.

Russian scarves/ Silk shawl, Moscow, 70s of XX century, artist Zhovtis
Silk shawl, Moscow, 70s of XX century, artist Zhovtis

Technologies for the manufacture and decoration of Russian scarves

The concept of “Russian headscarf” is recognized in the world thanks to the work of talented artists and craftsmen in weaving and dyeing. Before the emergence of a monopoly industry, peasants, along with hand weaving in Russia, in the second half of the 19th century, the production of scarves on looms became widespread, and cheaper printed scarves began to be produced. Weaved scarves at home on simple homemade looms. Decorated with patterns and woven stripes.

In the 19th century, it was already known to decorate fabrics by printing, when, with the advent of cities, fabrics became an object of trade. To speed up the process of drawing, the carved board was covered with paint, placed on the fabric, and the image was imprinted with blows of a wooden hammer. In the 17th century, Nizhny Novgorod handicraftsmen were engaged in printing for themselves and for sale. Industrial production of printed and patterned shawls in Russia began at the turn of the 18th-19th centuries. Peasant farms with dye houses and hand-weaving mills became the basis of the future textile industry. Gradually replacing manual labor, steam engines, cotton printing machines, and looms for patterned weaving were introduced. Hand-made peasant heels already had to compete with factory calico printing.

Cotton scarf. Moscow. Prokhorovskaya Trekhgornaya Manufactory. Mid-19th century
Cotton scarf. Moscow. Prokhorovskaya Trekhgornaya Manufactory. Mid-19th century

The first scarf factories.

The manufacture, which began the production of shawls in the image of the Kashmir shawls, arose in 1806 in the patrimony of the landowner N.A. Merlina in the village of Skorodumovka, Nizhny Novgorod province. In 1813, in the village of Khava, Voronezh Region, on the estate of the landowner V.A. Eliseeva, a manufacturing workshop was opened. The famous “Kolokoltsevskaya” shawls were magnificent. They were called so because they were made in the village of Alexandrovka, Saratov province, on the estate of General D. Kolokoltsev. Among the woolen shawls, the first can be called woven “carpet” shawls with oriental patterns. The initiators of their production were the Moscow factory owners Guchkov in the 40s. XIX century. The weaving technique made it possible to make one- and two-sided patterns.

Chintz scarf. Moscow province, Podolsk district, Vinyukovo village. Manufactory of the Medvedev brothers, artist Aksakov. 1908 year
Chintz scarf. Moscow province, Podolsk district, Vinyukovo village. Manufactory of the Medvedev brothers, artist Aksakov. 1908 year

In Russia, they wore shawls, half-shawls, kerchiefs and knitted cloths such a classification of scarves, and with options for explanations, was common among the inhabitants of the Altai Territory: a shawl and half-shawls must be with tassels, half-shawls are smaller than a shawl, a shawl without brushes, maybe one-color and multicolor, holder – with a pattern in the corner.

Silk shawl. Moscow province. 60s of the nineteenth century
Silk shawl. Moscow province. 60s of the nineteenth century

 

Brocade shawl. Moscow province, Kolomensky district. The first half of the nineteenth century
Brocade shawl. Moscow province, Kolomensky district. The first half of the nineteenth century

 

Russian scarves
Chintz scarf. Moscow. N. Konstantinov’s manufactory, artist G.E. Volkov, first half of the 19th century

 

Russian scarves. Fragment of a woolen cashmere scarf. Nizhny Novgorod province, Lukoyanovsky district, village Skorodumovka. N. Merlina's manufactory
Fragment of a woolen cashmere scarf. Nizhny Novgorod province, Lukoyanovsky district, village Skorodumovka. N. Merlina’s manufactory
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