Recently, traditional Russian shoes - felt boots, are gaining more and more popularity in fashion circles. Top models with the filing of well-known couturiers flaunt them in the main catwalks of the largest countries in the world. Of course, the look of such “fashion novelties” is somewhat modified to fit more easily into the everyday life of megacities. But the essence of this type of shoes cannot be changed in any way: they are very warm, natural and they smell good Russian in a good way.
Traditionally, such shoes are made of felted wool (in fact, the manufacturing process itself gave the name to the recognizable symbol of Russian culture), often sheep’s, but in our time there are exceptions. For example, it’s not enough to surprise anyone with a camel wool product, the use of which adds lightness and fluffy to the usual appearance of felted wool boots.
When appeared boots in Russia
Scientists and archaeologists agree that the usual winter shoes for us begin their history before our era. Something reminiscent of the material of modern specimens was found during excavations in the territory of Gorny Altai in one of the Pazyryk mounds.
In fact, felt boots are shoes made of felt, and many household items were made of it at one time: bedding, bedspreads, carpets, some clothing items (even lining for chain mail), horse blankets and much more. The main advantage of using felt products is the versatility of this material: it is not hot in summer and not cold in winter, and it also removes moisture well.
They are even mentioned in the famous "Word on Igor's Regiment", and this, for a minute, is the 12th century. Of course, there is no need to talk about the external resemblance to the modern version, because a single felt boot appeared in the Russian Empire only at the beginning of the 19th century. By the way, this pleasure was not cheap, and not every peasant in the country could afford such shoes. Of course, with the development of production, felt boots fell in price and became more affordable, but brides had a special interest in the bridegroom, who owns such a dowry.
Reference! To make one pair of boots, about 1 kg of wool is needed. Approximately as much material can be obtained if you trim one sheep of a normal breed and conduct a full cleaning of the wool.
This is already in the days of the Soviet Union, boots became publicly available, and today these shoes can be purchased at a fairly low price. In some northern regions of Russia, they are still widely used in severe frosts.
Who invented boots
No matter how felt boots are firmly connected with Russia in our perception, still historians believe that the prototype of this, it seemed, one hundred percent domestic shoe came to us together with the legendary Golden Horde. Naturally, they did not look like the current ones, but they attribute the idea of creation to the nomadic tribes of Turkic or Mongolian origin.
The very name of “felt boots” cannot be connected with any particular historical person, it seems impossible, because, as in the case with the main centuries-old legacy of our nation, this word came out of the people. It sounded, however, somewhat different and ranged from boots to wire rods. In any case, the name of this shoe reflects the manufacturing method.
The main manufacturers in pre-revolutionary Russia were factories located in the Kalyazinsky, Semenovsky and Kineshem counties, as well as in the village of. Cookmore.
In the entire history of the existence of such boots, the essence of production has not changed, only recently, electric machines for some stages of production have come to the rescue. Basically, making felt boots is manual labor, and it consists of several stages.
- Cleaning and washing. Sheep wool should be separated from various debris. After washing occurs in a variety of solutions, washing and drying of the starting material.
- Combing out. Here at this stage, machines are often used, since pure wool is loosened and rewound on the rollers to form coils.
- Giving the future boots form. With the help of exclusively manual labor, woolen boots are formed: they are given a shape similar to the finished product, but much larger.
- Felting and drying. In a special machine or manually, under the influence of steam and hot water, the felt boots are processed to the desired size, reduced, put on the shoe. In this form, the shoes are dried for 6 hours under the influence of high temperature.
Modern manufacturing process
Nowadays, boots are usually produced on soles in order to make this shoe more versatile. Nevertheless, in areas where winter is predominantly accompanied by slush on the roads, it is better to give preference to models with a surface specially treated for such cases.
Interesting facts about boots
What surprises these curious minds with these unique boots to this day? Below we give some fascinating facts, and you will understand that boots are truly unusual shoes, which have no analogues in the whole world.
- Fact 1. Boots, like flippers, are not right or left (provided that we are talking about a model without a sole). And, over time, they evenly sit on the foot, so you need to purchase these shoes a size larger.
- Fact 2. Due to the material and manufacturing method, felt boots retain healing properties, like many natural woolen products. They warm the joints well and disperse blood, which is most important for the older generation.
- Fact 3. The largest felt boots about three years ago appeared in St. Petersburg, its foot length is 5 m. In the heel area there is a door through which anyone can go inside and warm themselves in a harsh winter. The smallest specimens in the world appeared in Omsk in 2012, the length of the sole does not exceed 3 mm.
- Fact 4. Making boots on their own is quite real. Indeed, lately felting from wool is a very popular activity, and there is a lot of information about making felt boots at home on the Internet.