Valenoks are traditional winter shoes in Russia for dry frosty weather. Unlike other boots, in appearance and properties, they are made by felting (skating), and not by sewing.
The first felted boots (pims) are mentioned in history about one and a half thousand years ago. Steppe nomads used felt shoes to protect their feet from physical damage (thorns, stones, arrows of enemies) and cold winter winds. Our ancestors adopted the way to create comfortable shoes and gradually spread throughout the country.
Nowadays, there are several dozen masters of pimokata rolling boots manually. It's hard work. Sheep wool is sheared (or bought from livestock owners), sorted, cleaned of garbage, separated by color. About 2 kilograms of raw materials are used for felt boots per adult.
Further, the wool is broken, bringing to a loose fluffy mass. They are moistened with hot water and laid out in an even layer, avoiding the difference in the thickness of the future felt boots. Then they add a pattern similar to a sock and roll it. The felted boot shrinks (sits down) and turns out to be firm, dense to hardness. To give the desired size and the necessary softness, put the workpiece on the block and upholstered with a wooden mallet. Then treated with a pumice stone and sent to the oven for drying. After drying, the finished product is again carefully polished with a wooden block.
Handmade felt boots are created without the use of chemicals, from environmentally friendly material. They have a natural white, brown and gray color. Each master puts a piece of soul into the work and uses his own secrets. Such shoes will not freeze and will not rub calluses. But, a pair of felt boots from a pimokat takes from two to five days. For this reason, it is easier for people to buy a factory product.
Popular ugg boots around the world are Australian * relatives * of our felt boots. Originally invented as warm and comfortable sheepskin shoes for shepherds.
In Russia, there are currently large enterprises of felted shoes, and smaller factories.
Mass production differs from manual work in volumes and in the use of various raw materials. Pima from the wool of sheep, goats, rabbits and camels ride. Wool is brought from countries of Asia, the Caucasus, Mongolia.
For decor use: fur and applications, braid and cords, rhinestones, dyeing. Embroidery with patterns from simple snowflakes to fairy-tale characters on children's boots is popular. Provide the product with a durable rubber sole. So that the material inside does not deteriorate due to dampness, during felting it is impregnated with chemical agents. An ennobled version of the national winter shoes * Finnish * boots on embossed soles, sheathed outside with a waterproof fabric.
Due to the variety of felted patterns, the demand for products is constant. Warm pimas are in demand in regions with harsh winters, especially in rural areas. They are taken by hunters and fishermen, ice-fishing enthusiasts, summer residents and traders in open markets. Bought for children and the elderly to maintain health.