Russian fur hats were a sign of wealth.

Initially, Russian fur hats were the same for rich and poor and only differed in the quality of the material and the value of the fur. Later a division into hats for the rich and the poor took place.

Headwear barely changed over many centuries. It was functional and comfortable. The clothes were very expensive and were handed down from generation to generation. Especially people cherished hats, that didn’t wear out much in everyday life, but in terms of status were more than important. Only after the reforms of Peter I the look of Russian clothing changed. The second revolution of the Russian costume occurred after the onset of the industrial production of clothing and the growth of the urban population.

1. Russian Ushanka Hat

Russian Ushanka Hat

Ushanka hat is the most popular not only in Russia, but throughout the world Russian winter fur hat. It started replacing other Russian hats about 1.5 hundred years ago. Today it is the main Russian fur winter hat.

The name of this Russian fur hat is derived from the word “ushi” – ears. Indeed, the main details of the hat are ear covers to protect ears from the cold and icy wind –they can be lifted or lowered.

Ushanka hat has a visor, which does unfold but still protects the eyes from the falling snow. Ear covers protect the ears well, and they have tie-strings that can be tied on top. When it is cold but you need to move a lot – you can tie the ear covers in the back. When it’s cold –the ear covers are brought down. When it is very, very cold, the ear covers are tied under the chin.

2. Klobuk – a Pointed Hat

Klobuk is a Russian fur hat (the name in Russian – “shapka”) in the ancient version was high and pointed, with a fur trim.

Russian Klobuk – a Pointed Hat

A drawing from the Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary

3. Klobuk – a Hat with a Soft Crown

After pointed klobuks appeared Russian hats with a soft crown (top), they also had a fur trim – the sign of wealth and status.

Russian Klobuk – a Hat with a Soft Crown

A drawing from the Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary

4. Russian Fur Hat “Murmolka”

Murmolka is a high hat with a flat crown made of velvet or brocade with fur cuffs, which were fastened to the hat with loops and buttons. Murmolka was often decorated with feathers and pearls, because murmolka was intended for wear by a privileged class – nobles.

Russian Fur Hat Murmolka

Illustration from the book “Historical description of clothing and weapons of Russian troops, with drawings, compiled by the highest command: 30 parts, 60 books” / Edited by A.V. Viskovatov / 1841-1862

5. Russian Fur Gorlatnaya Hat

Gorlatnaya hat emerged later that murmolka, and it was a fur headpiece of boyars (Russian nobility).

The hat was a wider on top fur cylinder, layered at the top with velvet or brocade.

The height of the hat was a length of a Russian elbow (54 cm).

Hats were trimmed with fox, weasel or sable fur. The fur was taken from the throat of animals, that is, making just one hat was very, very expensive. From the word “throat” (gorlo) the name gorlatnaya hat came from. Common people were strictly forbidden to wear these hats, even wealthy common people.

Russian Fur Gorlatnaya Hat

Fedor Solntsev

6. Russian Fur Hat Treukh

A typical hat in Russia in the winter – treukh. Treukhhad three “petals” – on each side –to cover ears – and in the back – to cover the back of the head and the neck.

If at the front treukh had a fur trim, it wasn’t unfolded like a visor.

Russian Fur Hat Treukh

Fedor Solntsev

Treukhsometimes was covered with cloth over fur for greater durability. Side flaps had straps to be able to lift them up.

7. Russian Fur Hat – Malakhai

Malakhai – is a Russian fur hat with four cuffs. The shorter front cuff was folded up and was lowered on the forehead during severe frost or snowstorms, or when on the road. Wide side and rear cuffs covered the back of the head, ears and neck from the cold. Straps were attached to the side cuffs so that they could be tied up on top in warm weather.

Malakhai was common all over Russia – from the European part to Siberia.

It is easy to see in malakhai the prototype of ushanka hat, which about 1.5-2 centuries ago began a gradual replacement of malakhai.

Russian Fur Hat Malakhai

Fedor Solntsev

Russian Fur Hat Malakhai

Fedor Solntsev

Fur for Russian fur hats could be from fox, hare (wore out quickly), badger, beaver, Arctic fox, mink, and so on.

Hats were rarely taken off – only in front of senior people by age or position. In modern Russiamen take off their hats when coming indoors.


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