This traditional Orenburg Shawl is one of the best from a class called 'pautinka', meaning 'cobweb shawls'.

Orenburg shawls share many features of Shetland lace shawls. The best are both exquisitely finely patterned, and both are entirely hand knitted using ultra fine yarn. For the Orenburgs, the original yarn comes from their Ural Mountain goats, the exceptionally soft down is combed out each winter to be spun into yarn.

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To read more about the fascinating Orenburg shawl history, click here:

In 'Gossamer Webs' by Galina Khmeleva & Carol R. Noble (Interweave Lace Knitting 1998), the authors list Shetland Cobweb 1 ply (350m per 25g) as a suitable alternative yarn. I'd like now to recommend our new Gossamer Mohair, which is an even finer yarn at 750m/820 yards per 25g and so is closer to the best Orenburg yarn. Additionally, like their down yarn, this has the typical mohair 'halo' or fuzziness for extra loft and warmth.

It has taken us a long time to source this yarn and we are very proud to have secured it for you. It is a mix of 70% Mohair and 30% Linen (for additional strength). Again going back to Shetland lace, the Victorian Shetland knitters also used Merino wool ('Pyrenees'), Alpaca and Mohair as well as the local Shetland wool for their lace work, so those keen to try this yarn for their Shetland lace mohair work can rest assured that they are not breaking too much with tradition - but we'd recommend using a larger size needle and swatching first!

25 gm balls in Natural only ~ £6.75 each
Interested? - Try our Gossamer Mohair and Silk Sample Pack - click here - 2 x 10gm balls, one Mohair & one Silk with a 'mini Orenburg sample' pattern £4.00
All pricing excludes VAT & shipping

Notes

This must be one of the finest (thinnest) natural hair yarns available for knitters to buy. It is intended for specialists and it comes ready wound into 25 gm balls (not hanks!) in natural only (but can be dyed).

As it's so fine, this yarn has quite a high twist which sets on first dressing, but needs careful knitting to feed areas of twist through. Like all mohair, this yarn will resent being undone. Swatching is highly recommended, see sample made on UK14 / US 0 /2.00mm.

Suitable needles will be in the UK14 - 10 ~ US 00/0 - 2 ~ 2.mm - 3.25mm range. Could be doubled with our Gossamer Silk for additional strength and lustre.

Guidance: 'Gossamer Webs' page 63: states 3280yds/ 3,000m is needed to make a 60in / 150cm square shawl on a 2mm to 1.5mm needle - so that's 7 balls. Smaller shawls or those made on slightly larger needles will need less.