Russian felt boots manufacturing

Andrey Shapran's photographies represent the manufacturing of felt boots called 'valenki' in a village in the region of Altai in Russia.

These photographies represent felt boots manufacturing in a village in the region of Altai in Russia.
Traditional Russian felt boots 'valenki' are worn in the winter frosty weather.
Made of sheep's wool they have the natural colour from black to white, may be soft or hard.
'Valenki' are extremely warm and perfect for walking the dry snow.
As hundreds years ago they are handmade.
This kind of footwear appeared in Russia in the end of seventeenth century and considered as fashionable and was quite expensive in those days.
The manufacturing was exceptionally seasonal: it started after the end of harvest and went on through whole autumn and winter till the Eastertime, before sowing and cattle pasturing.
In the middle of the last century felt boots manufacture was well developed and millions of pairs of felt boots wormed people's feet.
Nowadays the old handicraft gradually goes down - felt boot manufacturing is commercially inefficient.
Nevertheless felt boots are still produced at small factories in different parts of Russia and very required by country population.
Several factories keep working in Altai villages, where craftsmen preserve the skill of creating this essential part of Russian peasantry lifestyle.
In spite of the modernization of the felt boots manufacturing there are lots of handy operations.
The entire technological cycle could be run by one craftsman from beginning to final product.
People here work in hard conditions and their salary is no more than five dollars a day, but for them there is no another way to earn money.
'Valenki' felt boots manufacturing in Altai village
Traditional Russian felt boots 'valenki'

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