old-fashioned sheep's wool hat

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susanna76

Senior Member
Romanian
Hi,

I'm trying to describe a certain kind of sheep's wool hat. Now, if you search on Google for "sheep's wool hat" you get many regular wool hats, hats that look modern. But I'm thinking of a different style of hat, like this one:
http://www.williamscully.ca/gallery2/d/12881-5/lamb_wedge.jpg

Obviously "sheep's wool hat" doesn't quite identify this kind of hat. So what should I use to describe the texture, that curliness (?) of the wool? Or maybe I don't have to describe it. Maybe there's a name for this style of hats.

Thank you!
 
  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Astrakan is the only word I know for this sort of wool. I believe it is produced in a very horrible way, by cutting the unborn lamb out of the mother then killing it so those curls remain very tight. Maybe it's not produced like this anymore.
     

    susanna76

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Yes, only somehow I thought those were more expensive than regular Persian lamb hats. You're saying they are all the same thing? I read on the Karakul page on Wikipedia that Karakul actually refers to a breed of sheep. Astrakhan refers to a city. Now I wonder how many breeds of sheep have that kind of wool. You're saying "Astrakhan hat" and "Persian lamb hat" are interchangeable?

    P.S. Hermione, yes, you're right. I've only learned that now! Here are some of the gruesome details:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1956862.stm

    P.P.S. According to the Wikipedia page on Karakul hats, "The fur from which it is made is referred to as Astrakhan, broadtail, qaraqulcha, or Persian lamb."
     
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    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I haven't seen it for many, many years but it was popular with old, wealthy people in my prehistoric youth in England and a status item like any fur in those days. Nowadays you'd probably be attacked if you wore it. I would call it 'sheep skin' rather than wool or fur. Now that I think about it, I have heard it called 'Persian lamb' too.
     
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    susanna76

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Thank you, Hermione. No one wears them here either anymore. Although people do continue to make them and sell them. I never see any buyers. Same thing with fur coats. One vendor kept a stall of fur coats all through summer this year (during the weekends). Nobody bought anything but the guy was there every weekend.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Definitely astrakhan for me. My posh grandmother used to have a coat ~ or maybe it was just the collar of a coat ~ made of it.
     

    susanna76

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Thank you, Parla and ewie! I find it interesting that there's a divide here between American speakers and British speakers. On this side of the ocean, astrakhan hats were probably more closely associated with the Russians and the Communists whereas there you refer to the breed of sheep and Persian lands rather than a Russian city.
     
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