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Short History of Ushanka

We just wanted to tell our version of Russian winter hat history.

Since the 11th Century, a hat was an integral part of a Russian man's attire, both rich and poor. In Russia the hat was the same in winter and summer, the only difference being that in winter the hat was covered with fur for warmth. Peasants wore round shaped hats made of felt, rough cloth with a narrow fur trim. Wealthy people wore hats made of thin cloth or velvet, noblemen wore hats decorated with velvet or with ornaments made of silver, gold, jewels and with a fur rim.

Russian warriors wore short chain-mail and put on helmet with a chain-mail neck flap (Brnitsa).

In 1918 by Special Commission the RVS of the Republic for development of the Red Army uniform announced a competition to design the best military uniform.

Artists and painters used historical Russian design to influence their submissions for competition. The final design was unveiled after a year: an overcoat, a shirt, leather boots, and a cloth helmet with a Red Star insignia. The helmet echoed the old Russian helmet with the chain-mail neck flap. The name for this new design was the Budenovka, and was used until the beginning of WWII (or the Great Patriotic War as it is known in Russia).

In 1940 the Soviet Army winter helmet Budenovka was replaced with the Ushanka - round hat with a fur back flap and ear flaps. The Ushanka hat had flaps which could be tied together on top of the hat, and lowered to protect the neck, ears and side of the face.

The winter fur hat Ushanka was issued to troops for the coldest winter months.

This hat has been used for many years and has been developed into different versions over time. It is still issued to many armies today.

Submitted by:

V. Karpenko

V. Karpenko

I am collecting any information about Russian winter hat - ushanka, history, stories, pictures, etc. You can see some various countries ushanka at http://ushankahat.com.


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