Pavlovsky Posad’s Shawl

Tags: souvenirs, pavlovsky posad
Woolen shawl

The Pavlovsky Posad school of the unique printed shawl painting is almost 200 years old. The history of this folk craft dates back to the same time.

The artisanry was established by Labazin in 1795, when he created a shawl factory. But it was long before the first original Pavlovsky Posad shawl was made. It saw the light of day at a factory in the town of Pavlovsky Posad established under the supervision of the merchants Yakov Labzin (a great-grandson of the manufacturer) and Vasily Gryaznov in the 1860s. Despite ferocious competition the enterprise grew and became richer.

In the early 20th century the “Partnership of the Factories of Labazin and Gryaznov” was the largest manufacturer of wool shawls, employing over two thousand people.

After the Revolution of 1917 the factory was nationalized, but continued its operations, manufacturing new “soviet” ornaments along with more traditional designs. These soviet ornaments included portraits of the country’s leaders, achievements of industrialization, ears of wheat, and harvesters. The factory slowly reverted to the traditional shawl designs afterwards.  Since 1995 the factory has been called “Pavlovsky Posad Shawl Manufactory” LLC.
Bright and colorful shawls of the Pavlovsky Posad Factory contribute to the fame of Russian folk arts and craft worldwide. Every year it manufactures 800 different kinds of kerchiefs, shawls, scarves, tablecloths, scarves and stoles. All these products are made from all natural materials: cotton, linen, wool and silk. Amazingly beautiful prints are applied to the finished woven fabric.
Pagan symbols and signs have always found their way into traditional folk designs, for example, the symbols of the sun, as well as the tree of life, songbirds, and swans. Later, European bouquets, antique vases, large flowers, vines began to appear in these patterns. One of the most common design motifs is an oriental motif with so-called "cucumbers" and "beans".

Modern designs almost entirely crystallized in the early 20th century: 3D images of flowers in bunches and garlands scattered across a black or red background, sometimes with the addition of floral and ornamental elements.
Pavlovsky Posad shawls with a floral motif are the most common today. Garden flowers are the most favored, so that peonies, roses and dahlias bloom on shawls everywhere. But the background is not only red or black, it can also be blue, light blue, green or just about any other color.

Back in the day the print was applied to the fabric with the use of carved forms. The ornament’s contour and the main image were printed separately, and the creation of a single shawl required a large number of overprints. Today, manufacturing technology combines respect for traditions with technological achievements. Printing stencils are prepared using an original direct engraving machine. This computer controlled machine releases droplets of melted wax onto the surface of a grid coated with photographic emulsion.


The complexity of making a shawl does not end with the creation of a new design, but also involves the fact that the final color of the design will be visible only after the product is steamed and washed. Steaming is necessary for fixing the dye onto the fiber. It turns out that the colorist still needs to do a lot of test printings.

Each design is printed in several colors, so that every customer can find exactly the shawl that is right for her.

Along with traditional ornaments, there are modern designs. Themed products are manufactured as well (e.g. products with the heroes of the war of 1812).

The factory does not only produce shawls. You can buy scarves, tablecloths, tippets and many other items. And take note of the beautiful names given to the products... Which would you choose for yourself:  "Spring Dawn", "Ural Tale", "The World of Travel" or perhaps, "A Masked Ball"?

The Factory is located in the Moscow Oblast in the town of Pavlovsky Posad.