Russian fur hat (ushanka)

Everyone has seen them! Those cool, fluffy Russian hats! Since it’s November (and getting cold!) I thought it would be a great idea to post about these awesome things!

That is an ushanka (Russian: уша́нка). That’s right. It’s called an ушанка — not “cool, fluffy Russian hat.” You may also call it a шапка, trooper, or Trapper’s hat.

Ushankas are fur caps with ear flaps that can be tied up to the crown of the cap, or tied at the chin to protect the ears, jaw and chin from the cold weather. (It gets cold in Russia!) They are usually made from sheepskin, rabbit, muskrat, or artificial (fake) fur. Mink fur is used in the Artic region of Russia where temperatures drop way into negative temperatures.

President Gerald Ford wearing an ushanka.

When westerners see ushankas, they automatically think “Russian”, because during Soviet rule the ushanka was issued to Warsaw Pact armies and became part of the winter uniform for military and police forces.

I have personally never wore an ushanka, because I don’t think I would look good in one…

Have a super awesome winter! And if your ears get cold, try buying an ushanka!

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