Ushanka hat - winter fur hat, cloth or combined hat (originally - men's), a widespread Russian fur hat.
Soviet Ushanka got its name because of the presence of turn-down headphones - “ears”, in a raised form tied on the crown or on the back of the head with braid.
The ears can also be released and tied uder your chin to allow Russian ushanka protect your cheeks from cold wind and snow.


Wearing Ushanka

The ear-flaps are worn when folded, that is, with the “ears” tied to the crown, but if necessary, the “ears” drop down together with the lapel on the back of the head, protecting the ears from cold and wind, as well as partially the cheeks and chin of the person wearing Ushanka hat. Ears can also be tied at the back of the head and under the chin.

military ushanka

A hat with earflaps made of faux fur received the popular name "Cheburashka" by analogy with the Soviet cartoon character.

Ushanka History

In Russia there were “eared hats”, which had various names such as ushanka (Vladimir region), ear-flaps, droplets, malachai (large, eared (or with blades) hat on fur, two blades cover the cheeks, one nape, small, fourth - forehead), Kuchma (fold fur hat), Ushatka (Vyatka region), but the purpose, cut and material were about the same.
There is another opinion, namely that the prototype of “ushanka” was the “Kolchak hat”, which was widely used in the White Army of Kolchak in 1918-1919. Later, the fashion for ushankas with a round tulle spreads in the working environment of Petrograd, and then throughout Russia.

Ushanka in the Armed Forces

The first hats, similar in appearance to modern ushankas, began to be used in the army of Kolchak. Since the summer of 1919, the "summer" version of the Nansen cap is widely used. It differed from the classic version in that, on the one hand, it was made entirely of cloth (that is, its head with ears and the front valve were not sheathed with fur), and, on the other hand, in addition to the vertical front valve, it also had a visor ( apparently also covered with cloth).

By the fall of 1919, “Kolchak” was very widespread in the troops of Admiral Kolchak. It does not completely supplant hats and caps, but in many photographs you can see white fighters interspersed in caps and in such hats. Photographic evidence also makes it possible to verify that some parts of Kolchak’s army were equipped exclusively with this new version of headgear.

In this case, one characteristic feature is visible. For officers, a standard badge on the cap’s vertical front flap is fitted with a cockade (which is sometimes replaced by an obliquely sewn white-green “Siberian” ribbon), while rank-and-file soldiers simply do not have cockades. According to the researcher of the Kolchak uniform A. Petrov, this could be due to the lack of cockades, as well as the fact that the unusual appearance of this headdress itself was a hallmark of white fighters.

Since 1931, the so-called hat, generally resembling an ushanka, consisted in the supply of the Red Army.

Sean connery - Hunt for Red October in Ushanka

Navy sheepskin Ushanka

Back in 1934, the black cap with ear flaps was adopted for the supply of the Navy of the Red Army (Navy). An ushanka consists of a cleavage, a black cloth cap, a visor and a cap with headphones. Headphones in the lowered position are tied with braid, and in the raised one they are tucked inside the head.

In accordance with the order of the People's Commissar of the Navy No. 426 of October 20, 1939, the cloth cap was replaced with a leather one from black chevret, and a leather-covered decorative button was added in the upper center. For hats of the highest and senior command staff, black merlushka fur is used, and for hats of medium command staff and extra-long service personnel, black cygeika fur is used.

Since 1940, a hat with earflaps was introduced as a uniform winter headdress for the Red Army and the police. Simultaneously with the cap with earflaps, a steel helmet (helmet) СШ-40 is introduced for supply, which was worn with a cap, but some put it on over the ushanka. Initially, such hats were made of light-colored fur sheepskin, then they began to be made gray. In the Navy, they were also introduced, but black. During the Great Patriotic War, they were made in droves, including from faux fur, which was explained by the need to meet the needs of the army.

In the Armed Forces of the USSR, ushankas were an element of the uniform of servicemen.

In the Soviet Army and in the Navy of the USSR, the rank and file and sergeant (petty officers) wore hats with a star; in the 1970s, they wore a star with an emblem (framing the star with golden leaves).

A hat with ear flaps consists of a punch, a cap and a tulle. Fur part consists of a visor, a head with headphones and a braid for tying them; it is made for the personnel of platoons of the Ground Forces and the Air Force from gray karakul, and for a platoon of the Navy - from black karakul. The cap, visor and head cap are made of cloth: for the personnel of a platoon of the Ground Forces of steel color, a platoon of the Air Force - dark blue, for foremen and sailors of a platoon of the Navy - black, for officers of a platoon of the Navy - made of black leather. Tula consists of dolnik and mug, quilted on cotton with lining. In the center of the visor: a badge with an emblem for officers of platoons of the Ground Forces and the Air Force, an emblem for officers of a platoon of the Navy, a five-pointed star with an emblem for sergeants, soldiers, foremen and sailors. - Appendix to the order of the Minister of Defense of the USSR on February 16, 1971 No. 29 “On changing the special dress uniform for personnel of the guard of honor’s mouth” The generals and colonels, in uniform, are wearing astrakhan hats instead of ushankas, and peers of the Navy are wearing black astrakhan hats with a visor. For areas with a cold climate, a model with earflaps with long headphones (in the jargon - “one and a half”) was produced. Unlike conventional ushanka, it had 1.5 times longer headphones (“ears”) that covered the ears, cheeks and neck below the chin, and when folded “up”, the headphones overlapped each other, which caused the cap to a kind of "one and a half" look. In the lowered position “from below” - the headphones were fastened with a special button or tied with a braid. Also, the braid was used when wearing hats “up”, “back” (“skiing”). Depending on the supply standards, the personnel (l / s) of the USSR Armed Forces received ushankas from natural or artificial fur. Currently, ushankas are worn with cockades set for the army, aviation and navy.

Military Ushanka in modern Russian Armed Forces

In modern Russian Armed Forces, wearing an ushanka with earflaps lowered is allowed at an air temperature of −10 ° C or lower, and with earphones tied behind, when servicing weapons and military equipment, in chores and in other cases, as directed by the unit commander. When the headphones are raised, the ends of the braid are tied and tucked under the headphones, when the headphones are lowered, they are tied under the chin. Ushanka is worn straight, without tilting, while the lower edge of the ushanka should be at a distance of 2-4 cm above the eyebrows. Wearing ushanka under the helmet is supposed, a helmet liner should be issued, but this is extremely rare and therefore the helmet is worn with ushanka, which is extremely inconvenient. And the helmet, worn over ushanka, practically does not cover his head. Moreover, it should be remebered that ushankas are worn from October 11 to April 11, while wearing a winter uniform. Part of this period can be quite hot weather. According to the charter, military personnel and police officers at the post should be in headgear. Thus, they are forced to be in a hot room with a winter hat on their heads. In special-purpose units, a knitted hat or balaclava is often used instead of an ushanka, which is more convenient to wear both separately and with a helmet.

Russian military ushanka

How to wear ushanka - variants

Ushanka In The World

In the Western world, ushanka is an integral part of the stereotypical “Russian image” (for example, in Hollywood cinema, cartoons and the like), in English it is simply called shapka. Similar hats are common in many countries around the world. For example, hats of this type belong to the traditional national clothes of Kazakhs, Mongols, Chinese and are widely distributed in countries such as Kazakhstan, China, North Korea, Mongolia, and are also present in works of late medieval European painting, in particular, the Northern Renaissance. Ushankas are often also worn in Canada, where it also acts as an element of winter uniforms of some armed groups. A similar hat (but without long ears and a button on the crown) is common in Finland. Ushanka in the German police Since the 2000s, ushanka has been an element of the all-German winter uniform of the Federal Republic of Germany police. In 2011, the North Rhine-Westphalia police union protested against wearing "Russian style" fur hats with earflaps. Representative of the GdP police union A. Plikert said that “policemen with ushankas are looking like“ chickens to laugh ”... We are still not in Moscow.” Of the 15,000 patrols in this land, only one thousand ordered ushankas. According to a union representative, the Ministry of the Interior tested a different model — a baseball cap with ear protection — but it failed the test and ushanka won it.

grey ushanka