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Karakul lambs



The fleece or skin from the karakul sheep (Ovis aries) originally bred in Asia near lake Kara Kul in Uzbekistan. Karakul sheep are now raised in Afghanistan and Namibia. The sheep have a dense curly fleece that is black in the lambs (called Astrakhan) and changes to gray or brown for adults. The black fur pelts are highly valued and are used for coats and garment trim. The Wool of the older sheep is used for carpets and blankets.

Synonyms and Related Terms

broadtail; Persian lamb; Tibet lamb; Kalgan lamb; astrakhan; karakul'skaya (Rus.); karagul (Turk.); bukhara (Esp.); caracu (Esp.); astracán (Esp.); caracul (Ned);

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Imported to US in 1908 or after
  • Native region colors names: Arabi (black), Guligas (pink-roan), Kambar (brown), Shirazi (grey) and Sur (agouti).

Resources and Citations

  • Fairchild's Dictionary of Textiles, Phyllis G.Tortora, Robert S. Merkel (eds.), Fairchild Publications, New York City, 7th edition, 1996
  • Edward Reich, Carlton J. Siegler, Consumer Goods: How to Know and Use Them, American Book Company, New York City, 1937
  • Website: www.iftf.com/facts_karakul.asp (Accessed Sept. 7, 2005)
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 430
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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