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These boots are made for winter walkin'


Tatyana Zenkovich / EPA

A woman works at a felt boot factory in Smilovichi, Belarus, on Jan. 16, 2012.

EPA reports:

The Smilovichi Felting Factory was founded in 1928, when Smilovichi was a small Jewish settlement of craftsmen.  Five of those craftsmen organized a small artel, which produced warm boots called ‘valenki’ for cold weather. Later the artel was transformed into the enterprise 'Red Star', which was to supply Germany during the Second World War, when Belarus was occupied by the Nazis.


Tatyana Zenkovich / EPA

Hota Kanapskaya, 73, has been working at the factory for 53 years.

The raw sheep’s wool is imported from Dagestan, Central Asia and Belgium, with only five per cent produced domestically. The production of the factory is exported to Russia, the Ukraine, Poland, Germany, Baltic States and to the countries of Western Europe. About 800 pairs of felt boots can be produced every day at the factory, which makes about 200,000 pairs of ‘valenki’ per year.


Tatyana Zenkovich / EPA

The boots begin to take shape.

Patrick Semansky / AP

Winter has arrived in the Northern hemisphere. Take in the sights from North America, Europe and Asia.