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Kalmuck-Janker

Common name in the Wachau (Austria) for a winegrower's jacket made of Kalmuck fabric with a typical check pattern. Kalmuck is a term for a cotton double weave with a plump backing yarn. The fabric, usually woven in a twill weave, is napped on both sides, making the weave invisible. According to legend, the western Mongolian riding people of the Kalmyks used the fabric as a saddle blanket and brought it to the Wachau, where it was made into work jackets. Due to their robustness, such jackets made of Kalmuck fabric have always been worn by the boatmen and raftsmen on the Danube and its tributaries. By the end of the 19th century, however, this traditional costume was used less and less. Only in the Wachau region was this robust work jacket adopted by the winegrowers. The Kalmuck janker there is part of the traditional Wachau costume and is still worn there today together with black trousers, a white cotton shirt and a black hat with a stone feather bush. However, the Kalmuck-Janker is also honoured by other traditional associations of boatmen and rafters on the Danube and Traun as part of the traditional boatmen's costume. The Wachau winery Gritsch Mauritiushof markets a line of wines under the name "Kalmuck". See also under customs in viticulture.

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