For its age, the shawl was in remarkably good condition, but it had a number of noticeable holes and discolored areas. Galina Khmeleva was well aware of the difficulties inherent in working with such a delicate fabric.
Olga Fedorova had created her unique color-coded system in the late 1960s when she became quality-control master for the Orenburg knitting cottage industry.
Olga Fedorova designed this Orenburg-style lace shawl in 1991. Her sister, Valentina, has been knitting the pattern from memory since then.