Astrakhan is the tightly curled fleece of the fetal or newborn karakul lamb. It can also refer to the fleece of fetal or newborn lambs from other species, or a knitted or woven fabric that imitates the looped surface. Astrakhan has a distinctive tight, whorled, loopy surface with a slight sheen. The younger the lamb, the tighter and shinier the loops. True astrakhan comes in a range of colours from pale golden yellow to black, though black is the most desirable.