Mittens cover the entire hand but do not have separate finger openings, so they effectively separate the thumb from the other four fingers. They are made in many different colors and designs. Mittens have a high thermal efficiency since they have a small surface area exposed to the cold. The earliest mittens known to archeologists date to around 1000 A.D. Wool biodegrades quickly, so it is likely that earlier mittens, possibly in other countries, may have existed but were not preserved.
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