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I have noticed when looking at old photos that there seem to have been many more patterns for tallit striping in the past. As there seem to be only two major manufacturers (Talit[a]nia and Mishkan HaTechelet) the modern array of patterns seems much smaller. Is there an archive which shows some of the older (pre-war?) tallit patterns, as well as any alternative modern ones?

  • I don't know anything about talis manufacture, but I remember reading a few years ago that all talisos with the "checkerboard" pattern are produced in Turkey. – WAF Jul 31 '14 at 5:14
  • @WAF, All "Turkish" tallitot were produced in Tunisia, formerly part of the Ottoman Empire (hence the name). – Noach MiFrankfurt Jul 31 '14 at 5:27
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Does this link help? It stands to reason that there used to be more variety since you had fewer major tallit makers, more small tallit makers, and more localized commerce.

I sell a whole lot of Mishkan Hatchelet talleisim (I don't work with Talitania much), and you're right, their standard black-striped designs have very similar patterns. What I personally find tedious is that all standard ataros are identical.

Of course there definitely is some striping diversity, e.g. Turkish, Chabad, Yemenite. Also, Mishkan now has a Belz tallis that has super dark blue stripes.

  • Thanks Ben. Since I wrote this question (which was really centred around the M"T patterns, which were what I was familiar with at the time) I have discovered that there are certainly a wider array of patterns available than I had thought at the time. Part of my problem for this question is that while the schul I daven at is orthodox, most people still wear the scarf type atrocities. Those who don't (with few exceptions) wear either Chabad tallitot or regular Mishkan HaTechelet ones. There is one pattern which I really can't find anywhere which my grandfather, a"h, wore. – Noach MiFrankfurt Jan 14 '15 at 18:34
  • Each of the black stripes is sandwiched between two very thin off-white stripes – Noach MiFrankfurt Jan 14 '15 at 18:35
  • Makes sense belz is dark blue, because it's meant to be l'zecher hatecheles, like a night sky color, which is why we do black – user613 Aug 12 '15 at 22:05

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