Maaseh Oreg has been weaving fantastic tallits for many years, but is not widely known. The work is done on handlooms in a small Negev community, but you may have passed by their shop in the Old City, just off the Cardo. Although the designs are not as eye-catching at those by other handwoven tallit makers such as Gabrieli, the weaving and finishing work is very high caliber. The beauty of each tallit reflects the hard work and care that goes into the weaving.
Maaseh Oreg, also marketed online as Jerusalem Tallit, Tallis Man and Weaving Creation, has recently added a number of new designs to their repertoire, including the Gan Eden Tallit, Keter Tallit and Malchut Tallit. We used to sell their tallits for $350-$450, but we are now able to obtain them for less and so we are passing that savings onto our customers.
All of their tallits are made of cotton. Some people hear “cotton” and think of a shirt that takes forever to iron, but if you zoom in on the photos, you’ll see that the weavers use thick cotton yarn that lends the tallit rich texture and hangs very nicely. It creates a fairly weighty tallit, that you definitely feel on your shoulders, but at the same time it’s made of airy cotton, so it breathes very well.
The weavers’ designs are not flashy, but rather have a refined beauty and distinctiveness. Many of their designs use earthy shades, but they also have some models with strong blue striping.