I recently decided it’s time for me to put together a new tallit katan. I have several – cotton and wool, Shabbos and weekday – but the tzitzit strings on most of them are starting to look dingy to me. Considering I operate a tallit and tzitzit webstore, have connections with various suppliers and manufacturers and sell dozens of tallit katan products per week, one tallit katan for myself should be a piece of cake, right? Wrong. The more I though about it the more indecisive I became.
For those of you who are in the market for a new tallit katan, but haven’t decided which type is right for you, or if you are wholly unfamiliar with the various types of tallit katan, here is a brief overview.
Traditional Cotton Tallit Katan – Untailored. Just a big rectangle with a hole for the head and neck. Available with a round neck opening or a neck opening with a slit running down the front. Needs to be worn over an undershirt, but unlike the wool tallit katan, a tank top is enough.
Wool Tallit Katan – The wool tallit katan (or “wool tzitzit,” which is a bit of a misnomer) is available in the regular fabric and a special lightweight wool version (“Kalit”). Surprisingly the Kalit is popular even in winter. My speculation is that there are people who are think a wool tallit katan is blazing hot in the summer (personally I disagree) so they stick with a cotton tallit katan, but in winter they are willing to move from cotton to lightweight wool.
NeaTzit – These are quite popular. Almost always cotton, but we now sell them in a lightweight wool, which is off-white. Sometimes NeaTzit are partially sewn along the sides. We carry that design, as well as our Cotton Comfort, which features a patented connector strap, as you can see on the product page.
Sports Tzitzit and TzitzShirt – Both these are quite innovative. Both the Sports Tzitzit and the TzitzShirt have snaps along the sides and can be worn alone.