I was thrilled to have a little time to get into the studio the last few weeks to finish three custom tallitot! I’m still stuck on modified bed rest and my studio is upstairs and insanely hot even with the AC on, so it’s been hard to find the time on a day when I can sit there for more than a couple minutes before melting.
The first thing I do when making a new tallit (after finding the right fabric and confirming everything with my client) is paint the atarah. While I usually like to keep paint in the studio, it seemed like a good time to bring that task to the cooler downstairs and do it on the dining room table. The text, printed to the correct size, was taped to the table and then I placed the fabric over the text, taping that in place as well. For the white fabric and gold paint, I was then ready to go.
The two tallitot that had dark blue fabric for the atarot, however, needed a little more prep. I first had to mix paint to get the perfect color for each one (for one, a little more grey, for the other, more blue). Then, before painting, I needed to be able to see the text under that dark blue fabric. Thankfully, our dining room table is glass, so I was able to hold a flashlight under the table with one hand while painting with the other. And in case you’re thinking “doesn’t Hebrew go right to left?” Yes, I paint backwards (left to right) so I don’t smudge the paint as I go.
Once the paint was complete and drying, it was time to battle the heat and cut the main fabrics to size and finish the edges. The dried atarot could then be ironed to heat set the paint and cut to size along with the squares for the corners of the tallitot. Next, those elements were pinned and sewn to the tallitot and button holes were added to the center of the squares to reinforce where the tzitzit would go. Then the only thing left to do was tie the tzitzit!
The result? Three completed tallitot. One white full size tallit specifically for the High Holidays, one full size blue tallit for every day use, and one shawl style blue tallit to be used year round.
I’m so glad I was able to finish these before the baby arrived and hope my clients enjoy them!