Our customers often spend a lot of time looking through our selection of hand-woven tallit designs. Here's a question we got this week:
I'm looking at getting a tallit and I want your advice. I'm debating between the Shilo classic and one of the Gabrieli handwoven wool ones. What would you recommend? I can't seem to make up my mind.
It's hard for me to advise customers on a matter of taste. But here are a few fine points to keep in mind:
Shilo tallits are cotton, Gabrieli are wool or cotton.
Shilo tallits have a small, narrow atara.
The Shilo Classic base color is not white, but vanilla white. And the striping colors are sort of faded pastels, whereas Gabrieli uses mostly strong colors.
The looms at the weaving studio at Shilo are not big enough to make full-size tallits (i.e. the type worn traditional-style, draping down the back). To make them, they weave two pieces of fabric and sew them together. The sewing is very clean, but if you look up close you can see the stitches. Gabrieli can make full-size tallits (50x80 inches or 60x80 inches).
We can generally have a Gabrieli tallit off the loom and ready to ship in 3-5 weeks. Shilo weaving is unpredictable, so it can take as long as 3-4 months.