Slipping tallits is among our customers' big concerns. Today half of the tallits made by the leading manufacturers are nonslip. But there are various factors that go into tallit slipping. Here's an inquiry we received this week:
About non-slip tallit. What makes it non-slip? If I have a perfectly good tallit that slips off, is there anything I can apply to it so that it will not slip? (I have a feeling that with age, my clavicle has changed its angle.) - Ira J.
I wrote Ira a long, rambling reply, which I am pasting here, unedited.
Thank you for your inquiry. There are a whole lot of factors that contribute to tallit slippage: the weight of the fabric, additions to the tallit, the weave of the fabric, your shoulders, what you're wearing on your shoulders and how you wear the tallit. What the manufacturers call "nonslip" refers to tallits with a textured weave. In the US, some tallit sellers add on a tallit lining, and consider that nonslip. The idea is that the weight resting on the back and shoulders, where the lining is located, helps anchor it in place.
To really pinpoint the problem, you would have to work with a tallit expert. You'd hire him as a consultant, show him how you wear the tallit, try out some different ideas, and report to him once a week. Obviously there's no such thing as a professional tallit-fitting consultant, so you're sort of on your own.