Silk Tzitzit

Posted by Ben G. on 30th May 2014

Periodically we get questions regarding the type of material one should use for tzitzit strings: wool, linen, cotton, silk, etc. This week we got a question about silk tzitzit strings.

My son's Bar Mitzvah is in a month. My mother has made his talit using raw silk. Do the tzitzit also have to be made from silk? I need to purchase the strings for the tzitzit and don't know which to purchase.
Thanks, Jessica

According to the Shulchan Aruch, you can use tzitzit made of the same material as the garment (e.g. cotton tzitzit for cotton, silk tzitzit for silk, etc.), and for all types of fabric you can use wool or linen. However, the Shulchan Aruch goes on to explain that today linen should not be use.

"You can use either silk or wool tzitzit strings," I told Jessica. "Nobody makes silk tzitzit, so you don't have much of an option." Today 99% of all tzitzit strings are made of wool. Occasionally you may come across linen tzitzit, but that is somewhat problematic, from a halachic standpoint.