The Wedding Tallit is off to the wedding
Usually, when I write about a piece I have it next to me so I can refer to it. but earlier today I shipped off the wedding tallit. It’s made out of silks tussa, a rouch textured silk that looks like a rough woven linen or burlap, but it has the sheen and luster of silk. I love working with it because it drapes like wool, without the itch. The blue tussah came from the Touva on 40th street. That isn’t actually the name of the store, but it’s the name on the sign. The owner pulled the blue silk out for me when I told him that I made tallitot. The owner kept pulling out fabrics that he thought I ought to buy. he wouldn’t give me the individual prices for the fabrics but the total was something I was pleased with. This isn’t my favorite way to shop, but sometimes the fabric district experience isn’t exactly a first world shopping experience. It is a wonderful silk with a beautiful color and a lovely hand and it was perfect for the wedding tallit.
The groom, who commissioned the tallit for his bride, and I, wanted the tallit to reflect both his love for his bride as well as his bride’s love for the divine. We had several discussions via email and Skype about the right verses for the tallit. The verses needed to strike a balance , between the romantic and the spiritual. As we chose texts there was an underlying theme of water, informed by the line from the song of songs, “Many waters can’t consume love.”
I stenciled waves in various shades of blues and greens using Shiva oil paint sticks. Over the stenciled waves ( we were thinking river rather than ocean) I added text. The text on the stripes comes from chapter 16 of Ezekiel with lots of ellipses “ And I will spread my wings ( garment ) over you..and entered into a covenant with you by oath….and you became mine…and a splendid crown upon your head”.
I stitched the stripes to the tallit using a green rayon embroidery thread that I had found in an African fabric store in Harlem about ten years ago. I used a scallop stitch. I love that wave action. It’s just so pretty.
The atara/neckband used the following text “ As a tree planted by the water…”
The corner pieces use a verse from the song of songs “Put me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm” That verse is also used in reference to t’fillin, so it’s just nice to have it on the corners of the tallit.
Today I tied the tzitzit. usually my clients do it with me. But they are across the country so I did it on my own. We used Techelet, the murex dyed wrapping strands. here is the package of techelet--- actually this is what the four strands of wool cost.
I set up each bundle of three white strands with the one long strand and put the strand bundle through the eyelet in the corner. Then I began tying .