Velvet Tallit and Tefillin Bags
|Common, traditional and reasonably priced pouches for tefilin and tallit sets.|
Velvet tallis and tefillin bags are very popular and reasonably priced making them the most common type of pouches for these Jewish religious items.
Velvet can be made from silk, cotton or other fibers including artificial fibers like polyester or viscose. It is made in a special double woven process where the finished material is cut in half to create a thick short pile that is soft to the touch. Silk velvet was often used by royalty as it was originally very expensive to produce by hand. Today velvet made from artificial fibers is much cheaper to produce, but velvet made from silk is still extremely expensive. Plush velvet is another type of velvet where the pile is slight longer and less dense. Velvet is a very traditional fabric for tallit and tefilin bags and is also used for other Jewish ritual items like challah covers and kippot.
 Care & Specs
Velvet must be washed gently by hand or preferably dry cleaned as the pile can easily be damaged by machine washing. Tallit and tefillin bags are usually created in royal blue or black velvet from artificial fibers. Many people chose to have a matching kippa (skullcap) created, especially when these bags are given as Bar Mitzvah presents.
Velvet talit and tefilin bags can be personalized with the recipient’s name and embroidered to make very individual bags. Traditional designs vary from very simple ones which just have the words tallit or tefillin in Hebrew together with the person’s Hebrew name, to elaborate embroidered designs. Chabad tallit and tefilin bags may be decorated with pictures of the Lubavitch headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway, in Crown Heights, New York. Other types of designs available include modern embroidered and appliquéd designs illustrating views of Jerusalem or the Wailing Wall (Kotel) etc. Many designs use silver and gold thread and even metal appliqué to bring out the richness of the velvet.
 Advantages & Disadvantages
Modern artificial fiber velvet tallit and tefilin bags are very reasonably priced and make an excellent choice for families on a budget. As long as the bags are protected from the rain by a plastic cover they last well, and can easily be repaired if they get damaged.
A main disadvantage velvet talis or tefilin bags is their simplicity. They are the most common tallit and tefilin bags seen in a synagogue making it difficult to distinguish one pouch from another. They lack uniqueness and individuality preventing a person from using his pouch to express himself and stand out from the crowd. Nevertheless because of this popularity someone with a velvet tallit and tefilin bag set will fit in whichever type of synagogue they choose to pray in.