A general guideline to which items require testing for sha’atnez



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A GENERAL GUIDELINE TO WHICH ITEMS REQUIRE TESTING FOR SHA’ATNEZ1


THINGS CHANGES ALL THE TIME. THIS LIST MERELY REFLECTS CIRCUMSTANCES CURRENT AT ABOUT THE TIME OF THIS WRITING (2009). YOU MUST CHECK WITH YOUR LOCAL SHA’ATNEZ TESTER OR LABORATORY FOR UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION.

THE NOTATION “NO TESTING REQUIRED” MERELY MEANS THAT IN RECENT YEARS NO SHA’ATNEZ HAS BEEN FOUND IN THESE GOODS. THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THAT THIS WILL REMAIN THE CASE FOREVER.



ITEM

REQUIREMENT


Alterations, Tailoring

Items sent for alterations or tailoring, even to an Observant tailor, should be retested when returned.

Army/Navy Surplus

Testing required.

Bags – cloth

No testing required.

Bandages, Dressings for Wounds, Compresses, etc.

No testing required. There is no prohibition of wearing Sha’atnez for these items.

Baseball gloves

May contain felt pads of recycled material. Halachic opinions on this complex issue vary widely.

Bekeshes with lining

Testing recommended.

Bekeshes without lining

No testing required.

Belts – leather

No testing required.

Blankets

If made of wool, reprocessed wool or mixed fibers require testing. Hand-made blankets such as those made in India or Arab shuq should be tested.

Blazers

Require testing.

Blouses/dresses/jumpers – women’s and children

The material may be made of Sha’atnez. Sha’atnez has been found in the collars, trimming, patches, collars, cuffs, etc. Wool or cotton blouses made of a single fabric without decorations or applications do not require testing, unless the neck is a separate piece. Pure wool gabardines and crepes; cottons and poly-cottons do not require testing. Rayons and silks are often blended with wool or linen.

Boots – men’s and women’s

Since the lining may be made of wool and filling or stitching may be made with linen, boots require testing.

Bow ties

No testing required.

Caps

Require testing when fabric is wool, tweed, linen, or linen-look. Genuine wool “Kangool” caps do not require testing.

Carpets, rugs

Woolen carpets and rugs require testing since some are backed or reinforced with linen. Non-woolen carpets and rugs do not require testing.

Coats - fur

Require testing.

Coats – winter

Require testing regardless if they are long or short, for men, women or children. Down coats, anoraks and parkas with a polyester lining or down filling do not require testing.

Coats - woolen

Require testing.

Costumes

Require testing.

Couches, chairs, sofas

If the upholstery fabric is made of wool or linen, they require testing. Sometimes, linen threads are used in the stitching. Synthetic or cotton fabric generally contains no Sha’atnez. Stuffing may contain reprocessed material. Check labels which, in this case, are usually accurate (at least in the USA). Most sofas made in Israel prior to 1980 contain Sha’atnez.

Covers – quilt, pillow

Embroidered covers may be made with linen or the filling may be made with discarded materials. Require testing.

Curtains2

Textured or linen-looking curtain fabrics may contain linen and/or wool. Smooth or plain fabrics do not require testing.

Cushions

See Pillows

Custom-made clothing

Require testing.

Doll’s clothing

No testing required.

Drapes

Thick drapes which look like linen may contain wool and linen. Thin drapes do not require testing.

Dresses

See Blouses.

Earmuffs

No testing required.

Embroidery kits

Require testing. This includes embroidery, crewel and needlepoint which is to be used for tablecloths and pillows. One should refrain from draping over one’s lap when sewing it (if it is wool and linen)


Fabrics, trimmings and threads

Those purchased in a fabric store are often mislabeled. Require testing.


Gloves

Rarely is Sha’atnez found. Hand-made or very expensive gloves, linen-look, lists wool or those with “other fabrics” (O.F.) require testing.


Handbags

No testing required, unless made from linen or wool.


Hats - felt

No testing required3, unless has pompom, piping, or applique.


Hats - fur

Require testing.


Headbands

Ask a Rov.


Housecoats - woolen

Require testing.


Jackets – men’s and women’s

Require testing (whether made in Israel or imported).


Jogging suits

No testing required.


Jumpers

See Blouses.


Kapotes

See Bekeshes.


Knitting yarn

Multi-colored or linen-look yarns should be tested


Linens - bed

No testing required.


Linen garments

Require testing


Material, fabrics – unlabeled

Require testing.


Mattresses

Standard mattresses don’t require

Oven mitts

Require testing4.

Pajamas

No testing required.

Pants

Wool or linen pants require testing. Even if bought as part of a suit and the jacket was tested clean.

Picture frames

No testing required5.

Pillows - bed,

Don’t require testing

Pillows-throw

Require testing

Potholders

Require testing if reprocessed insulation 6.

Purse

No testing required7.

Quilts

Polyester and down-filled quilts do not require testing.

Raincoats

Require testing if contain wool in fabric or lining.

Robes

Wool or linen require testing.

Russian-made clothing

Contain a lot of woolen and linen. Any woven item from Russia must be tested.

Scarves

No testing required unless multi-colored, knitted, or list other fibers.

Sheets

No testing required.

Shirts - childrens

See Blouses – women’s.

Shirts – cotton or polyester

No testing required.

Shirts – sports, woven

No testing required.

Ski caps

If made in USA or Canada, no testing required. If made in Europe, testing is required.

Skirts

Require testing, except for those made in the USA or Canada.

Sleeping bags

Require testing.

Slippers, house-shoes

If made of wool or linen, testing is required.

Sneakers

No testing required unless covered with tweed, plaid or linen-look.

Socks

Sha’atnez rarely found. Socks made of wool with a linen toe reinforcement have been found.

Sports equipment

Boxing gloves, hockey equipment, etc. are usually stuffed with recycled shredded textile waste.

Stuffed toys

May contain reprocessed stuffing.

Suits – men’s and women’s

A high percentage of suits and sports jackets have been found to have Sha’atnez whether made in Israel or abroad, and even when made by G-d-fearing Jews. All suits, blazers, vests, etc., therefore, must be tested, and even if identical suits were bought from the same store and found to be Kosher.

Suspenders

No testing required.

Sweaters – men’s

Any sweater that lists percentages of wool, cashmere, mohair, alpaca, angora, linen, ramie, or “other fibers” require testing.

100% silk, Acrylic, or cotton sweaters don’t require unless they have pompoms, appliqué, embroidery, or knitted with novelty yarn

Sweaters – women’s

Same as above

Tablecloths

Linen tablecloths with embroidery require testing.

Talleisim

No testing required. There have been isolated cases where threads of linen were found in woolen Talleisim.

Tichels

No testing required.

Ties

Some linings are made of wool. If so, all linen ties require testing. Polyester ties with textured fabric may contain linen.

Towels

Don’t require testing.

Trimmings

Recommended to be tested if to be used for a pillow or a tablecloth. No need to test if to be used as a frame of a picture.

Trousers, slacks

Require testing if wool or linen

Tuxedos

See Suits.

Undergarments

No testing required.

Uniforms

Army/Navy surplus garments, coats, hats and military uniforms have been found with extensive Sha’atnez in the USA.

Upholstery

See Couches, Chairs and Sofas

Vests - boys

Require testing

Wigs – women’s

No testing required.

Yarmulkes

No testing required.



In summary, it should be emphasized that the laws of Sha’atnez are highly complex with many nuances and divergent opinions. Readers are encouraged to address specific questions of Halochoh to a rabbi well-versed in these topics.



1 This table was updated by Rabbi Zvi Solomon from the “2009 guide to a Shatnez free home” produced by I.A.O.P.S.L. The footnotes and layout were produced by R’ Rueven Brauner.

2 See SO YD 301:11.

3 The Shach (SO YD 300:1) explains that most Poskim agree that soft felt is only Rabbinically prohibited, while hard felt is certainly permitted. Interestingly, the Pischai T’shuva in 301 quoting the Chomos Yirusholoyim says that we are “no longer experts on what is ‘soft’ or ‘hard’”.

4 See SO YD 301:12.

5 See SO YD 301.

6 See SO YD 301:12.

7 The prohibition of Sha’atnez does not apply to a change-purse or wallet and one can even hold them in his hand or in his pocket. See DE 19:85.


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