In order to get a first hand understanding of the dye procedure, I recommend getting one of our dye kits from our store. Basically, when the liquid comes out of the snail its a murky clear substance; in light and oxygen it slowly turn yellow, green, blue and finally settles at almost blackish purple. This…read more
“teima” refers to the procedure of taking a sample of the dye solution on to a test piece of wool to determine if the dye in the vat has reached the proper state to start dyeing wool. The need for such a procedure seems to indicate that vat dyeing was the method employed since in…read more
From the Rambam there is an understanding that there is no need for a particular species as long as the dye holds. There are, though, quite a few opinions how to interpret the words of Rambam. Are you aware of any other dye in this color family that meet this requirement and were available in the last 1000+ years?
Outside of the Murex family of snails – the only organic source for indigo dye is from plants: Indigoferra tinctoria and woad. – Mois Navon.read more
There seems to be a machloket between Rashi and Rambam concerning the final color of tekhelet. Rashi (in the name of R. Moshe Hadarshan): midnight (dark) blue; Rambam: midday (light) blue. Is it possible to dye with the Murex to obtain both these shades, or only one?
You are correct that there is a machloket as to whether the color should be dark or light. Rav Yehuda Rock writes about this in his article in Techumin and his latest book called “Eved HaMelech” – you can see the relevant section in his article on our website (https://www.tekhelet.com/rak.pdf) see the bottom of p.17…read more
Yes, the final colors are very different. – Mois Navon.read more
Rambam in Peirush HaMishnah writes that we can’t make tekhelet because of color uncertainties, contradictory to what he writes in Hil. Tzitzit. Using modern science we are able to compare it to indigo. My question: is there only one color that can be produced from the indigo plant, or is it possible to adjust it to darker/lighter hue by adding or subtracting amounts of indigo?
First of all, I believe it is fair to say that in a case of contradiction that you mention, we use the Rambam’s Mishnah Torah (Hilchot Tzitzit) for halachic decisions. To the best of my knowledge the indigo plants produce only one color – indigo. However this does not mean that we can’t produce different…read more
R. Eliyahu Tavger is the Rav of the Amuta. The workers doing the dyeing, spinning, twining of the threads are all yirei shamayim Jews who are very careful to state explicitly before every process, “L’shem mitzvat tzitzit.” – Mois Navon. Rav Avraham Rubin gives a Badat’z hechsher on all our strings and processes. You can…read more
The picture of a murex with outer shell looking like stripes of dark blue green (like the sea), and the inside stripes of red and white featured on www.tekhelet.com. Is that the sea fouling organisms covering them, or is it its natural color? Because I’ve seen in other places the color being light brown.
The color of the snails shell after it’s been polished in beige to brown. I have never seen a snail with this color in the ocean or in an aquarium. The snails grow in the water, and naturally have sea fouling grow on them. The sea fouling is whatever color the sea bottom is. I’ve…read more
I am doing research about Lydia – seller of purple goods – in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 16. I am wondering where she would have obtained her purple dye. Some commentaries say she did not obtain it from snails but from a root or plant. She lived in land-locked Philippi (although she was from Thyratira) and the nearest coastal city was Neapolis–would it have been possible at all for her to acquire the snails there or were they exclusively found along the coast of Israel and Lebanon? Also, if the emperors were restricting use of purple in 55 CE–when Paul went to Philippi–it must have been a different shade of purple she was dyeing/selling, correct? Any light you could shed on this would be very helpful!
The most ubiquitous source to the best of my knowledge was the Murex family of snails, which was (and is) available throughout the entire Mediterranean Sea. Transport of the precious dye source reached far and wide (the Talmud provides evidence that it reached ancient Babylonia – i.e., Iraq/Iran). There were purple dyes which used alkanet…read more
In terms of the styles of tallitot that you sell, what is the standard style? What is the Beit Yosef style? And what is the Super Prima style?
In terms of quality they are both the same high quality wool. The Beit Yosef is White with White Stripes, the Super Prima is White with Black Stripes. – Mois Navon.read more