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How to Make a Prayer Shawl

Rutuja Jathar
A prayer shawl is the universal symbol of unconditional love and warmth. Since ages, people have presented and exchanged such shawls to show support and affection on many occasions across various religions. Provided here instructions on making such a shawl.
The concept of prayer shawls is basically derived form the Jewish tradition of Tallit. They were worn on a 'Shabbat' (holy occasion) and also during the daily prayers, at the 'Shul' (Jewish temple).
In Christianity, it is a cloth blessed by the clergymen, to respect a guardian angel, saint, or a deceased person.
This blessed piece of cloth is later presented by the clergymen and the Laity to the people who are ill or going through difficult times. These are viewed as a symbol of God's constant blessings to the needy. These are also given to the people who are celebrating happy events such as confirmation, childbirth, or baptism.
All in all, it is a divine cloth. These are also called peace shawls, healing shawls, comfort shawls, and mantels. The aim behind gifting such a piece of cloth is to make that person feel secure. You can even make such a shawl and gift it to express your true affection.

Making a Prayer Shawl

First and the most important thing is to decide the material that you would be using. Choose a material that is soft and warm. Opt for the homespun material that is 90% acrylic and washable. Also, make sure that you choose a soothing color, that is neither too bright nor too dull.
Various methods such as weaving, sewing, knitting, and crocheting can be followed. Here are the steps for making a shawl with fringes through knitting.


Three skeins of homespun yarn and 13 to 15 number knitting needles is all that you need to knit such a shawl.
Pattern for Knitting
● Cast 63 stitches around the needles. Make sure that the stitches are not too tight. Follow the same knitting pattern the whole way across. Knit three stitches and then add three purl stitches.

● Continue to knit, by starting each row with 3 knit stitches. Work the knitting procedure for at least a 60 inches wide and 25 inches long shawl.
●The fur stitches are used while knitting the fringes or bangs of the shawl.

● Choose the texture of the bangs. If the knitting is tight, then you can make contrast fringes of a cashmere yarn or chenille cord yarns. You can also make braids out of the fringes.
● Cut the yarn, once you have decided the length of the fringes. 12 inch fringes are best suited for such a shawl. Now, cut a cardboard piece of the desired size of the fringes and cover the yarn around the cardboard piece until the cardboard is totally wrapped. You must have some strands of yarn of equal size.
● Collect twice the desired thickness of the bangs and fold them into half. Tuck in the loop ends of the fringes in the desired position of the shawl. If the fringes are in a tight space, then make use of a crochet hook.
● Draw the loop ends of the bangs together. Part the fringes in half. Then, tie the opposite halves of the fringes together.

● Try to create fringes on both the short sides of the shawl. This increases the length of the fringes to ½ inch and ensures that they won't split away during washing process.
While knitting the shawl, make a good wish and pray for the person for whom it is being knitted. This way you can concentrate best on that person, as well as the work that you are doing. Truly, a prayer shawl is a great gift that can be given to a loved one for showing your affection and support.