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Thin style can be used for tallit katan (tzitzit) or for a regular tallis. Thick style is used only for a regular tallis.
How to tie tzitzit:
Before you try tying tzitzit to your tallit, it is advisable to practice with twine or heavy string looped around a chair leg.
There [are] sixteen strands in a pack - four long ones and twelve short ones. Seperate these into four groups with one long one and three short ones in each. The longer one is called the shammash and is the one used for the winding.
Even up the four strands at one end and push the group through one of the corner holes in the tallit.
Even up seven of the eight strands (the four being doubled) and leave the extra length of the shammash hanging to one side.
With the four strands in one hand and the other four in the other hand, make a double knot near the edge of the material. Take the shammash and wind it around the other seven strands in a spiral - seven turns. Be sure you end the winding where you began - otherwise you may end up with 7 1/2 or 6 1/2 winds. Make another double knot at this point (four over four).
Spiral the shammash eight times around. Double knot. Spiral the shammash eleven times around. Double knot. Spiral the shammash thirteen times around. Final double knot.
This is the common, and halachically precide type of tying. There are, of course, variations.
- from the Jewish Catalog by Siegel, Strassfeld, & Strassfeld
- Jewish Publication Society of America