Sha’atnez in Crewel Embroidery

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Sha’atnez Q&A: Life can be Crewel, but is it allowed?

Dear Rabbi Simon
I want to take up embroidery and I am particularly interested in crewel work which is traditionally made from wool on a cloth of linen or one with some linen content. Given this is sha’atnez I don’t think I can do this – I’m pretty sure I can’t gain any benefit from the use of wool and linen even if not worn?
Kind regards

Hi Shoshana
The prohibition of shaatnez is limited to wearing, or any use which provides warmth. This includes a blanket, as well as a pillowcase, mattress or a sofa. Even a curtain or tablecloth may provide warmth under certain circumstances and should therefore be avoided. However a wall-hanging or tapestry made of sha’atnez would be allowed.
For this reason there may be forms of crewel work which are permissible as a hobby or craft. However you would need to be careful to avoid draping the fabric over your lap, for example, in the course of your handiwork.
I hope this is helpful.
Happy tapestry
Rabbi Rashi Simon

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Ask the Rabbi: Quinoa on Pesach
Dear Rabbi Simon,
Where do you stand on quinoa (and the kitniyot ban) for Pesach?
Many thanks,
Dear Tzippy,
In line with other American authorities, I am in favour of quinoa. Although I reject completely the voices (mostly from Israel) seeking to abolish the ban on kitniyot entirely, IMO we do not need to include in the prohibition pseudo-grains that were unknown in the Old World until modern times. Best to buy with a Pesach hechsher though, to be free of any possible wheat contamination.
Rabbi Rashi Simon
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