Making and Buying Clothes during the Nine Days
What is included in the prohibition of making clothes?
- One may not make any new clothes whether by sewing, weaving, knitting, or any other method. This is forbidden even if the garment will not be completed until after Tisha b’Av.
- One may not do embroidery or other needlework on clothing, tablecloths, etc.
- It is permitted to cut pieces of cloth in preparation for sewing after Tisha b’Av.
Does this also apply to a professional tailor?
The custom is to permit a tailor to continue earning a livelihood by making clothes for others. If possible, he should refrain during the week of Tisha b’Av, unless it is well known that he is doing work for gentiles.
May one make wedding clothes for a chosson or kallah?
It is permitted if there is not sufficient time to do this after Tisha b’Av.
May a girl learn to sew?
- This is permitted if cancellation of a class will cause financial loss to the teacher. If possible, classes should not be held during the week of Tisha b’Av.
- It is forbidden to practice making clothes at home, unless the cloth will be discarded.
May one repair garments?
- Simple repairs are permitted when necessary, e.g. sewing a tear, adding a patch, sewing on a button.
- According to most opinions, it is permitted to shorten or lengthen a garment.
May one instruct a gentile to make or alter a garment?
This is permitted if the garment will not be ready until after Tisha b’Av. Nevertheless, it is praiseworthy to refrain from doing so.
May shoes be repaired?
Yes. Even professional shoe repairs are permitted.
May one tie tzitzis on a garment?
Which types of clothing may not be purchased?
It is forbidden to purchase all types of clothing, including those that do not require the b’racha shehecheyanu, e.g. shoes, socks, underwear. This applies even if one does not intend to wear them until after Tisha b’Av.
May one buy second-hand clothes?
This is forbidden if such clothes will give pleasure.
May a chosson or kallah buy clothes for their wedding?
This is permitted if they will not be able to buy them after Tisha b’Av.
May one buy a new tallis?
No. One may buy a tallis koton even during the nine days, if one has no other to wear.
May one buy bed linen, towels, etc.?
What if there is a special sale during the nine days?
One may buy items at such a sale, if there is a considerable saving and one will not find them again at this price after Tisha b’Av. (See also questions 91, 109, and 111).
What if one has no suitable footwear for Tisha b’Av?
Since it is forbidden to wear leather shoes on Tisha b’Av (see question 236) one must remember to buy suitable footwear before Rosh Chodesh. If a person forgot to do so, he may buy simple cheap footwear during the nine days.
May one buy clothes for children?
May one buy and/or give gifts?
- It is permitted to buy and give inexpensive gifts, e.g. on the occasion of a bris or bar mitzvah.
- It is forbidden to buy or give expensive gifts that will give considerable joy, e.g. an engagement ring.
- Clothes may not be bought even as a gift, e.g. for a newborn baby. If they were bought before the nine days, they may be given during the nine days.
May one buy new furniture and appliances, e.g. fridge, stove, etc.?
It is usually forbidden to buy important items during the nine days, since they bring a person much pleasure. If the old item broke during the nine days and cannot be repaired, a new one may be bought if needed urgently (see also question 59).
May one buy small household items?
It is permitted to buy items of minor importance that are needed regularly in the home, e.g. pots, pans, plates, etc.
May one buy sefarim?
One may buy sefarim that are needed for Torah study during the nine days.