A shtreimel (Yiddish: שטרײַמל, pl. שטרײַמלעך shtreimlech) is a fur hat worn by many married Haredi Jewish men, particularly (although not exclusively) members of Hasidic groups, on Shabbat and during Jewish holidays and other festive occasions. In Jerusalem the shtreimel is still worn by 'Yerushalmi' Jews (non-Hasidim who belong to the original Ashkenazi community, also known as Perushim). The shtreimel comprises a large circular piece of velvet surrounded by fur. The shtreimel is generally worn only after marriage, except in many Yerushalmi communities, where boys wear it from their bar mitzvah.
The most widely seen shtreimel is typically worn by the Hasidim of Galicia, Romania and Hungary and was once worn by Lithuanian Jews pre-World War-II; Hasidim from Congress Poland wear a high shtreimel (often called a spodik).
The shtreimel is usually made of genuine fur, from the tips of the tails, typically from Canadian or Russian sable but also from stone marten, baum marten and American gray fox. The shtreimel is the most expensive article of Hasidic clothing, ranging in price from US$1000 to US$5400. It is possible to buy a shtreimel from synthetic fur and this is more common in Israel. Usually the bride's father purchases the shtreimel for the groom upon his wedding. Nowadays, it is customary in America to purchase two shtreimels: a cheaper version (sells for $800-1,500), called the regen shtreimel (rain shtreimel) is used for occasions where the expensive one may get damaged. In Israel, due to the economic circumstances of most members of the Hasidic community there, the vast majority of shtreimel-wearers only have one shtreimel. The manufacturers of shtreimels can be found in New York City, Montreal and in Israel. It is believed that the shtreimel is a derivative tradition based on the shaatnez prohibition-since hasidim originally avoided wool or linen altogether and tended to wear cotton or silk instead this meant they were less protected from the cold Eastern European weather-hence they compensated with fur. The Shtreimel began as a matching item together with a fur lined coat lapel known as a Peltz, however the peltz went into decline and the Shtreimels significance grew.
The shtreimel is only worn in conjunction with other pieces of clothing which comprise 'Shabbos clothing'. One never wears a shtreimel with weekday clothing. While there are no formal rules as to when to wear a shtreimel, it is usually worn on the following occasions: