Tailoring shops across the capital appear to have slowly lost ground to readymade clothing stores that are now brimming with the latest collections of dresses ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr.
Many tailors claim they are receiving fewer orders every year and this year they may have to continue taking orders even in the second half of Ramadan.
“We used to get this huge rush of clients in our store in the past. We used to get so overburdened with work that we had to stop taking new orders within the 10th day of Ramadan. But now we really don’t know when there would be enough orders,” said Saiful Islam, a tailor at Gulbag Tailors at New Market.
The slowdown in business is due to the rise in the number of readymade clothing shops and boutiques, and the traffic congestion that discourages people from remote places to come to tailor shops to place orders, Saiful said. Tailors on Elephant Road and in surrounding areas blamed the same reasons for the decline in their business.
Some customers admitted they were interested in readymade clothes rather than tailor-made items.
“I always pick stuff off the shelf at readymade stores. It saves my time and eliminates the hassle of visiting the tailor’s shop again and again,” said Faruq, a customer who was browsing a shop at Chandrima market.
However, many tailor stores in other areas of the capital said the customers in their area were still enthusiastic about tailored clothes.
“The time is good for business. In fact this is the only time we make some profit compared to other months,” said Azizul, a dressmaker of Pinky Tailors.
With his head bowed over a sewing machine, Azizul said tailors in his shop work day and night, starting from sehri (the Ramadan pre-dawn mealtime) and working till midnight without any break, in order to complete the orders and deliver them on time. The tailor said charges for stitching have gone up a bit in anticipation of Eid, as they have to put in extra effort during this time.
Roksana Huque, a regular client of the store, said she still prefers tailored clothes over readymade ones as she likes to wear dresses with specific designs.
“You may bump into someone wearing the same dress as you if you are to buy ready-to-wear dresses, which may ruin your day,” she said.
Many customers opt for tailor-made clothes as these are more comfortable to wear and fit perfectly, she added.