Last tailors soldier on

Published: 25th August 2016 04:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th August 2016 04:40 AM   |  A+A-

BENGALURU: The profession of tailoring prospered during the industrial era and employed many skilled and unskilled labourers. Ironically, now, large-scale production and the readymade garment industry is killing the smaller tailoring units.

lastB.jpgA 53-year-old tailoring shop in Shivajinagar has been handed down over two generations, but it may soon shut shop. “Nobody wants to wear clothes made by the tailor now,” said S Qadeeruddin, owner of United Sewing Machines. “The ready-made market has taken a big chunk of our market... I want my son to be well-educated and get a long-sustaining job.”

LB Prakash, who runs a tailoring shop in Ramachandrapuram, had worked in many other units to save up and open one in his own name. But, 25 years after opening the shop, he knows the business is dying down. “Now the market is down, I don’t have have customers,” he said.

The tailors are aware of the inevitable end. A garment industry report, released in 2014, said that customers in the 16 to 35 age group prefer readymade garments. Branded garments’ market grew at 25 per cent.

Mohammed Rafeq used to pack agarbattis before he started selling miniature sewing machines on Brigade Road. He has been selling these hand-held appliances, which resemble a largish stapler, for 11 years and at the same price – `399.

It is only during the festivities that tailors get busy. “Business improves at that time and we feel our profession still has a chance,” said Azez, head of India Sewing Machines community.

J Sridhar switched to running a mobile tailoring-unit after he ran into losses with his brick-and -mortar tailoring shop. “People don’t have time  to visit a tailor. They would sometimes forget to pick clothes. I ran into losses and decided to reach my customers myself rather than waiting for them to come,” he says.

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