A stitch in time will cost five times

Citizens irked over stitching rate hike by tailors ahead of Eid

APP May 24, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Frenetic activity in Ramazan is not an unusual sight, especially during the peak hours leading up to Sehri and Iftar where people rush to markets to buy edible items for their families.

Similarly, with the advent of Ramazan and a few days into the month people turn their attention to preparing for Eidul Fitr and the most sought after item are new clothes.

Like in the past, this year also a large number of shoppers are rushing towards ready-made clothes and boutique houses as the trend for buying ready-made wear, not out of preference but rather due to necessity, the reason being that many tailors across the country including  Islamabad start overcharging and rejecting customers' for Eid orders.

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Tailors take advantage of the occasion and have a thriving business during Ramazan and increase their stitching charges by 50 to 70 per cent in different types of services.

The tailors charge Rs500-700 for stitching a plain shalwar kameez but the rate moves up with designing. A single tailor can sew up to 15 suits in a day, said a customer Ali Usman.

Mostly citizens have expressed their dissatisfaction over the abrupt increase in rates of stitching clothes by tailors ahead of Eid and asked the concerned administration to maintain checks and balances over market rates.

Younus Rao said that on the third day of Ramazan he had taken cloth for stitching where the tailor said that he would charge normal price. "However when I went for receiving the clothes the tailor told me that the Rs700 days are gone and now normal stitching rate is Rs1,200 for a pair of shalwar kameez,” Rao said. “However, to end the argument I paid Rs1,000 and he accepted it for once as I was his old customer," he added.

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Another customer, Asma Iman, said the tailors apply different tactics to publicise their business or subject customers to paying extra amount. They display a paper or small piece of cloth inscribed with writing such as "booking is closed", impressing the passer-by with their popularity.

When a customer visits their shop and asks for his or her suit to be prepared in time, they demand extra money to fulfill the order on emergency basis, she added.

Anum Ishfaq a young student while lamenting the issue said, she missed out on placing an order on time for Eid. "This happens every year," she said. "You know that if you're late to order you won't be able to get your clothes on time. We stop taking new orders after the 20th Ramazan, but many customers are coming with urgent orders, ready to pay even twice the regular rates. So, we are taking those orders as well," said Yasin Muhammad a tailor. He also admitted that the rates were already a few notch higher than regular times since the first day of Ramazan.

"Every single tailoring house jacks up their rates before Eid. However, we are charging regular price from our regular customers," claimed another tailor Umair Khan."I guess many people are now opting for ready-made clothes instead of  tailoring ," said Aliya Farooq.

Besides common increase, a number of tailors have also doubled their charges for those who wanted to get their dresses stitched before Eid.  

Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2018.


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