Tailors’ woes: Overworked before Eid with clients who don’t care

Published: August 23, 2012
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Tailors working on Eid clothes during Ramazan. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD JAVAID/ EXPRESS

Tailors working on Eid clothes during Ramazan. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD JAVAID/ EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: 

Ask any woman and she will tell you that pulling together an Eid wardrobe is no easy feat. What starts out as a carefully-planned spree will have you running to tailors, known and unknown, around the city. The ornamentation is another ball game altogether.

It would seem tailors have formed an alliance with all the dyers, lace shops and embroiders to make the charade all the more difficult. How we wish they would sprinkle some magic dust and whip up that picture-perfect outfit for E-day.

On the other side of the fence, tailors have their own share of worries as orders pile up amid extended power cuts.

After spending a decade in the profession, Master Tariq in F-10 feels tailors are taken for granted.

“Everyone complains about us but what they don’t realise is that we have to put up with 12-hour long power cuts. This Ramazan was no better,” he said while talking to The Express Tribune. He added the UPS could only run the sewing machines, leaving his fasting workers to work without a fan, all the while putting up with customers venting their frustrations as if it were part of the transaction.

“After the 15th of Ramazan, orders start coming in for Eid clothes. The problem is every lady wants three different outfits for each Eid day.

Then when we take their orders, we’re harassed with constant calls and visits well before the delivery date,” he adds.

According to Tariq, over the years his shop has made an average of 300 suits in one month’s time for Eidul Fitr alone. “We try to only take in as much as we can deliver in time, but there are always a couple of regular customers who will come in at the last minute and demand that we take their orders. I try to explain as respectfully as I can that it won’t be possible but none of them care.”

Why have women made things difficult for themselves?

As Hira, a young girl that loves to dress up aptly states, “All women will complain about the hassle of having clothes made but they won’t take the initiative to make their lives easier, I feel it’s a way for idle women to keep themselves busy,” she says with a laugh.

Sara, a working woman, is all for readymade, “I don’t remember the last time I went to the tailor; I just pick stuff off the rack and wear it happily, it costs roughly the same to have it custom-tailored and I don’t have the time to run around with pieces of cloth!”

The recent news of a young tailor shooting a customer after an argument over clothes made the rounds among tailors, who saw dark humour in the incident. When The Express Tribune mentioned this incident to Bilal, who owns a tailoring shop near Tariq’s, he smirked and said “The boy must have finally snapped. Maybe now women will stop misbehaving with us.”

Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2012.

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Reader Comments (2)

  • THE
    Aug 23, 2012 - 3:13PM

    I live outside of Pakistan, me and my wife are in our 20s and don’t care much about getting “new clothes” on eid. We just wear the best that we have and prefer to give the money we would have spent on getting “new clothes on eid” which we would have spent just for the sake of getting new clothes on eid to someone who really needs it. People in Pakistan specially the higher income bracket, really have to start living more moderately.

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  • Aug 24, 2012 - 7:29PM

    I agree with the sentiments above.
    Perhaps chand ki raat needs to be a night of self tailoring for both men and women.
    Or you’ll just turn into consumeristan, those of you who can afford.

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