Trying times for tailors
Trying times for tailors.Sitting behind a sewing machine, a tailor deftly stitches clothes in a proper fit, suiting the preferences of his customers
- Decline in business driving several tailors to leave profession
- Sewing machine inventor William Hoe’s birth anniversary today
Warangal: Sitting behind a sewing machine, a tailor deftly stitches clothes in a proper fit, suiting the preferences of his customers. However, gone are the heydays of tailors when people would eagerly look forward to delivery of their clothes. Rising costs and shrinking margins have put a damper on their livelihood. Ready-mades are only adding to their woes.A few like Bipin Chauhan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal tailor, may have made it from rags-to-riches, but in general those in tailoring profession are struggling to make both ends meet as they feel pinch of massive competition with the influx of readymade garments. Due to lack of patronage many a tailor is looking for greener pastures.
Those who can are already calling it quits and taking other professions. The moderate patronage from the customers during big festivals and wedding seasons are the only lifelines for the tailors these days. Besides them, waning numbers of people who are fastidious about the fit remain saviours of the profession. A few tailors are, nevertheless, adapting to fast-changing tastes of people and are managing to retain their clientele base. From the customers’ side, a common refrain is that stitching charges are steeply going up.
This, the tailors rue and blame it on rise in the prices of raw materials and machines in addition to salaries. With the margins shrinking rather steadily, tailors are torn between their passion and the need for better livelihood means. Helpless to rein in costs, they are faced with losing the already thin clientele base. As of now, the tailors are charging anywhere between Rs 600 and Rs 800 for a pair of shirt and trouser. Often, the customers say in their face that at just stitching charges they can get a pair clothes.
It may be noted here that Tailors’ Street at Hanamkonda Chowrasta once used to house a staggering 50 tailoring shops. Now, it hardly sports a couple of tailors. Katakam Omkar, the honorary president of the society, says: “The profession which had its grand old days a couple of decades ago is in doldrums. It’s a tough time for small-time tailors to make a decent living.” However, the sartorial elegance of the profession is saving the day for the well-established tailors, while the others are vanishing due to flood of ready-made garments, he laments.“Grooming of young talent has become virtually impossible with opportunities that offer more remuneration with less labour.
The tailoring profession is not looking lucrative for younger generation to take up. This was a huge challenge that is threatening the very existence of the profession,” K Sadanandam, the secretary of Hanamkonda Masters Tailors Society, said. Save for a few festivals like Dasara, Deepavali and Ramadan, besides marriage season, the profession would have vanished already, he added. Meanwhile, the members of the Hanamkonda Masters Tailors Society is planning to organise ‘Tailors Day’ on Saturday in commemoration of the birth anniversary of sewing machine inventor William Hoe. Backward Classes Welfare Minister Baswaraju Saraiah and MLA D Vinay Bhaskar will be attending the function.
By A Mahender
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