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KUWAIT CITY, March 19: With the advent of the blessed month of Ramadan, which is the month prior to Eid al-Fitr, new clothes for adults and children are usually desired by people to suit the joy of Eid. Also, the end of winter and the advent of the summer season necessitates the stitching of new “dishdasha” suitable for the atmosphere and high temperatures. With this situation, the tailor crisis has returned once again, reports Al-Qabas daily
Complaints from the public have increased in recent days regarding the tailors’ refusal to cater for their needs, or for being given long deadlines by the tailors to complete their required clothes either for the occasion of Eid al-Fitr or for the summer season that is currently knocking on the doors. Prior to the start of the month of Ramadan, which will coincide with the end of winter this year, the citizens usually get new “dishdasha” stitched, as it is the official national dress in the country.
However, many citizens were shocked these past few days by the heavy crowd at various tailor shops, and the failure of tailors to finish stitching their dishdasha even after one month, which means that they would receive their dishdasha only after the Eid festival. The tailor crisis had exacerbated during the last period, especially with the adoption of the decision regarding residency procedures for expatriates above the age of 60 years and holding certificates of below secondary school. These procedures caused thousands of expatriate craftsmen to leave the country permanently.
A number of tailors revealed the return of the tailor crisis in the recent days due to the lack of manpower in the field of tailoring, in contrast to the increasing requests of citizens pouring into tailor shops at the same time due to the start of the month of Ramadan and the return of high temperatures starting from last week. Usually, the increase in requests for stitching dishdashas in tailor shops causes some to raise prices. Citizens said, “The price for stitching a single dishdasha does not exceed KD 7 if the customer purchases the fabric and presents it to the tailor. However, with the recent increase in the demand for stitching of dishdashas, some tailors have increased the prices to KD 11 for one dishdasha.
The rise in prices has in turn affected the price of the fabric, as the prices have gradually increased for well-known and highquality fabric brands. Some stores took advantage of the current situation and started offering “stock” materials at high prices. Some tailors attributed the increase in the prices of fabric to the increase in transportation costs in the recent period due to many international and political developments. Citizens also found themselves facing long deadlines for getting their dishdashas stitched. They then resorted to the option of buying readymade clothes as there were no other solutions available to them. However, they were surprised when the readymade clothing stores took advantage of the situation and raised the prices by more than 30 percent, as estimated by the citizens.
The tailor crisis and the length of their appointments are the “talk of the town” in many diwaniyas and WhatsApp groups in recent days. It is even the topic of discussion for employees in the ministries complex. A tailor now needs an intermediary from one customer to another in order to finish stitching a dishdasha prior to Eid al-Fitr. According to a tailor Salim Al-Din, he lost many of his customers because of his inability to complete their orders on the dates that they want to receive their dishdashas. The lack of trained manpower at the present time is costing the tailor a lot of trouble.
He said, “On every occasion, we race against time to fulfill our obligations. We also face problems and lack of acceptance of customers because we cannot receive their requests.” Also, another tailor Iqbal insists that this profession has become expensive, as the prices of threads, needles, machines and other materials needed to make dishdashas have increased by no less than 50 percent, adding, “When the prices go high, customers get angry and do not understand that it is the market that is raising the price.”
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