Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Brunei Town

Tailors labour to meet Raya deadlines

Rokiah Mahmud

With Hari Raya Aidilfitri just around the corner, tailor shops in the Sultanate are abuzz with activities trying to meet deadlines as customers rush to pick up their clothings for the festivities.

It is not unusual to see tailors burn the midnight oil and take a brief break for sahur before continuing to put together festive outfits.

The Bulletin visited several tailor shops to see how the tradesmen have been coping with the orders that came in during the first two weeks of Ramadhan. To cope with a large number of orders, a majority of the tailors have posted signs such as “Closed. Not accepting orders” outside their shops.

The inundation of orders is a result of the flattening of the COVID-19 curve and the public looking forward to meeting relatives during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri festivities, dressed in their finest.

Javed Alam, a tailor in Serusop, said the shop received a large number of orders from customers.

ABOVE & BELOW: A boy getting his measurements taken; and Javed Alam hard at work. PHOTOS: ROKIAH MAHMUD

He said the order was much bigger than last year when the public were more wary of COVID-19.

“Last year, the orders were manageable. This year, we had to turn down several orders, especially in the last week of Ramadhan, as customers expect the clothes to be done just before Hari Raya.

“We had to tell them we can only promise to have the orders ready by the third or fourth day of Raya, or even on the second week of the festivities.

“We have completed around 100 outfits and are still working hard to finish more orders,” said Javed.

Meanwhile, Hajah Wati binti Kifli, who runs a tailor shop in Mentiri, said she only accepted 30 to 40 orders this year, for the fear that she might not be able to get the clothes ready by Hari Raya if she took on more customers.

“We can only cope with a small volume, even with three part-time tailors assisting us. We even had to tell our customers that we could only accept simple designs, such as baju kurung in modern or traditional styles,” said Hajah Wati.

Regarding the increase in price, she said it is necessary due to the second and third waves of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The pandemic has not only affected the prices of daily essentials such as food, it also caused a rise in the cost of sewing materials like threads, zippers, paper and tailor chalks,” she added.