Saturday, November 27
06:39 PM

Tailors under pressure as pre-Eid lockdown nears

3 May 2021 By SHADDAD AL MUSALMY

After the Supreme Committee tasked with tackling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic announced the ban on non-essential commercial activities starting from May 8 to May 15, I noticed tailors are under pressure to complete their orders in time before the lockdown begins.

Before Eid, people are always eager to get their new clothes and a big rush is seen at tailoring shops. The tired but courageous tailors are now working hard to deliver customers’ orders in time. 

On hearing the announcement about the commercial activities ban, I wanted to make sure that the new dishdashas I had ordered will be ready before the end of this week. When I reached the tailoring shop, the number of customers there asking about their orders surprised me. 

Looking at the tailor’s face, I realised he was under pressure and casually asked how his shop was doing. He looked at me and said, “Business is good before Eid as we get more orders.  However, I am in a rush to complete the work before the end of this week. It will require a lot of extra effort to meet the deadline.”

I felt sorry for him. Before I could ask about my dishdashas – one for me and four for my boys – he said with a sad face, “Please give me time till Thursday and I will make sure they are ready.” I just smiled and nodded before walking away simply because I could see he was under pressure. I just hope and wish they are ready so my boys aren’t disappointed. 

I have noticed that tailors never want to negotiate during this time of the year. You are in luck if they accept your order; many say their clients book much in advance. Luckily, we gave our measurements and order three weeks ago. I am bringing up this point because while at the tailoring shop, another customer was seen persuading the tailor to accept his last-moment order. “I am lucky my order was accepted,” he later told me, “otherwise I would not have the chance to wear new clothes for Eid. Many tailors tend to refuse new orders and that’s why I usually try to come much in advance.” 

On the other side of the story, the lady of my hearth and home also was keen to go check if her dress will be ready in time. On reaching the dressmaker’s shop, she was told the same thing about the sudden increase in workload owing to the new measures that’ll be in force starting May 8. But not being a quiet person like I am, she started complaining and telling the tailor to deliver her order immediately. 

The tailor was dumbstruck and said, “It will be ready in three days.” I quickly interrupted the conversation and said, “Okay, we will come back after three days.” I did so just to give the tailor time to concentrate on his work instead of spending time explaining himself. I pray that her dress is ready by then, otherwise I am not sure what will happen.

People wear new clothes on Eid and the pandemic can’t bring an end to a custom. But please understand the pressure on the tailors in these circumstances. 

Until next time…

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