Bleak future for Shimla's famed tailoring industry

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 03, 2012 22:01 hrs

Shortage of skilled-manpower has taken a toll over the well-known tailoring industry of Shimla. This is threatening the entire industry, which has been a leader here since the colonial British era.

Known as the fashion capital for long, Shimla is traditionally popular for fine tailor-made clothes, particularly men’s suits and long coats for both the sexes

But over the past few years, the quality of stitching has gone down due to u unavailability of fresh skilled workers for the industry, say many here.

“Getting tailors to stitch and assist us after the master tailors have carefully cut the fabric for men’s suits is becoming very difficult ,”said Anil Tahim of Lall Tailors and Drapers, the town’s best-known tailor shop doing business here for three generations.

“This is the busiest season of the year for us due to marriage and the onset of winter . But due to an acute shortage of tailors to assist us, we have not been able to take up stitching work of all our customers,” Tahim told Business Standard.

The biggest problem is young people are not getting into tailoring anymore. Those few who do join the trade prefer to get into the readymade clothing industry in big cities, where training and work is quite different.

“What can we do with a tailor from the readymade industry who specialises in only stitching a sleeve of a coat, how do you tell him to stitch an entire coat that is the challenge ?”says Tahim.

Shimla’s middle bazaar is still called by many as the tailor street of the hill station. Majority of the shops here still continue to pursue the tailoring business for ladies and gentleman, but few young people are joining the profession of stitching as they did a decade ago.

Shops here complain about this shortage due to which they are often not able to deliver work in time, also the quality of stitched clothes suffers, say customers .

Even though many people in Shimla, including the young still prefer formal wear, they now prefer to pick up a coat, suit or an overcoat immediately from a readymade store on the Mall street here rather than wait for a couple of months before it is stitched after several visits to the tailor.


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