Tailors keep the tradition alive

SAMUEL KUTTY –
MUSCAT, June 25 –
For most tailors in the city, Ramadhan and the ensuing Eid al Fitr is the busiest period of their work.
Even though there is a mad dash to shopping malls for readymade garments, most Omanis depend on tailors for stitching their traditional dress.
Since the beginning of the holy month of Ramadhan, tailors have been working overtime to complete orders.
“I have many more orders to be delivered before Eid,” said Rashid, who employed four tailors and each of them is producing four dishdasha per day.
Culture is a massive factor when it comes to tailoring traditional dress. In most Arab countries, they are worn both in everyday settings and on special occasions.
Hence, the demand for tailors remains constant.
“Changing lifestyles, altering fashion trends and increasing prices of cloth have dampened the demand for traditional Omani dress. Dishdasha remains the garment of choice for men in the country,” said Mohsin al Rahbi, a teacher in Ruwi.
Stitching traditional garments requires detail-oriented technical skills.
For Omani men, the national dress is an ankle-length, collarless gown with long sleeves, called a dishdasha. Usually, the clothing is white, although a few other colours such as brown, lilac and black are sometimes worn.
For women, the cut of the clothing differs in various regions, as do colour, embroidery and materials. Women complete their outfit with gold jewellery and cosmetics, opting for either brand-name or traditionally-made items.
When in public, most women in cities wear abaya, a modest black dress or cloak worn over the clothes, and the hijab, the typical Muslim hair covering.
Gaining the trust of customers is the most important when it comes to a successful tailoring business, said Rashid.
“The standard of tailoring — how clean the cuts are, how well the piece holds together and the finishing of the hemline — is definitely a major factor that determines the final product,” he added.
Dinesh, another tailor, said the rush during Eid al Fitr is partly because people are also ordering clothes for the next Eid al Adha festival as well.
He said many of the orders had been completed but there was still a lot of work to do before the holidays — as they celebrate the first day of Eid on Monday.