With Eid-ul-Fitr coming closer, sari makers in Tangail are now at the peak of rush, producing various hand-loomed saris.
“Tangail saris”, produced by local handloom weavers, are famous across the country and are almost always in demand. For their various designs and price flexibility, Tangail saris see a boost in sales in local markets ahead of Eid festivals, as they continue to attract an increasing number of buyers from both home and abroad.
A large portion of hand-loomed garments in markets across the country are manufactured in Tangail.
According to the local weavers, they have been making saris for Eid for the past three months to meet the demand. “This year, mostly cotton, pure silk, half silk and jamdani saris were made for Eid,” said Raghunath Basak, a weaver and also president of Tangail Sari Traders Association.
Over 3.5 lakh saris, produced in different areas of the district, were already distributed across the country over the last few weeks through traders, for Eid, he said.
Besides saris, salwar kameez for women and panjabis for men were also produced with local handlooms for the occasion, he added.
Subir Basak, another sari trader, said the efficient weavers were adept at making changes in their designs, keeping up with current trends to produce saris that were popular in and outside the country.
For this Eid, local weavers have been manufacturing different kinds of saris including casual hand-loomed saris as well as the more expensive ones, with prices ranging from Tk 500 to Tk 10,000, so that demands of people from all classes and backgrounds could be met, he said.
The wholesale markets of Tangail saris had already gained momentum, including in Karatia and Pathrail, since the first week of Ramadan. Traders from different places of the country come to these markets to buy saris and later sell them in their respective areas.
Gitanjali Das, a worker of a handicrafts sales centre in Bogura, was browsing through saris at local market in Pathrail. She said she came there to buy 500 saris at different prices as the sales of hand-loomed saris are high during this time.
Iqbal Hossain, from Mohammadi Sari House in Dinajpur, said he comes to Tangail to buy saris one week after Ramadan begins, like every year, due to the reasonable prices at this time. He buys the saris from the wholesale market, and later sells them from his sari house.
“I will be back near the end of Ramadan to buy more saris if the first spell of my sales goes well,” he added.
About 1.5 lakh weavers worked with around 64,000 handlooms at Tangail sadar, Delduar, Kalihati and Basail upazilas in the district for the production of Eid saris.
Kazim Uddin, a veteran weaver of Chandi in Delduar upazila, said that earlier traditional Tangail saris were the first choice of a large number of women on any occasion, but now both the demand and sale had decreased.
Women now preferred salwar kameez over saris, he said.
The local handloom industries were also facing a shortage of efficient artisans as they were opting for other professions, he added.
The condition of local weavers, especially owners of small handloom factories, was also bad due to a shortage of capital and price hikes of the materials with which the saris were made, he said.
Now only few wealthy weavers and traders, most of them from Pathrail, were at the helm of the whole sari business in Tangail. They manufacture the garment using impoverished weavers with little wages, he added.