Machines are busy, dressmakers are engrossed in their jobs. The items must be delivered just in time. This is Eid time. No room for compromise.
They are mostly young and such dressmakers are also seen in small factories that make readymade garments for retailers and wholesalers in the local market.
Data on the actual number of these dressmakers across the country is however not available. According to Bangladesh Dressmakers Association, the number of such dressmakers would be almost half of more than 20 lakh workers in the textile industry, the country's biggest export earner.
In contrast to export earner readymade garment factories where workers are mostly women, majority of the dressmakers working in tailoring shops are men. Most of them are young who join the work before or just after completing primary education.
However instead of getting monthly wage like that in export-oriented garment factories, their income depends on the number of pieces of clothes they make. So their income fluctuates, sometimes leaving them vulnerable.
By making a shirt, a dressmaker gets Tk 50. For trousers, it is Tk 70-Tk 80 and for a set of women's dress such as salwar-kameez and scarf, the rate stands at Tk 35- Tk 40, although tailor operators charge three times more from a customer.
In case of contract-based factories that make readymade clothes for local consumers, owners enjoy majority of the gain.
Suffered by hardship and a slump in income due to a demand decline during lean season, a portion of workers in this segment needs to temporarily engage themselves in other jobs such as agri-works and rickshaw pulling.
Even after getting efficiency, a very few of them can graduate to positions of tailor masters, and start own ventures mainly because of fund crisis.
For most of them, productivity declines slowly with majority suffering from diminishing eyesight with the passage of time. Elderly dressmakers have to quit the job at certain stage and brace for other profession. But many have a few options in hand.