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The End of Tailor Era in Indonesia, and Transition to Clothing Repair Services

Note: Tulisan ini adalah terjemahan Basa Enggres dari artikel ini

Hi friends.

In this article, I want to review one of my family's profession; The tailor!

Yup! The sewing is my great family profession. It is inherited from generation to generation since the days of my great grandfather. And I was the last generation who had ever undergone this profession (before turning the business into a trader in early 2002).

The End of Tailor Era in Indonesia, and Transition to Clothing Repair Services
The tailor

Maybe you will ask me: "why you didn't continue your family heritage profession, Mr. izal?"

Well, I'll tell you later, below.

Now we will discuss the definition of tailors.

But beforehand I wanted to discuss the convection industry first.

In the convection industry, the order serving and market share (read: distribution) for malls and supermarkets, while in tailor (in general) only accept orders for individuals.

This means:

On the convection, they produce ready-made clothes in bulk. The pattern and size made equally based on general size estimates. The scale divided into 'S' for the smallest size, 'M' size is rather large, 'L' is large, and 'XL' is decidedly larger.

The minus factor at of convection products is pattern cuts and seams not made in detail and as neat as possible. Their essential principle is; production runs fast and can be sold at low prices. As a result, the pattern designs and the stitching density are looked still 'rough.' That is, the design of the pattern pieces is not careful, and the stitches are rare.

So, if someone buys clothes from convection production in malls and supermarkets, then the result is chancy. I mean; the pieces and design don't always fit the size of the body. If the format happens to be right, then you are in luck. But if it doesn't, it means it has to repair until the size is right, suitable and comfortable to use by yours. Starting from here, finally opening new business opportunities. That is the 'Permak' business. This service business began to emerge a lot in Indonesia (Note: 'Permak' is a kind of clothing repair business).

The End of Tailor Era in Indonesia, and Transition to Clothing Repair Services
'Permak' aka clothing repair services in Indonesia.

This business divided into several types, including 'Permak Jeans,' and 'Permak Clothing for men & women.' I will discuss this topic in more depth later below.
Other exciting Articles: Five Secret Keys to Success

Back to topic!

Well, if the convection receives large-scale orders, then on the tailors just for a genuinely particular order. The process is detailed. Starting from measuring body posture, designing the desired mode, to looking for quality fabrics requested by the order.

In short, this tailor is a profession that accepts a particular order and makes on formal and semi-formal clothing (such as tuxedo, suits, shirts, pants, etc.).

So the tailor's always maintained the quality like as requested by the customer. Specialist tailor! Therefore, the price tag of the service of tailor rate is much higher than the convection wage.

But ... precisely because of this factor of specialization that made 'collapse' and the end of the tailor's era.

What caused the tailor's collapse?

Let's flashback for a while, namely in the era of the 50s - 80s ago.

The era of the 50s to the 70s was the golden age of the tailor profession. 

At that time, in any traditional market, or along strategic roads, people will quickly find this profession. One of those people is my grandfather's sewing business (in the era of the 50-70s) and later replaced by my father (a period of the 70s - now).

In the era of the 50s to 70s, youth people still many that used semi-formal clothes that were neat. Namely a pants suit and shirt. Try friends, look at the photo of your grandfather in his youth. The style of his clothes must be like that. Complete with cut-edge hair combs that are thick and shiny because they have given Lavender hair oil.

Very handsome! ☺

People used to be dapper and have high taste in terms of style. Hehe. ☺

So, because semi-formal clothing has become a trend for young people (at that time), it's natural at that time it was the heyday of tailors. 

The tailor's golden age began to fade when the era of the 80s. At that time many young people started to wear casual clothes.

The style of clothing hit during the era of the 80s was a T-shirt (the sleeves were rolled up to the shoulders), combined with jeans (the bottom is very fitting with the size of the ankles). 

Because it is so narrow, so when you want to wear these pants, your feet must be 'wrapped' with a plastic bag first. The purpose is; to your heels become slippery (because 'coated' in plastic). So that makes the bottom of the pants (which are very small) can get past the heel.

Maybe you ask me: How come can you know Mr. izal? 

Yes, sure! I know! Hehe 😁

Because, I had seen with my own eyes (when I was in elementary school, around 1987) in the town of Pekanbaru, Sumatera. (My family used to live in Sumatra)

At that time there was my neighbor (he is a high school student) who was very difficult to wear jeans. The cause is because of the tiny size at the bottom of the pants. ☺ 

Okay, come back to topic! 

The waning of the golden age of tailors is increasingly severe because of the emergence of new supermarkets in big cities. The development of supermarkets also made the convention's business grow more and more.

Maybe you will ask: What is the connection between the supermarket and convection business, Mr. izal?

Yes! Of course, there is a connection!

As we all know, that between supermarkets and convection are two business areas that cannot be separated between the two because there is a symbiotic mutualism relationship!

A supermarket needs a plentiful supply of clothing at low prices, while convection requires supermarket as a potential market share to distribute their products.

So if more and more supermarket emerges, then there will undoubtedly be more and more convection products popping up. 

What does it mean? 

In era of the 80s, it was the end of the tailor's heyday.

The primary cause is a combination of 'trilogy': 

#1. The fashion style of young people has changed (from semi-formal style to casual style). 

#2. Many new malls and supermarkets are popping up.   The two shopping centers sell a lot of ready-made clothing at low prices. 

#3. The more mushrooming of garment business and convection. 

~The twilight time of the tailor.~ (R.I.P for the sewing business). 

The tailor profession is increasingly entering a period of decline in the era of the 90s. At that time I (the author) began a teenager. Well, that's when I started learning to sew to my father. Precisely in 1993, when I was in 3rd grade in junior high school. You can read the story in the article below.

As a family heritage profession, I am obliged by the father to be able to master the knowledge of sewing. And indeed finally I can job of sewing. 

In 1998 (after graduating from high school) I started working as a tailor. I help accomplished order stitches my uncle's. After which, I also worked in several another tailor.

But,,,,, after for a long time I observed, in the 2000s I saw more clearly (the signs) that the tailor's prospect had ended. I, many hear about the tailors who complain because is very few orders. Most of them finally chose to close their businesses and switched to other business. 

Some of them were switch professions by opening a clothing business, including my uncle and my former tailor boss. And I also finally decided to start learning to become a trader.

My first place of migration was the city of Pandeglang, Banten. 

But, most among the tailors, they prefer to switch into the clothing repair business. 

(Note: As I mentioned earlier in the article, this clothing repair service commonly called; 'Permak' in Indonesia. So for next, I will say the word 'Permak').'

Why did they (the tailors) switch professions by opening 'Permak' services?

The End of Tailor Era in Indonesia, and Transition to Clothing Repair Services
Clothing repair services in Turkey.

Do you still remember my review at the opening of the article above? 

Yes, about apparel produced by convection, is very rare which is a match for us to use. Even if there is a size that fits, then you accidental are in luck. If you buy clothes made in convection at the supermarket, then from 100 buyers, at most only five people fit the size. 

The rest of the other (95 people), there will be a part of the clothes that do not match the piece of his body. At the very least, the size of his pants too extended. So you had to cut it first to the clothes repair service/jeans. 

That opportunity is utilized as well as possible by the tailors. So that from time to time more the tailors are turning professions into clothes and jeans' services.

So at this time (2019), a very rare tailoring professions in Indonesia. Almost all of them have turned into clothing repair services.

That's so reasonable. The era changes indeed often make 'extinct' a particular profession or product. One other example; try to find (at present) a shop that sells tape tapes, or cassette players, you will almost certainly not see, because has replaced by DVD pieces in the period of the 2000s and turned to YouTube today. 😁 (a little intermezzo).

Changes in the times and trends are common, commonplace. Even that is a necessity. 

The important thing is how we deal with each change. And only people who are creative and clever are able to continue to survive in every age.

Hopefully this article can be useful for all of you. See you again in the next article.

Bang izal
Bang izal Saya Seorang Praktisi Bisnis Mainan. Sangat hobi menulis dan suka berdiskusi. Saya ingin sekali saling berbagi ilmu, dan pengalaman, dengan teman-teman semua melalui blog ini.

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