Tribune News Service
Amritsar, January 20
Prolonged farmers’ agitation has generated demand for mink blankets and unstitched ladies suits, offering much needed respite to local manufacturing industries battling the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns.
Seasonal industries and manufacturers of shawls, tweeds, blazer and blanket have undergone twists and turns due to back-to-back troubles of Covid-19 induced lockdown, travel restrictions, farmers’ stir and railway blockade.
Industrialists involved in manufacturing of shawls, tweeds, blazers and blankets claim to have suffered losses as the sale evaporated for these reasons and stocks are lying in godowns.
SK Wadhwa, a blanket, tweed and blazer manufacturer, said sale of mink blanket, a synthetic blanket, was terrific for the participants taking part in the ongoing farmers’ stir against three controversial farm laws. “It saved the losses incurred during the lockdown and travel restriction period,” he said. The demand for woollen and shoddy blankets was not visible in the market.
The sale of tweed, which is widely used in Kashmir valley for wearing phiran, a cloak worn by men, women and children to escape harsh winters and jackets, was encouraging as harsh and prolong winter season emanated the demand. Since the schools are closed this winter so demand for blazer is absent as the fabric is primarily used in coats. Battling the effects of Covid-19 pandemic, city-based woollen industry, known for manufacturing shawls, blankets, tweed and blazers, has been relying on the upcoming winter season to come out of the crisis.
Piara Lal Seth, a shawl manufacturer, said the demand generated during the festival season in November had encouraged manufacturers and stockists to delve in trade. However, the prolonged farmers’ agitation evaporated the demand as they did not spend in buying luxury winter item shawls.
He said there were about 500 looms involved in shawl manufacturing. Of these 400 were pressed into manufacturing uncut ladies suit, indicating that the demand rose from the women’s who had participated in the agitation in large number.
Salesmen from the Kashmir valley who sell locally manufactured shawls, stoles, tweeds and blazer in different parts of the country did not return to the holy city this year probably due to absence of train connectivity. They used to sell these materials right from Punjab to as far as West Bengal. Earlier, order booking and summer holiday periods were frittered away as these had coincided with the lockdown period.
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