Thriving tailor community at Stutong Market defies ‘sunset industry’ claim

Zuriani believes the tailoring profession is still going strong.

By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, June 19: The thriving tailor community at the Stutong Community Market has spurred Zuriani Ahmad to contest the notion that her profession is a sunset industry, as their services remain in demand.

“As long as people wear clothes, the tailoring profession will thrive,” enthused the 51-year-old widow.


“Maybe people buy clothes in retail, so they do not look at services. It is convenient, and I would do the same. However, there are still people who want their apparel tailor-made for them,” she told DayakDaily.

“So far, I am happy with what I am doing, and members of the public come to us for tailor-made clothing and sewing services. There are so many of us here; there could be up to 30 of us tailors at the moment.

“I believe those with our skills are still appreciated, and I am still thankful to my family, who urged me to become a tailor.”

Zuriani revealed that she started sewing by helping her seamstress mother make embroidery stitches on the edge of the fabric, the collar, and the dresses.

Tailor-made clothes by Zuriani are ready for collection at her shop.

“That was how I earned my living in the late 1990s. It was not much, but I was happy with what I got in those days. After that, I had an opportunity to join a tailoring skills training programme open to youth for a year and qualified.

“Since then, I have made it a profession and held on to it.”

She shared that her late husband encouraged her to be competitive in the profession before he passed away from heart issues recently.

“Remembering his encouragement and listening to his advice, I started to look for a place, and Kuching South City Council (MBKS) gave me a place at Stutong Community Market three years ago.”

Zuriani shared that as soon as she started her business, she got an order to make a wedding gown for a customer.

Zuriani shares a photo she took of the first wedding gown she was commissioned to make for a customer when she moved into Stutong Community Market.

“I started well at this place (Stutong Market), and business continued to pour in. Then, following the good news, my only son got a job in the civil service.

“My son getting a job lifted a burden from my shoulders, and all this is a good sign for me to move on.”

She shared that many tailors occupied the Stutong Market and all worked well together to ensure they could thrive and earn a living.

“We help one another and share the workload if a tailor has a contract to make many clothes for their clients, especially if there is a deadline.

“I believe we all should work hard together, live in harmony, and maintain the Sarawak spirit. I hope the tailor community remains united to thrive.”

Zuriani said her clients vary, with both walk-ins and regulars.

“My services range from simple repair work on pieces of clothing to tailoring elegant attires for customers. I have two machines that handle this work. One machine is for straight sewing, and one is for the edges. So, I have the tools for my trade.”

She also revealed that she still does embroidery work despite it being quite demanding, but it is her profession.

Zuriani also specialises in alterations and custom embroidery.

“This is skilled work on attires that not many possess, so we hope the tailoring industry will continue as long as people need our services.”

Zuriani encouraged young people to join the profession.

“The more the population, the more people want tailor-made attires and clothing. Demographic tastes in fashion change all the time, so we must also keep updating our knowledge.

“I am ready to take on such a challenge and happy to meet new customers and tailor what they want,” she said.

For more information, call Zuriani at 016-858 2763. — DayakDaily